I’ve done group riding with a small number of friends for years. Dave and I rode two or three mornings a week before work for a few years as we trained for an annual 2-day charity ride and other events. We’d often join up with Peter, Andy (RIP), and Marty for weekend rides in the late spring and summer when we could work around all of our family commitments and a range of other cycling plans. Friends like David and Tom would join in from time to time. And I so wish Patricia would ride with us again.
Together, we’ve gotten or kept each other in shape, done some epic rides, raised a lot of money for great causes, and built some incredible bonds.
The camaraderie I have with my riding buddies has been central to why I love cycling. It’s great when we can get together and we try to most weekends. But, it’s become tougher and tougher as our family commitments, cycling habits, and training objectives have grown more diverse over the years.
This year I looked around for quite a while to find a cycling club to join. Since the spring I’ve been riding with one called the Monsters In the Basement. The people I’ve met there are as committed to riding and pulled in different directions as my long-time riding buddies are.
But, with a bigger pool of cyclists to start with, there’s enough people who can make it to each of the half-dozen regularly scheduled and ad-hoc rides each week to have a solid group of leaders and riders every time we head out. We do defined routes organized by speed, distance and climbing options. At the same time, we maintain a common focus on safety, pulling for each other, making sure everyone makes it back and generally having a good time.
The same kind of camaraderie that I’ve built with my riding buddies exists in my new club among its established members. If I put in the effort, I see that I can build that within this group as well. It’s a welcoming crew, some of whom make time to get together to socialize and do volunteer work to give back to the community too.
It wasn’t tough to find the club I joined but it also wasn’t easy to pick the right one amongst several I’d heard about. In talking to others and hearing about the range of clubs and options like Meetups, bike shop organized rides, and employer, bike advocacy group and cycling association programs being offered, I can see my experience trying to find the right club to join is not uncommon.
What’d I’d like to offer you, and ask for your help as In The Know Cycling readers, is a way for anyone to find the best enthusiast cycling clubs near you, ones that can offer you the kind of experience that will make your riding even more fulfilling.
And if you are already part of a club you think is worth recommending to others and is looking for more people to make it even better, here’s a place to let your fellow enthusiasts know about your club and why you love being part of it.
What’s an enthusiast club? For me it’s one that attracts riders I call road cycling enthusiasts, the regular, committed cyclists who ride throughout the week, at speeds in the high-teens to low-twenties (miles per hour) or high-twenties to mid-thirties kilometers per hour, typically go out for 35 to 50 mile (50 to 80km) rides on varying terrain, rack up between 2,000 and 5,000 miles (3,000-7,000 kilometers) a year, and have bikes that cost at least $2500/£2000/€2500 and often much more. We aren’t dedicated racers, though we may race from time to time and we’re more than weekend warriors, though our longest rides of the week often have to wait for the days when our jobs don’t get in the way.
If you are an enthusiast looking for a club, you’ll find a list below to start your search. If you are part of a club that you like riding with that you think would be a good group for other enthusiasts to join, tell me about it in the comment area below the club listing. Share your club’s name, where it is based, its website link and a reason or two why you love being a part of the club. I’ll look it up and if it’s inclusive and isn’t associated with a business, for-profit, advocacy or non-cycling cause organization, I’ll add it to the list along with a little description you give me or one on the club’s web site.
There are lots of gaps in the list, especially in countries where I don’t speak the language or I just couldn’t sort through all the clubs to pick some of the best. Help expand and improve the list below so we can all find the right club and group of friends to make our riding better.
Click the country where you want to find a club to ride with or see if your club is listed
“We are a recreational club that rides a little faster and a little farther than the typical non-racing club. We meet every Saturday morning throughout the year. Our rides range between 40 and 65 miles with a breakfast stop for those who like to eat and socialize. We do a variety of rides each month exploring most parts of the valley.” Rides
“Lightning Velo was established as a recreational cycling club and has been registered with USA Cycling since 1989. Racing is not a requirement for membership or participation in club rides and events. Being registered as a racing club broadens the club’s activities in the world of cycling, supports members who race and allows the club to host sanctioned racing events. By a very large percentage, our members are recreational riders.” Rides
“Velo Allegro’s mission to actively support and promote the sport of cycling. Our members, consisting of varying abilities, engage in activities that encompass the entire range of the sport of cycling; from recreational fun and fitness rides to the heart-throbbing, adrenaline-pumping action of racing.” Rides
“Velo Club La Grange is one of California’s largest and oldest cycling clubs with over 500 members nationwide. The club was founded by Raymond Fouquet in 1969 and fields one of the top amateur racing teams in the United States. Along with the Club’s formal mission and dedication to bicycle racing, the Club welcomes new and inexperienced riders with a passion for cycling. La Grange is also very active in the cycling and fitness communities.” Rides
“Grizzly Peak Cyclists is a bicycle club of about 650 members. Roughly half our rides are in the East Bay; the rest are all over the San Francisco Bay Area, and beyond. We have novices, intermediates, advanced, and everything in between. Our rides are correspondingly diverse.” Rides
“The Almaden Cycle Touring Club is a group of nearly 1000 bicycle enthusiasts based in the South Bay Area. Emphasis is on group fun and safety, with a variety of bicycling related events for a wide range of ability levels. There are an average of 150 club rides held each month, which attract an average of 10 riders each. These rides are led by a club member, and cover all levels of difficulty. There are rides suitable for everyone, from the beginning bike rider to the advanced cyclist.” Rides
A list of additional Bay Area clubs can be found here
“Provide regularly scheduled group rides for cyclists of all types and abilities in a comfortable social setting. Offer new experiences for members by organizing group trips to regions recognized for excellent cycling opportunities. Communicate to members providing information regarding cycling and social events, basic repairs, maintenance and nutrition.” Rides
“Today, the DWC conducts group rides, clinics, club races and is a local advocate for cycling in Durango. Current members are entitled to participate in all DWC events, including weekly group rides, time trial series, pace-line clinics, and parties. Members also gain access to the DWC Trading Post and receive discounts on DWC clothing.” Rides
“Lactic Acid Cycling supports participation in recreational cycling through our organized rides, cycling event participation, and charitable activities. LAC promotes riding behavior that is safe, law abiding, and nurturing to all participants while also providing social opportunities that help build our Boise community.” Rides
“Spidermonkey formed after the closure of a local Chicago bike shop and cycling hub. Four riders, Dean, Nate, Matt and Vanessa, were left pondering whom to ride with. The foursome wanted a tight group where riders would not get lost in the pack, and also a group that emphasized completion as much as competition.” Rides
“We ride bicycles and we have fun all at the same time. We have rides for the lean and mean cyclist who just maxxed out the credit card buying a titanium frame with a Campy Record gruppo to anybody who has a bike in good condition and a body that would like to get there.” Rides
“Charles River Wheelmen (CRW) is a group of recreational cyclists who get together for weekly bicycle rides and frequent social events in the Boston area. The CRW is a social club, not a racing club! We offer a congenial atmosphere for cyclists of all levels and ages. With more than 1800 members, there are enough riders of varying abilities so you can ride at any pace and still enjoy friendly company.” Rides
“NEBC’s basic philosophy is rider development. More than one rider has entered the club as a junior, performed well in club training rides and local races, eventually becoming a well respected senior category rider, and finally continuing their development by moving beyond club racing. NEBC is constantly striving to find the next generation of racers, provide them with the basic skills, and to infect them with a lifetime enthusiasm for cycling. Names and faces change, but the program keeps working.” Rides
“We are an inclusive, enthusiastic, and informal road cycling club based in West Concord, Massachusetts. Cycling at all levels is most fun when shared with others. We have three groups of riders to accommodate different speeds: Spinsters: 20+ mph average; Cranksters: 18 mph average; Hubsters: 14 mph average.” Rides
A list of additional clubs in the Massachusetts can be found here
“The Club strives to promote fun, safe cycling for all through rides, races, tours, and advocacy. We welcome riders of all ages and offer rides for all levels – from beginners to experienced cyclists. If you enjoy cycling, want to develop good riding skills, or are looking for a fun and healthy group activity, then become a member today!” Rides
“TCBC is the largest recreational bicycling club in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. TCBC has rides and events for a range of skill levels. Most of our members are adults at an intermediate, non-racer level who enjoy the benefits of group riding. TCBC rides are open to members and non-members. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization that is operated primarily by volunteers.” Rides
“We are a club dedicated to promoting the sport of cycling in the Reno/Tahoe area. We host the annual Road Twilight Series, Mountain Bike Twilight Series, and Sagebrush Cyclocross Series among other races.” Rides
“RIO Cycling Club is made up of a highly diverse and growing number of Albuquerque cyclists. Our objective is to provide a fun, safe, and inspiring atmosphere for local cyclists to get together and go for a ride. Some members race, most do not. Either way you’re welcome. We have group rides flexible enough to meet your needs whether you’re training for the next fundraising tour, trying to upgrade as a racer, or just want to get outdoors and ride with a group of friends. Rides
“New York Cycle Club is the largest such club in the city, an all-volunteer recreational cycling organization that offers its 2,000+ members rides at all pace levels, weekend trips, a nationally recognized spring training program, monthly meetings featuring important speakers in the field, a full calendar of special events, in a friendly environment where you’ll meet other, like-minded cycling New Yorkers.” Rides
“Sturdy Girl Cycling’s mission is to provide women with fun, fabulous, and supportive cycling experiences in the Philadelphia region. Started in 2003 as a weekly ride and has become a movement to empower women to eliminate the fear and embrace the power of being on the bike. Offers opportunities for women cyclists to enhance their physical fitness and improve their performance and cycling skills in a variety of ways.” Rides
“Elite without being elitist, we further our members’ cycling goals by teaching riding skills, offering a social and recreational support network, and mentoring those interested in racing.Our 100+ members range from new riders to former professional racers, ages 14 to 65 years old, from all over Austin and as far away as San Antonio, Temple and Juneau, Alaska. We race, ride, and commute. We all share a love for cycling and for sharing knowledge and skills to become better riders.” Rides
“Cascade Bicycle Club, a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, serves more than 16,000 members and the Puget Sound bicycling community. Our mission is to improve lives through bicycling.” Rides
“We are one of the largest bicycle clubs in the United States, and the largest in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area. Our energies are directed primarily toward providing a weekend ride schedule to accommodate the experience and ability of each member, whether novice or veteran.” Rides
“While we are a racing club, riders of all abilities are most welcome. The club presently caters for those members who only have time to ride/race once per week to the more serious State, Australian or World Champion. We have a very friendly social ride group as well as more serious and structured training rides and coached training sessions for those looking to race.” Rides
“We attract both recreational cyclists and competitive cyclists, but all strive for one common purpose – that is to enjoy keeping fit on the bike and meeting new friends and social contacts. As such we cater for a wide range of cyclists and have club rides which would suit almost anyone, young old, fast or slow.”
“St Kilda Cycling Club is one of Australia’s most dynamic cycling clubs. A not-for-profit association, SKCC provides high quality racing and social activities that encourage and engage cyclists of all ages and abilities. We are focussed on the continuing development of women’s cycling in the club. The Club prides itself on its sense of community, professionalism and its welcoming, friendly atmosphere and is keen to remain one of Australia’s premier cycling clubs.” Rides
“Our club is as much about being part of a “cycling family” as being an elite racer, and to this end we hold a number of social events throughout the year to achieve this. Our club offers training rides throughout the week and caters for all skill levels, from novice through to A-grade racer. Our primary focus is our weekend group rides which regularly attract more than 100 riders, as well as regular training rides during the week.” Rides
“The South West Cycle Club (formerly Bunbury Cycle Club est. 1988) aims to promote and encourage cycling on all levels throughout the South West of Western Australia. Belonging to the club provides the opportunity to ride with and also to socialise with other club members and we conduct a range of activities aimed at supporting our members to become better cyclists. Click here to access our current constitution.” Rides
“Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club (DHBC) is the club for cyclists in the inner west of Sydney. The club prides itself on offering fellowship among cyclists, regardless of experience, ability, aspirations, or the equipment you own. We’re a racing and recreational riding club, so you don’t need to race to take part in our regular rides.” Rides
“Club members enjoy a relaxed, supportive atmosphere where they are encouraged to achieve their goals and support is given to all members in a variety of ways. The club rides six days a week, leaving from Centennial Park in Sydney.” Rides
Cycling Australia provides a “Find a Club” look-up page here to find clubs closest to where you’d like to ride.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Belgium and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Brazil and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
“Crankmasters currently has riders active in track and road events and we conduct club races regularly in the season. We are always welcoming anyone interested in joining a competitive team in the Masters categories. We also have many cyclists in all age groups who just come out to cycle for fitness. In either case, anyone is welcome to come out and join with us for a ride, and learn about cycling in groups or practice riding in groups for competitive events.” Rides
“Our Club is the largest recreational bicycling club in Western Canada, with 850 members at year-end 2014, a number which continues to grow. We stage approximately 200 events a year, mostly within and around Calgary, consisting of road, pathway and mountain bike rides of one day and multi-day duration, as well as social events. Our premier event is the annual Golden Triangle, over the Rockies, held over three days. We are not a racing club; we hold no timed events. Our membership ranges from beginner to advanced, and covers the entire age spectrum. We nurture good exercise, good friendship, and fun.” Rides
“EMCC organizes some twenty mid-week events (time trials, road races, and criteriums) between May and September. There are club rides every Sunday morning from the beginning of April to the end of September, although informal rides start earlier and carry on later as the weather permits. There is an annual week-long training camp in Penticton, held during April, and EMCC members also have access to the programs at the Argyll Velodrome. Membership is open to anyone, man or woman, aged 30 years and older.” Rides
“CCB a volunteer-run organization that brings together recreational road cycling enthusiasts who aim to ride in a safe and social setting. To get the maximum benefit and enjoyment out of club activities, all CCBers, especially new ones and those with limited group riding experience, are strongly encouraged to participate in the club’s early season training program that consists of Group Leader Rides and the Clinics. The vast majority of members ride road bicycles (i.e. racing style). Recumbent, front disk wheel, aerobar and bullhorn handlebar equipped bicycles are prohibited. Hybrids, mountain bikes and tandems are not suitable for the type of riding the club does and their use is discouraged. Helmets are mandatory for all rides.” Rides
“Le Club Cycliste de Sherbrooke (CCS) est actif dans la région de Sherbrooke depuis 1971. Il est un organisme à but non lucratif agissant comme club de développement pour les coureurs cyclistes sur route et sur piste de niveau Bibitte à Maître. Que vous soyez débutants ou que vous recherchiez un nouveau défi, le CCS saura répondre à vos besoins de par ses différents programmes. Peu importe vos préférences, soyez assurés que vous bénéficierez d’un encadrement professionnel et de qualité offert par nos entraîneurs certifiés. Pour toutes questions ou commentaires concernant nos services, veuillez nous contacter.” Rides
“Beaches C.C. is a community based cycling club with a main focus on networking avid cyclists in the community; allowing them to participate in well-organized/safe group rides and inspire each other. The goal is to ensure that members have memorable experiences on the organized group rides.” Rides
“D’Ornellas Cycling Club is a Toronto road bike club composed of men and women who share a love of road cycling. Most of us are just regular recreational cyclists who enjoy a disciplined group ride without the competition. But some members participate at road bike races in Toronto and around Ontario.” Rides
This site provides good links and good descriptions to a dozen clubs for enthusiast riders in the BC area
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Denmark and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Finland and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in France and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Germany and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Hong Kong and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
“South Island Road Cycling is a forum for Road Cyclists in Hong Kong. Morning rides on the empty streets of HK Island before most people would even think of getting out of bed (we are glad that they don’t!) are what we do best.”
“We try to cater for all cyclists, from absolute beginners, to professional racer wannabes. The main focus is road racing. Swords CC run one of the most successfull club leagues with races every Wednesday, from April to September. Swords CC have a training spin to suit everyone. Most spins are on weekends and run regardless of the weather.” Spins
“Orwell Wheelers cater to all levels of fitness and ability. The club has traditionally had a strong focus on road racing and is also very active in many other areas including leisure riding, randonnée events and track racing. We run organised weekly training spins most of the year.” Spins
“Our core members are dedicated riders and involved in running every aspect of the club. If your interest is racing, mountainous 200km events or just cycling for fitness, we strive to make all our new members feel welcome and involved with our club.” Spins
Cycling Ireland provides a page here to locate a club near where your ride.
“Of the foreign/mixed clubs, the most relaxed and easy accessible is the Tokyo Cycling Club. The TCC is a very loose association of all kind of riders of different levels and one can surely find within riders with the same interests and performance levels.”
A post on the Tokyo cycling club scene from a foreigner’s perspective including links to clubs made up principally by Japanese riders and others whose members are mainly foreigners living in the Tokyo area can be found here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride in Japan and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Malaysia and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in the Netherlands and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
Auckland Central Cycling Club
“The Auckland Central Cycling Club has been designed for those that want to license and race competitively, plus those that want to go in “fun” rides, those that want to join more disciplined bunch rides, or those that consider themselves recreational cyclists, but would be keen to benefit from joining a cycling focused club.”
“A recreational cycle club catering for beginners to experienced cyclists. We hold weekly rides in rural South Auckland to suit all abilities. There are friendly competitions and Time Trial events held every couple of months. Camaraderie is a key reason for the club’s success. We believe in looking out for each other. Today our 300+ strong membership also includes younger associate members and draws riders from the greater Auckland area.” Rides
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Norway and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in the Philippines and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
ANZA Cycling is Singapore’s largest adult social cycling club with over 300 active members. Our members form groups and ride established routes from set starting points, pretty much every day of the year. Some of us train and race at elite/UCI level, others simply enjoy a 60km weekly social spin and a post ride coffee. We cater to all and everything in between. Rides
Led by the inspirational ‘Snail Queen’ Joyce, Joyriders is Singapore’s largest recreational cycling community. Whether you are thick or thin, blue or red, hot or cold, we warmly welcome you to come ride with us. Rides
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Spain and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Switzerland and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
In the comments section below, please tell me about clubs you ride with in Sweden and provide a link to its web site. Click here.
British Cycling makes finding a club in the UK easy. Here’s a link to their page showing clubs that organize training rides for advanced adult cyclists throughout the UK. You can find which of these clubs are based within a few miles of where you want to ride and further filter the list according to ride length, activities, and demographics you prefer.
Which are your prefered enthusiast clubs in the UK? Share your club’s name, where it is based, its website link and one reason why you love being a part of the club in the comment section here. I’ll update this post with your favorites.