The cycling club. A place for all types of riders to come together on a Sunday and enjoy a relaxing ride in the company of their fellow bike lovers. And it’s likely you’ll encounter at least one of these every week.
1. The navigator
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Traditionally a role that falls on a veteran member of the club, seeing how they’ve ridden every one of the routes at least 200 times. Even with the advent of GPS devices, there’s probably a designated set of ride leaders to take on map duties, who can be divided into two categories: willing and reluctant.
Either way, they’re essential. Mostly because they know where the cafe is.
2. The Strava addict
Love it or hate it, Strava isn’t going anywhere. And neither are those KOM hunters.
To the rest of the Strava lovers, you’re only cheating yourself by riding in the slipstream before going hell-for-leather on a designated segment. To the rest of your club mates, you’re the guy constantly jumping off the front and ramping up the pace, much to the annoyance of those just looking for a jovial morning spin.
Save it for the solo rides.
3. The wheel sucker
You haven’t paid anything, but this isn’t a free ride.
4. The café hunter
The cycling club equivalent of kids in the back of the car repeating “are we there yet?”
Asking every 5km if that cafe up the road is the stop can get grinding, but there’s always the potential they’ll be so happy when they finally reach it, that they’ll buy you a flapjack.
5. The half-wheeler
The not too distant cousin of the Strava addict. This is rule one in the book of no-nos during club rides, and won’t make you very popular with the people floundering out the back. Clubs generally hold dedicated training sessions for those looking to race, so keep a lid on it until then.
6. The never enough rider
“But we’ve only done 130km?!”
They may or may not also turn-up to the start and talk about having ridden 60km to get there.
7. The mechanic
Like to show their inner tube changing speed on any wheel going, and you might as well let them.
Also enjoy passing on their infinite wisdom about how you’re using the wrong gears, you could be a bit more efficient in your pedalling and what your next wheel upgrade should be.
Simply bare legs whatever the weather. A Boxing Day ride is no place for your pale uncovered pins.
9. The always late rider
Try telling only them that ride starts at 8.45 when it really starts at 9. Their sixth sense for lateness will probably leave you waiting til 9.20 anyway.
10. The hard man
Just because you’re riding a 54×42 chainset around the South Downs, it doesn’t make you Roger De Vlaeminck.