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34 years old and scared of bike clubs!!!!!!!

After my first year of triathlons I thought I should prepare myself for competing with a road bike next year rather than my trusty MTB, I'm planning to enter a half IM (I've pre-entered Wimbleball).

I dragged my brother's old Peugeot road bike out of my parent's garage, had it serviced (the LBS weren't too rude about it), and am now trying to psyche myself up to using it in anger. I'd never ridden a road bike before and after a couple of trips round the block am beginning to realise it is a different beast altogether. I hate the gear shifters mounted on the down tube but can't afford a new bike right now.

I figure the best way to get on, apart from just spending time on the bike, is to go to a bike club, but here my problem lies. I regularly see groups of lycra clad cycling "machines" screaming up and down the A31 in NE Hants with carbon bikes and looking very serious. I want to have fun as well as improving my road cycling. I'm not very fast at the moment and feel I would be left behind.

How a 6' 1", 15-odd stone bloke can be intimidated by a lot of skinny people in tight man-made fibre clothing is beyond me but you scare the sh*t out of me. Are you really that bad? Please dispell my fears!


  • Hi,

    I'm a cycling newbie too and I'd certainly be a bit too scared to go to a serious bike club but my local tri club have been great and very, very patient about waiting for me at the top of all the little hills that we have to go up (I REALLY need the training ). Basically they go hoofing off - I follow huffing and puffing, they disappear into the distance and I come up with them red faced and panting - they smile, cheer, put away their drink bottles and whizz off again - but they get the coffee in when we stop.

    The friends I have who are serious about cycling have been great and very supportive too so I think it won't really be very scary because people who are passionate about something love the opportunity to share it with new people (possibly because they've already bored everyone they know ).

    Give it a go - you don't have to go back if they're horrid.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    you'll be fine - look around at the local clubs and find out what they are up to. hopefully you will find a welcoming and friendly outfit not too far away who you can join for weekend rides.

    my local club has weekday evening time trials series and a saturday 'chain gang' for the faster and more speed-oriented members. but the usual weekend rides - leisure, easy and family rides - are aimed at people like you (and me!) who are just getting used to riding road-bikes and riding in groups.
  • I wouldn't be worried. I'm 16 stone and have an ancient Specialized in bright green! Most bike clubs are very friendly and don't mind who rides with them. They can give you a lot of help and advice. Just give them a ring first and have a chat. Then when you turn up, its like you know someone already.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    as Ris has mentioned... bike clubs will often/normally cater for all typoes - not just the speedy geezers you've seen. they'll likely run some family/easier group rides and will be glad to take your subs, I mean welcome you along ;-) Seriously - like everything, bike clubs need cash to run and they'll not manage much if all they can attract is speed demons... they must have alternatives

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