Summer’s here, the days are long, the weather’s warm. There’s now no excuse at all to leave the bike sitting in the shed gathering dust. It’s time to get it out, get it ready, then get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
You might want to head out on your own, but if you’re the competitive sort and have cycling goals you’d like to go for, then joining a cycle team might be a great option.
Why join a team?
For starters there’s the motivation that you glean from fellow enthusiasts. You might feel you have the get up and go now, but what about in the dark November sleet? Having cycling buddies around you will help. There’ll be others of a similar standard, or even slightly faster, who will push you up to the next level. And there’s likely to be experienced riders who can become mentors, giving you the advice and drive you need to get to where you want to be.
How to find a team?
Get involved with the local scene. Turn up to races, chat to those involved. You’ll soon discover who you develop a good rapport with and who you don’t. You can discuss what you want to achieve and gauge feedback – do they also have similar goals? Would they be supportive of you and your ambitions? Do they think you would be a good fit for the team? These are questions you can’t answer from browsing websites and Facebook pages – you need to meet team members in person.
What to look for in a team?
You need to find a team with the same ambitions as you do. It’s agonising when different team members are trying to pull in opposite directions. It develops friction within the group and in the end no-one achieves what they set out to do. There’s no point in joining unless you’re singing from the same hymn sheet. So work out which group is the best fit with what you want to achieve and get in touch with them.
Get prepared before joining
First impressions are important. You’ll want to make sure you have everything you could need for your first session. Are the brakes up to scratch? Are your tyres in good shape? Do you have the tools you need in case of punctures? Do you have bike insurance?
Why cycle insurance is important?
It might not be a legal requirement, but it’s important to get bike insurance because you never know what’s going to happen. Bike equipment is expensive and if you happen to damage another bike or even a car, that won’t be a cheap fix either.
Once you find the right cycle team, you’ll also find you enjoy yourself more, and that you’re more likely to stay motivated enough to achieve your goals. Not only that, you’ll probably make great friends in the process.