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Level Up Your Cycling – Find Your Tribe

By Jiri Kaloc

Do you feel like your cycling has plateaued? Are you looking for a way to take it to the next level? Cycling is a great solo sport and many of us cyclists enjoy that. But there are few things that make you grow faster as a cyclist than being a part of a cycling group. Let’s look at how it directly improves your cycling and what are some good ways to find your tribe.

They push you

Cycling with others offers more than camaraderie. Sure, it’s a good opportunity to make friends and connections that could go beyond just cycling but we are here to level up performance! There are two big ways that cycling in a group helps you do that.

Extra motivation – Riding with others makes you more emotionally invested. You feel more pressure to keep up, you bond over a shared struggle, and your joy is multiplied. All of this pushes you to ride more often and tackle challenges you might shy away from solo. This consistency is key to improvement in any sport.

Mental resilience – The peer pressure in a cycling group that helps you keep going is beneficial too. The encouragement and shared experiences within a group help build mental resilience, a critical aspect of advancing in cycling, especially during long rides or races.

The best platform for growth and learning

Joining a cycling group introduces you to a broad spectrum of cycling styles, techniques, and strategies. Interacting with cyclists who have varying levels of expertise and experience — from beginners to veterans — provides a rich learning environment.

Beginners can pick up fundamental skills more quickly while more experienced riders can learn advanced techniques and strategies as well as share their experience. All of this happens naturally during rides, through observing, asking questions, and receiving real-time advice. It’s a dynamic learning process that can significantly speed up your progress.

Safety in numbers

A group of cyclists on the road is more noticeable than a single rider and it usually also gets more respect and space from passing cars. But cycling in a group isn’t just about the literal safety in numbers.

A classroom for group riding skills – Riding with others will teach you skills such as signalling, maintaining a consistent line and speed, and communicating effectively with fellow riders. These are essential skills for any cyclist, enhancing not only your safety but also your confidence on the road or trail.

Your own support crew – Riding in a group also means you have immediate support in case of mechanical failures or emergencies, making it a safer option for exploring new routes or pushing your limits.

How to find your tribe?

Finding a cycling group can be hard enough when you’re a new cyclist. And finding a group you could call your tribe is even harder. If you don’t really know where to start, here are a few tips.

  • Local bike shops: Many bike shops sponsor rides or have bulletin boards with information about local cycling groups and events. Staff at these shops are often connected to the cycling community and can recommend groups based on your skill level and interests.
  • Social media: Try looking for Facebook groups that have the name of your location in the title, write a post on a cycling sub-Reddit or connect with people on Strava.
  • Cycling cafés: Google some popular cycling cafés in your area and ask around. Some even have boards that list groups and rides you can join.
  • Cycling events: Look for small, locally organised amateur races, charity events or open group rides to meet other cyclists. These events often attract a wide range of participants and can be a gateway to joining more regular riding groups.
  • Make your own: Ask among your friends who are cycling already or would consider giving it a try. Get your partner involved. Use cycling as a way to spend quality time with your parents. A cycling group doesn’t have to be something big, all you need is two or more people who enjoy spending their time in the saddle.