A Beginner's Cycling Journey: Part 4 - Someone to Ride With

Although I began to enjoy riding, I found it quite lonely.  The countryside was stunning and the time for me was soul searching and cleansing.  However, there’s something about exercising with a friend or a group.  So, I set out to find a group.  My fitness was at a decent level because of running. I wanted to cycle with a group to learn and become more confident, as well as make friends.   


I looked on various websites and looked up various initiatives, but living in rural Herefordshire, meant I was restricted.  There are some fantastic initiatives out there for women cyclists – Breeze, British Cycling -HSBC Ride Social and Dame Cycling – to name but a few that I came across.  They sounded perfect and offered everything I wanted.  But sadly, none of them are run close to me.   So, I came to a dead end. 


I contacted the British Cycling organisation and they recommended I get in touch with a Cycling Club about 15 miles from me.  I did so, but sadly, given my newness to this hobby and the level of my riding they recommended somewhere else, and suggested I would maybe benefit from some coaching.


I actually began to feel really frustrated because I wanted to do this but there was nothing available for me.  Why was this so difficult?  Surely, there were people like me out there in this area?  I didn’t want to race, time trial or be competitive and I didn’t want to feel the pressure of being among good riders and simply, not be able to keep up.  I just wanted to cycle with like-minded people, enjoy it and have fun along the way.


So, the next step was to contact a coach and check out the club.  The club sounded perfect (all be it further away than I wanted to travel) – varying abilities, a mixture of men, ladies and children.  I thought, ‘Perfect!’.  So, I went to visit a coaching session and I had the opportunity to meet some members of the club. 

Someone came to talk to me and when we started to talk about the club the first thing she said was, “Are you in cleats or trainers?”  This scared me and immediately put me off.  I was in trainers and two years later I am still in trainers!


Due to a running injury I never joined the club and I am still in search of one…

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Have you tried contacting Ross On Wye CC and Royal Forest Dean? They are within a few miles and maybe able to help?

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