Cycling club

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Lord's Cycling Club in Houston, Texas (1897)

A cycling club is a society for cyclists. Clubs tend to be mostly local, and can be general or specialised. The Cyclists' Touring Club, (CTC) in the United Kingdom is a national cycling association; the Tricycle Association, Tandem Club and the Veterans Time Trial Association, for those over 40, are specialist clubs. Members of specialist or national groups often belong to local clubs.

Other groups support leisure cyclists or campaign for improved facilities for cyclists. The London Cycling Campaign, Friends of the Earth, and Greenwich Cyclists are examples of campaign groups.


Old CTC sign on display at the National Museum of Scotland

Cycling clubs flourished in 19th century in a time when there were not commercial cars on the market and the principal way of transportation was Horse-drawn vehicles, such horse and buggy or horsecar. Among the earliest clubs can be named The Bicycle Touring Club that operated since 1878.

Local associations[edit]


A cycling club's activities vary from one aspect of cycle sport to a range of cycling and social activities. Racing clubs organise competitions for members and others, including track cycling, cyclo-cross, road bicycle racing and time trials). Most competitive cyclists belong to a club affiliated to one of the national racing associations, such as British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials in the UK, and may also organise training through BC or ABCC-qualified coaches. Riders often race in their club's colours.

Cycling clubs may offer touring, weekly club rides (traditionally on Sunday mornings), regular meetings and social events.


Some clubs are sponsored by commercial organisations. Riders advertising in return for the support.


Many clubs are named after their home town or district. A few clubs are named after the topography of their region, such as the Alpine Bicycle Club of Golden, Colorado. Some have no connection, such as the Acme Wheelers in south Wales, Zenith CC in Leicester, Gemini BC in north-west Kent. Some clubs are just named after the behaviour of the members — VC Daft.

The Salvator Bicycle Club, 1897[1]

Some call themselves Road Clubs or use a foreign title such as Coureurs or Velo. Examples in Britain are Warrington Road Club, Leicestershire Road Club and Archer RC); Clayton Velo, Yorkshire Velo, Rugby Velo, Thames Velo, VC Elan, VC Londres or Velo Sport Jersey all use foreign names that reflect the origins of cycle-racing in France. Another common title is Wheelers - for example, Huddersfield Star Wheelers. Forming coinages from multiple words is also common practice such as Echelon Velodynamics Bicycle Club.

Some names have roots in political or social movements. The National Clarion Cycling Club spread socialist ideas by bicycle in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The name remains - Bury Clarion, Crewe Clarion, Fenland Clarion, London Clarion, North Cheshire Clarion, Nottingham Clarion, etc - but the politics has mostly disappeared. Other names reflect historical religious allegiance, such as Manchester St Christopher's Catholic Cycling Club) or jobs: RAF CC, Northumbria Police CC, GB Fire Service Road Team, Army Cycling Union. Others evoke the wandering nature of cycling - '34 Nomads, Altrincham Ravens, Lewes Wanderers, Colchester Rovers - or an aspiration: Norwood Paragon, Sheffield Phoenix, Dulwich Paragon.

The early 21st century has also seen the development of internet-based clubs (e.g.:, and Team Internet).

National and transnational associations[edit]

Cycling organizations or cycling associations are - similar to automobile associations - organizations for cyclists, bicycle sports and bicycle mobility, bicycle touring, advocating bycicle-friendliness and the bicycle and cycling in general. As such, they generally support sustainable transport.[2] Larger national organizations, may have arisen from older, local cycling clubs.


Most associations have the commonality that they aim to promote cycling as an everyday activity, e.g. commuting. When the focus is on a specific aspect of cycling, we can distinguish between:[3]

Mobility vs. sports[edit]

Most organizations lean towards either cycling as a mobility or bicycle / BMX racing. The political goals can be quite different, because cycling as a mobility is an everyday issue and pervades questions about environmentalism, transport and sustainability. Sports associations emphasize the event character of cycling and do not usually try to advocate the aspects of bicycle as regular traffic vehicles.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Donovan, Henry. "Chicago Eagle". Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  2. ^ "About Us". World Cycling Alliance. Retrieved 2019-06-26. In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Bicycling helps meet nearly every one of them. Bicycling is a cost-effective, quick-to-implement, versatile and contemporary solution that helps individuals, families, communities, nations, and the planet.
  3. ^ "Why Join a Cycling Association?". Bikemunk. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2019-06-26.