How to set up a new cycling group
How to set up a new cycling group
You may enjoy cycling on your own but when you are riding with a group, the fun is shared plus you will benefit from the mutual support and encouragement of riding with like-minded people.
What kind of cycling group are you?
Cycling groups come in many different shapes and sizes. The list below is not definitive - perhaps your own group fits into a category all of its own?
Bicycle User Groups (BUGs)
These groups are centred around a workplace or perhaps an educational establishment. The members of this type of group may all work together at the same site or at different sites but work for the same organisation. They may use bikes to ride to and from work and, as a group, work together to improve conditions for cycle commuters at the premises. The members may also enjoy social cycling together and want insurance cover for the rides and events they organise, which may occasionally include members of the public.
Do you have a particular local infrastructure issue you're concerned about? Forming a campaign group is one way of lobbying for change by uniting all the cyclists in your area with one voice. You may also like to ride together too.
Social cycling groups
This is a group that exists to put on leisure rides and social events for a particular group of people. It may be based in a particular town or city, or around a particular activity such as touring or Audaxes. They tend not to organise competitive events such as racing or time trialling (which Cycling UK insurance doesn't cover, although non-mass start events such as sportives are). Cycling UK's Member Groups (see below) are exclusively this type of group, although many of them do offer a programme of mountain bike or off-road rides.
Women's cycling groups
Perhaps you'd like to encourage more women to cycle as they are currently very much underrepresented in cycling so why not consider setting up a women only or female-friendly group, which may help attract them?
Charity riding groups
These groups mainly put on fundraisers for a particular charitable cause such as air ambulances or protection of wildlife.
Mountain bike or off-road groups
Groups that ride mainly or exclusively off-road or organise visits to bike parks and trail centres.
Community Cycle Clubs
These are groups that are formed in areas of identified need and may cater to particular groups underrepresented in cycling, for example ethnic minorities, women's groups, inclusive cycling centres, bike recycling centres and so on. Cycling UK supports many of these groups through our Community Cycle Clubs programme.
You may only communicate with each other online (apart from when on rides of course!) but that's no reason why you shouldn't become a formal cycling group. You would still benefit from the support and guidance of others.
Cycling UK Member Groups
A network of around 200 groups throughout the UK that provide a wide variety of cycling activities for Cycling UK members and, occasionally, the general public. Many of them have been in existence for around a century! They are nearly all based around a particular town or region. Cycling UK supports these groups with a annual grant and, in return, the groups provide us with a set of annual and financial returns and abide by the guidance in our Policy Handbook. If you'd like to think about forming a new Member Group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cycling UK Affiliate Groups
Any of the above groups (except for Cycling UK Member Groups) may join Cycling UK and support our work on behalf of all cyclists.
Once you've decided what kind of group you are, it's time to create a constitution. This is just a simple document that sets out the basics of how you would like to run your group. It could include, for example:
- The name of the group
- The purpose of the group - to raise funds, to campaign, to provide leisure rides and so on
- What kind of cycling you'll be doing
- Who the group is aimed at: anybody or a particular group of people in a particular area?
- Whether or not you will charge a fee to join
- Whether you'll have a committee to run the group and how often it will meet, how it will be voted in and so on
- Whether you'll have an AGM and so on
Cycling UK can provide a sample constitution (attached below). Note: Member Groups use our Policy Handbook as a constitution.
Next, you will need to hold a meeting to elect a committee if you want one - a committee will make it easier to share out the tasks, as well as decide on a joint course of operation. We recommend a minimum of three people to form a committee, namely:
The committee may also cover roles such as: publicity, membership, rides secretary, social events, club kit and welfare. We have a range of toolkits available to support these roles, which outline our recommended policies and procedures on things such as Safeguarding, Data Protection and more.
The fun stuff
Now for the cycling bit...
Decide if you'll have a regular meeting place and day, who will lead the rides and whether you'll organise social events as well.
Ride leaders should be deemed competent by at least two members of the committee: Cycling UK offers advice on best practice for leading rides, riding in a group, organising events and many other aspects of running a cycling club.
Once you have an idea of who and what your group is, it's time to put the word out about it. For this you can use a Facebook page, a website, Meetup or a combination of these. Groups that join Cycling UK will have their own publicity page on our website plus the facility to register their rides in the UK Cycling Events Guide.