Author Topic: How can I find....  (Read 1552 times)

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Offline ronnie421

How can I find....
« on: February 27, 2011, 05:26:20 pm »
I'm interested in starting a local cycling club (maybe not a club, but a group) of individuals that may have weight issues or could use cycling as a way to get fit or to help with any other issues. But how do I get the word out to the entire local area that I am looking for them? I know they are out there. Ive tried Craigslist, putting up flyers in bike shops, etc. But I need a strong announcement that will really get to most of the city. There are people out there who want to ride but have no one to ride with or may start but quit very quickly because a lack of a support.  I think that by seeing people who share the same kind of hurdles and still pressing on, they would be more willing to continue because they would have support from their "team".  Who knows? Maybe some of these indivduals would want to complete a cross country tour? I read somewhere that heavy riders are called Clydesdales? Is that term a polite term? Accepted? How about a Clydesdale Cycling Club? I dont know. Would that offend anyone? I could use some help. I have talked to several friends that I have known for a long time and asked them if they would be willing to go cross country with me. They all say they would IF THEY WERE THINNER. Thats the key. Getting people to ride to get fit and beginning a whole new life. Im still not a thin rider, but I am almost ready for my tour in 2012, even at my current weight.   

Offline DaveB

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 06:28:23 pm »
"Clydesdale" has become the good natured name for heavier male riders and runners (Athena is the women's equivalent) and isn't looked at as an insult so far. 

As to publicizing your new group, why not post flyers at fitness venues like "Curves" and the local YMCA, which aren't "meet markets" like so many but cater to people really trying to get in better condition.  Would any of your local radio stations do a public service announcement for you?     

Offline reed523

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 07:51:13 pm »
I've been working on the same thing for a few years now.  Very slow and frustrating.  Lots of interest and talk.  Very few takers.  Current plan is to take them in one at time and slowly build their confidence and ability.  We are finally starting to develop a core group that others are watching and listening to. Bicyclists can be terribly intimidating to new riders.  One common problem i've noticed with unsuccessful new rider introductions.  I've seen well intended folks go out time and time again with new riders and then invariably pull away.  They then stop to let the newbie catch up.  Fail.  This only lets the faster rider rest just compounding the issue for the next part of the ride.  Make sure you stay with the new people.  If you get away from them, at least ride back  and then rest with them so you get the same break.  Good luck.   

Offline cotterg3

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 09:42:08 pm »
I helped start a running club this winter. We start and end at the bar, which seems to encourage attendance.  ;D

Offline ronnie421

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 09:55:14 pm »
@Dave... Ya know, I may have been looking in the wrong places this whole time.  I been placing flyers and notices in places where most people that go in there are ALREADY into the sport. Thats why they are there.  I need to be looking in places where people who are already looking to get into shape can be introduced to cycling as a nice addition to their workout. NIce! I didn't think of that. I need to be posting in fitness centers and gyms, NOT in cycling shops.

@Reed...  Good idea to stay with the group. I understand there's nothing that makes a newbie want to quit more than being left behind. Good motto... Leave no one behind.

@cotterg3... Thats a great idea... we can start our ride and end at the IHOP! Ha ha!!!! 

Offline Tandem4Rider

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 06:53:53 am »
I'm no expert in getting the word out, as it were, but I know people who are.  My local community has several outlets of this variety.  Do you have a local website like this? http://www.harfordneighbors.net/index.php?section=6&viewresults

As you can see they offer something for about everyone.  This group gets a booth at the local county fair and does other things to publicize itself as well.  If you don't have one - perhaps that might be an opportunity for you.

The local bike club also hosts rides of varying ability.  Here is their site: http://www.harfordvelo.org/

I know you are talking about forming your own niche group, but could you piggy-back on an existing one?  Everyone knows someone trying to lose a few pounds - if they are not trying to do so themselves.

A good example of a smaller group being part of a larger group: http://baltobikeclub.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=79

these folks are just an outcropping of: http://baltobikeclub.org/

The success of these organizations speak clearly to their ability to gain an audience.  I've done rides with both, and they are WELL attended, and organized even better.

I wish you the best.

Offline DaveB

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 01:22:34 pm »
I've seen well intended folks go out time and time again with new riders and then invariably pull away.  They then stop to let the newbie catch up.  Fail.  This only lets the faster rider rest just compounding the issue for the next part of the ride. 
+100.  It's a running joke that the fast riders wait at the top of a hill or at a crossroads and as soon and the slower (and struggling) riders arive, panting and exhausted, the leader says; "OK, we're all here.  Lets go."  Repeat this a few times and the slow people NEVER come back.

Offline csykes

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 11:04:46 pm »
I am a ride leader for entry-level rides for a major bike club in San Diego.  We are a "racing Club" but most members do not race.  We hold weekly rides that leave from a bike shop every Saturday morning rain or shine.  Originally "the ride" was a 45 mile long hammer fest which only appealed to the racers.  Over the years additional ride groups were added to where we now have seven separate rides which accommodate all levels from pros to newbies.  Our beginner-level ride is about 10 miles in length and is led by a 350 pound gentleman.  I normally lead a 25 mile ride that is "no-drop," and completely tailored in speed and coaching level to whoever shows up that morning.  I proudly refer to myself as a Clydesdale as I weigh over 200 pounds.

My though is for you to partner with an existing bike club or cycling group that might welcome a leader for a beginners ride.  Most of the people who show up for the first time for our rides were referred by friends and bike shops.

Offline ducnut


Offline ronnie421

Re: How can I find....
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 06:03:18 pm »
Thanks for the ideas, everyone.  Ihave actually contacted a TV station here in my area and a radio station that puts out public announcements and have both agreed to put the word out.  I just have to get them a written anouncement so they could put it out.  And thanks for the story, ducnut. it is very good to hear of someone who has actually done that much good for himself with the help of a bike.  I will def share that story with newcommers.