I have been sort of asked to just rattle on about the club, our club, my club. Although just in our fifth year we have over 100 members on our books, not too bad for a small market town.
However one of the things that concerns me, is that often the most vocal club members are it's racers. That's fine, but that does make us appear to be a racing club when in fact we are a very inclusive cycling club. So I hope I can correct that misconception, if just a little bit.
First of all the racers are a in a minority, a tiny minority. However when you've been training hard all winter and are proud of the results it gets when the racing season starts it's hard not to shout about it. So we like them to have their moment, and it does wonders for the clubs profile.
Though as well as 'racing racing' we do a lot of inclusive racing. Namely cyclo cross and Time Trials, both welcome total newcomers with open arms. In fact many G3 riders have competed in these disciplines.
Anyway I'm talking about racing!
The meat and bones of the clubs riding are it's weekend club runs, the G1, G2 and G3 rides. Everyone rides these....racer or novice. The club run is just that, a club run. Not a race and not a training ride a club ride the whole raison d'etre of the club, so everyone is welcome and wanted on these rides.
But it doesn't stop there, we're not defined by racing and club rides. There's a whole world of cycling in between. Where do I start? A natural step up from the club ride is very often a sportive, it might be 100km or 100 miles sometimes London to Paris and sometimes more. This year for example we have members touring the USA. Calie and Matt are riding the Vatternrundan in Sweden www.vatternrundan.se and another riding the historic Paris - Brest - Paris www.paris-brest-paris.org it wasn't long ago that some were G3 riders. (not you Matt!)
I'm not implying that everyone should be on a constant lookout for the next challenge, but I would recommend it. To that end many LBRCC members combine a cycling holiday with a small or not so small challenge. Talk to your fellow club riders about doing this, there's only so many times you can ride around the local counties without wanting to stretch your wings. A few popular weekend destinations are Belgium to sample the cobbles and wonderful beer (I recommend getting in some early training in the Black Lion) Another is the area local to Calais to just ride the wonderful and friendly roads. They're both nearer than you think. A longer break can get you into the Alps or Pyrenees, I think as a club we've climbed just about all the famous Tour De France mountains? There are usually several yearly trips into mainland Europe.
Another popular event LBRCC members participate in is Audax. Audax is a unique long established cycling discipline. It's a hard one to explain, but it seems to be very well suited to the riders we have within the club. But if I was to try and explain! think fast touring on a set route that has to be self navigated i.e no waymarks. It's sometimes said that sportives are ridden by people pretending to race, whilst audax's are ridden by people pretending not to. www.aukweb.net
The club is called the Leighton Buzzard Road Cycling Club, but we do meander off road very so often.
We are blessed with some fantastic country roads, but look over the hedge line and you'll discover some great mountain biking country. The club as of now is trying to get group membership to ride the trails of Woburn, but there are still miles and miles of perfectly legal trails to ride on. And to go full circle, 2015 will see a small number of members racing their mountain bikes.
So I hope this helps paint a broader picture of what we do, basically if it's doable on two wheels we do or have done it.
If you have an idea come forward with it. If you have a route in mind tell us. If you have any questions ask the rider next to you.
Very soon we'll have a new website up and running www.lbrcc.com. there you should find all you need to know.
Thank you for watching.