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UK Cycling Club Review: Ambleside Velo

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The Salt Dog featured club this week is Ambleside Velo. A newer club, it was formed in September 2015. Based out of the prestigious Ambleside Sports Club in Nuneaton, it started with 4 members and has since grown to over 60. The club's success is no surprise, they aim to provide a fun and social atmosphere, but still cater to those riders who want to push themselves and improve. Extra mid-week rides, special trainings like “chain gang” sessions, and many other events have been added to the schedule to better reflect club members’ interests.

During a mid-ride cafe break, possibly at one of their favorite stops Cattows Farm, twelve members of Ambleside Velo were sitting around drinking some coffee. One of the riders noticed the group leaned toward the “well-seasoned” side. He added up the total age and found that between all of them they were 720 years old for an average of 60 years each. Even with a fair number of young members, Ambleside is home to some very experienced cyclists who truly enjoy sharing their passion and knowledge with fellow members. Veteran members have much to offer. One of the founding members is a fully qualified British Cycling coach who specialize in cyclocross, time trial racing, and MTB. Another founding member, is an experienced bike mechanic who has worked with National Cycling Teams for many years. And then there’s 75 year old Larry C, who simply crushes the weekly Strava leaderboards.

Don’t get the wrong idea, the veteran members of Ambleside Velo are here to help! If you’re just getting into riding they would be happy to teach you riding basics and group etiquette. If you’re an expert rider but looking for a new home, Ambleside is very welcoming. The club is a social cycling club, and as such, they like to get together off the roads. One of the benefits of operating out of the Ambleside Sports Club is the availability of club facilities, and every month there’s a social event for members at the Club’s location in Nuneaton.

Weekly Events

The main attraction of Ambleside Velo is the Sunday Club Ride. Like any good community cycling club, Ambleside Velo offers a choice of Sunday trips.. Group 1 takes it a little easier. They shoot for a 14 mph pace and cover 40 to 50 miles. This is the perfect choice for beginners, casual riders, or those returning from injury. Group 2 ramps up the difficulty a bit. It aims to maintain a 16+ mph pace with routes ranging 40 to 60 miles. Group 2 would also be your choice if you looking for some friendly competition. Ambleside Velo isn’t short on personalities, friendly boasts can quickly lead to impromptu races as some cyclists sport a healthy competitive nature.

Check out Group 2’s route for this past week.

Ambleside Map.PNG

Stats.PNG

Looking for more than just a weekly ride? Well good, because Ambleside Velo has so much more to offer! Mid-week rides are every Tuesday and Friday morning. There rides are usually 40 to 60 miles and are ridden at a slightly slower pace of 14 to 16 mph. For those looking for further training, Ambleside Velo holds “Chain Gang” sessions every Thursday evening. These rides help cyclists get more comfortable in pack settings, and provide further opportunity to refine their skills.

Membership interest drives everything the club does. This means each member has a chance to propose and drum up interest for their ideas. Currently the club is looking to further expand their weekly schedule by adding things like evening rides or club run road races. Whatever membership wants!

Other Events

Ambleside Velo is an active club outside of their regular schedule. Many members choose to participate in outside road races, time trials, and distance rides. At most local events you can find some Ambleside Velo black and orange kits in the mix. Charity rides are a regular favorite for the club too. The most recent of which, 21 members joined other local cyclists for a 50 mile ride. The community event was able to raise £650 for local charities.

For Bike week, (June 12-16) Ambleside Velo will be hosting Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday Riding sessions for beginners and newcomers. If you ever wanted to get started in cycling, this would be a great opportunity to learn from a very knowledgable and friendly group of people. You’ll feel right at home, and become a better cyclist in no time!

Final Thoughts

Ambleside Velo is the definition of a social cycling club. Open to beginners, experts, young people, old people, male and female. It has a healthy mix of different people and types of cyclist. However everyone shares a passion for cycling and having fun. The club motto is “no one gets left behind”. You’ll only ever hear words of encouragement on club rides, and any member would be happy to cheer you on when you need it most. This inclusive and supportive mentality is the reason why the club has grown so quickly. Maybe Ambleside Velo has something for you too?

If you're interested in joining Ambleside Velo or want more info check out their Homepage or Facebook. Join them for couple rides at no obligation and see if this is the right club for you.


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