Riding alone can meditative and lovely, but sometimes you need the camaraderie of others to kick your riding into gear, or maybe you’re just one of those highly social people. If you’re looking to ride with others you’re in luck; riding clubs abound in Oregon.
Check out the list of club events on the ORbike calendar. Anything listed there is open to the general public and free of charge. This is a good way to get to know the club and see if they’re right for you.
WHY JOIN A CLUB
Linda Jellison, a member of Portland Velo, says the sense of community is what drew her to join a club. “The value of being involved with a group where everyone is passionate about cycling is amazing to me. I’ve had some terrific experiences, getting to know the roads in a way I never would from driving a car. I’ve made lasting friendships.”
A club is also a great way to have a group of people to ride with. It’s much easier to stay committed to your ride when you know there’s a team of people waiting for you. You’re also likely to discover new routes and make new friends.
TYPES OF CLUBS
The club you join depends on your riding style.
MOUNTAIN BIKE – Disciples of Dirt in the Eugene/Oakridge area, NW Trail Alliance in the Portland area, Black Rock Mt. Bike Association outside of Monmouth area are clubs that will help get you out on the trails. Additional clubs abound, see a list on Singletracks.com.
RIDE FAST – Some clubs, like Portland Velo, essentially double as a racing team. Some members may never race, but most will. Whether that’s cyclocross or a time trial, they’ll be there as a group to support each other. The regular riding they do is vigorous and focused. If you’re considering racing, teams like these are the way to go.
GO THE DISTANCE – Groups like Vancouver Bike Club, Salem Bike Club and Portland Wheelmen really know how to log some serious miles, and they like to have a good time doing it. No one gets dropped on a ride and they’re a supportive group that encourages members to ride further (there are often incentives for earning miles, like earning a club vest or a patch.)
ULTRA CASUAL – Cycle Wild reconnects people to nature via bike with casual self-supported camping trips. Shift advertises fun grassroots bike events and events promoted through Shift are an excellent place to meet other riders of all stripes. Black Bike PDX gathers the black community of Portland for existing rides. NW Butts on Bikes is a very casual club for people who want to clock some miles at what is usually a very slow pace.
PERKS FOR RIDERS – Portland Bike Club is a hybrid riding club and rewards program that offers discounts to support all aspects of your bike lifestyle, including ride discounts, discounted beer, gear discounts, free giveaways, and, coming soon, bike shop discounts. The club is an excellent option for people who like supported rides, in particular, because you can save year round. The membership fee is only $40 and you can easily save that in a year with all the perks and discounts.
EXTENSIVE CLUBS LIST
Check out the Organizations/Clubs list on BikePortland.org for a broad list of bike clubs in the general Portland region.