It has been a fine first year for Moonglu Cycling Club. Set up in March 2016, the British Cycling registered Club started life as a small group of friends riding on Thursday nights during the summer and has now grown into a 110 member strong club with a committee.
Becoming a club gave us a structure to grow from the rag-tag bunch riding on a Thursday, to a regular meet on both Thursday and Sunday with ability groups designed to attract new riders.
With more help with administration we now have multi channel contact groups, ranging from regular club emails with weekly route information, through to a private Facebook group and members only web forum. These have enabled individuals to go beyond our structured rides and team up for mid week and weekend rides, long and short, building new friends and riding buddies.
A club environment has also allowed us to give junior (16-18 year old) riders a place to ride. We have a small group of very talented junior riders, regularly riding with our fastest Thursday group. It is fantastic to see these riders come through the ranks and ride at a level beyond their age. I hope that we have embraced them as people, despite their age and treat them as equals to the other adults within the groups.
Big groups of male cyclists can be incredibly daunting to ladies which makes it so pleasing to have a strong group of female riders who attend both our Thursday rides and our Sunday social rides. Our female riders mix within the groups and I'd like to think group riding has given them the confidence to ride and improve. Given the number of QOMs they regularly achieve on Thursdays the club is doing a great job of encouraging female riders and the more the merrier.
Although Moonglu CC started life as a road club, there is growing interest in cyclo cross racing, gravel riding and mountain bike rides. We have embraced all these disciplines and club members have organised both gravel and mountain bike rides throughout the year. There's also a small group competing regularly in the Yorkshire Cross and CXNE series.
A club is nothing without its' members and when members get together and become friends you've got a good thing going. Part of the committee's roll is to organise social events and we have monthly social nights at Friends of Wine and in our first year we had a family friendly BBQ open to all members including partners and children. Next year we will host our first Club Dinner.
Highlights of the Year
- Getting the club off the ground. There became a point where our Thursday rides were out of control. What started as Moonglu owner Neil Dunkley (me) and Dave Fell through word of mouth became a 20-30 strong group. Fantastic in many ways, without any sort of control it became an accident waiting to happen. I couldn't be everything to the group and as everyone looked to me for leadership that became a problem, I couldn't do everything. We gathered everyone together and after an informal meeting decided that there was enough support to form an official club, and it's the best thing we ever did!
- Thursday Night's. Finishing work at 6pm, quickly getting changed and rolling through Boots alleyway out onto Ripon Market Square and seeing anywhere between 30 and 70 riders ready to ride in the middle of summer is a fantastic sight. It really gives me a warm glow and is often overwhelming especially when some of them are ready for some serious Group 1 action. Better still is waiting for them to return in their various groups, smiles on their faces after one of those special summer rides where they've pushed hard, worked each other over and loved every minute. I love that!
- Club Kit. Every club needs a kit and I'm really pleased that the club committee agreed to keep the Moonglu name and adopted the Moonglu kit as their kit. To see so many riders wearing our kit is special. I feel part of something that can continue to grow and become part of the local cycling culture.
- Website. After a lot of hard work by a number of club members we now have a very attractive website (www.moonglucc.club). There's lots of information on there, not just for club members but as a resource for others riders in the area and cyclists visiting Yorkshire to ride. As time goes by and the club grows the route database will grow and hopefully the website will be a place to visit for people looking for a good road ride in Yorkshire.
- Club Time Trial. Possibly the highlight of the year, our racing secretary organised a club member only time trial. Run on a 9.5 mile circuit near Dishforth the race against the clock was open to all members and it turned out to be a brilliant event with a real club atmosphere, enjoyed by everyone. We hope it's the first of many Moonglu CC events. Read the Time Trial report and results here.
We are now taking new members for 2017, Sunday rides continue to grow (8.30am on Ripon Market Square) and we are all looking forward to the Thursday rides. They restart after the clocks change on Thursday 30th March. There will also be a new Intro Group and a 17mph group to encourage new riders to our club.
I've looked on Strava and there's no chance I'm riding with you lot!
When Dave and I started riding he worked me over up Warthermarske on our classic club ride and we probably averaged 16mph. Since then it has got quicker and quicker and quicker. I don't know how many friends have looked on Strava and said, "How do you ride that fast, there's no way I can ride that fast, I'll give it a miss"! It's easy to look at stats, but the truth is our fastest group has gone from riding at 18mph up to 24mph through riding together and making each other better. Group 1 is fast, as fast as I've ever ridden but not all the groups are like that.
There is a diversity of individual that turns up to ride with us, some love the speed and pain of a truly fast ride. Others see what we're doing and want a part of it, they do their damnedest to improve, hang in there and join in. There's also a big group that just want to ride and be part of the club. All are welcome and we do offer rides for everyone, whatever your motivation.