How to Start a Cycling Club

July 6, 2020

By Taryn Hefner

Taryn runs Marketing at Join It and is a lover of all things data! You can frequently find her experimenting in the kitchen, absorbed in a book, or brushing up on her Python coding skills.

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Whether you’re looking to start a road cycling club, mountain biking club, or just a group of friends for leisurely neighborhood rides, you’ll need a few things before you get started!  

Check Your Area 

There may already be some biking clubs in your area! Before you set up a new one, check with your local bike shop to see if there are weekend events, regular rides, or a competitive team you can join, depending on what you’re looking for. This will also help you gauge interest. If there are a lot of groups in your area already, adding another may just get lost in the shuffle. However, if you’re the first, or one of the first, you’ll likely have a better time getting established. 

Have Your First Ride 

If you have an idea of who you’d like to be on this cycling club with you, get together and hash out some of the basic things we’ll talk about. If you’d rather start from scratch, that works too! Just be prepared to change gears once you start adding members. More members usually means more opinions! While more opinions aren’t a bad thing, starting off with a core group means you can all brainstorm together and get some of the administrative tasks done early. 

To Commit or Not To Commit? 

Part of what your first meeting should establish is how serious your cycling club will be. Are you going to be running events? Raising money for a specific cause? Then you might want to consider looking into 501(c)(3) incorporation. Maybe you don’t want to go the full nonprofit organization route, but you’d like to be sponsored by a local bike shop or other business. In these cases, you may want to check with an accountant just to make sure all your bases are covered. Even if you’re a more casual club, you may want to do some research on how to protect yourself from liability, especially if you’re doing any sort of rides near car traffic. 

Get Riding! 

In order to understand how your group functions, what individuals’ needs are, and what the group needs as a whole, you’ll have to start going on some regular rides. Talk to other riders and see what they’re looking for and how you can help. While you’re talking with them about what sort of rides and events they’d like to see, discuss how feasible membership dues are. Some people may be willing to shell out for a yearly membership right away, whereas others will prefer a monthly membership. See if your group favors one or the other, and what sort of pricing they’ll agree to. Pricing can be one of the most difficult parts of running any sort of membership group, so we have another blog post about it

Start Recruiting 

Once you’ve settled into your group, made some decisions about the direction of your cycling club, it’s time to start growing your membership base. You can do this in a fairly offhand way, such as a referral program through your existing members, or in a more active way like a membership drive. How you decide to start adding more members to your group is up to you! As your group gets larger, it may be worth investing in a membership management tool like Join It, which can take care of some administrative tasks like renewals, emails, and event planning. 

Wherever you are in your bike club planning, let us help! At Join It, we have multiple pricing options so you can find the best fit for your organization, and we integrate with many tools you might already be using! Start your 14-day free trial today!