Whether you want to just ride socially, catch up with friends, spend some time with your family on two wheels or get more serious and tear up the road on race day, this is the page where you can find out more about how Armidale Cycling Club can help you. Check out the FAQ’s below.
If you're a beginner, or just curious about cycling
If you’re just starting out then Welcome to a great club and a great sport! You might be feeling a bit intimidated by all the terminology, the pro-looking riders and the high levels of fitness on display? Well don’t be – although there are some very good riders associated with Armidale Cycling Club, we’re all extremely friendly and most of us aren’t that fit. Check out these FAQ’s below and if you have any questions drop us an email, or check the calendar and come along to the next event and say hello. We’d love to hear from you.
If you check the calendar of club events you’ll see that every Saturday we have a race in town somewhere. There are usually around 20+ people and a few hang around during the race doing timekeeping etc. Just come along and introduce yourself to them and have a chat. Alternatively drop us an email with any questions or queries and we’ll do our best to answer them for you. And of course you can always drop into either of the local bike shops in town and ask them too.
We warmly welcome all new members and would love to have more women in our cycling club. It’s fair to say there are more men at the moment but you certainly won’t be the lone female on club rides if you come along. We’ve got some fantastic female club members who ride socially and regularly compete at club and state level and higher. If you’d like to have a chat with a female club member then drop us an email or come along on race day.
Absolutely. If you are really new to cycling then you are probably best going along to our local track on a Saturday afternoon (check the events calendar to make sure we’re there) but typically we run junior coaching, riding and racing sessions there in summer from 2:30pm-3:30pm and in winter from 1pm-2pm. These sessions aren’t just for juniors, anyone who wants to get some coaching or riding guidance in a safe environment is welcome to come along. We use the track at the Traffic Education Centre on the Eastern end of Mann St in town.
Come along to our local track on a Saturday afternoon (check the events calendar to make sure we’re there). We can talk to you and your kids and work out the best approach. We even have bikes we can let your kids use at the track to see if they want to take riding more seriously before you make what can be quite a big investment. We use the track at the Traffic Education Centre on the Eastern end of Mann St in town and typically we run junior coaching, riding and racing sessions there in summer from 2:30pm-3:30pm and in winter from 1pm-2pm.
If you're interested in club rides
You’re already pretty comfortable on two wheels but perhaps you’re looking for a bit of help and guidance with your riding. Maybe you’re keen to join that strange bunch of people who seem to spend a lot of time drinking coffee, or maybe you’re looking to improve your health and fitness with a bit more structure to your riding. Check out these FAQ’s below and if you have any questions drop us an email, or check the calendar and come along to the next event and say hello.
Club rides are essentially social rides where club members get to catch up, chat about bikes and riding in general and exchange all kinds of far-fetched stories of riding brilliance. We save our racing for Saturday, so the club rides aren’t super-fast – we typically average about 30kph but the focus is on riding as a group and having some fun.
No you don’t, lots of people on the club rides will have current racing licences but plenty won’t and it’s a great chance to chat to more experienced riders if you’re working on your riding skills and technique. Mid-week club rides also present a good opportunity to learn about rolling turns and other peloton etiquette in a low-pressure environment.
We have rides on a Sunday morning and Tuesday and Thursday evening but check out our Club Rides page for more details as times change with the seasons.
You need to be reasonably fit for these rides but you don’t have to ride the full distance and the Sunday ride has a few short-cuts built in if you’re struggling a bit. The Tuesday and Thursday rides are only 30KM so if you can ride that yourself at an average of 25KPH, you should be fine.
We save our racing for Saturday so tend to go a little more steadily on the club rides. We ride at the speed of the slowest rider (within reason) so if you have a reasonable level of fitness you should be fine. It’s a lot easier riding in a bunch than on your own so if you can ride 50KM on your own at around 25KPH you should be fine to cover the Sunday 70KM ride with the club. Don’t worry though, we’ve never lost anyone before so we’ll get you home if you’re struggling!
Absolutely – although cycling seems to have a reputation for being male-dominated, we dont’ see it that way at all. We warmly welcome all new members and would love to have more women in our cycling club. It’s fair to say there are more men at the moment but you certainly won’t be the lone female on club rides if you come along. We’ve got some fantastic female club members who ride socially and also regularly compete at club and state level and higher. If you’d like to have a chat with a female club member then drop us an email or come along on race day.
If your children are not accompanied by you on rides then we’d ask that they are at a point where you and we know they can ride safely and to a good standard before letting them come along on their own. The best way to achieve this is to make sure they’ve gained experience at our junior track sessions and then let them join some of the shorter Tuesday and Thursday rides, ideally you should drop them off at the start and wait to collect them at the end. We have a number of very good young riders still in high school so it is definitely possible but everyone needs to be comfortable, and safe.
If you haven’t ridden in a bunch before it can be quite intimidating but everyone has to start somewhere and we’ve all been in that situation. If you’re new to peloton riding then that’s fine, just stay at the back of the group and watch what everyone else does. There are some important things you need to do such as not overlapping wheels and looking out for (and warning other riders of) obstacles, objects, holes etc. There’s a lot to take in to start with so sit at the back, take advantage of that lovely slipstream and move up when you’ve got the hang of things. Check out our riding etiquette page for some more guidance here.
If you're ready to race
So, you’re ready to race, that’s pretty exciting! Check out these FAQ’s below and if you have any questions drop us an email, or check the calendar and come along to the next event and say hello.
This can be a bit confusing. You need to join Armidale Cycling Club but you do this by contacting Cycling NSW, become a member there and buy a racing licence through them, nominating ACC on your application. If you are over 30 you can choose between a Masters or an Elite licence. Masters is cheaper (currently $242 per year if you’re 30-65) and this more than covers you for club racing. There are different categories of membership and licence for over 65’s and for juniors and families. You can find out more, apply and join online at the Cycling NSW Website so jump on there and check out the latest details.
No, the rules are quite clear here – if you have no licence then you can’t race. The club has a list of current licenced riders and if you’re not on that list you need to show your licence on race day.
By being a member of Cycling NSW you have all the necessary insurance you are obliged to have. As of 2014, membership covers you 24/7 on the bike and includes personal accident, public liability & loss of income benefits. It does not include cover for your bike or property so you may wish to consider taking this out separately or checking your house insurance to see if that includes this level of cover.
Membership is for a calendar year. It is generally possible to take it up from October of the previous year so if you’re thinking of joining and want maximum value, doing so from October-December gives you over 12 months for the same price.
The good news here is – yes! If you are already a mountain bike club member then when you apply for your road licence you should be able to enter your MTBA licence number in the form. If this isn’t possible then pay the full amount and then email firstname.lastname@example.org attaching a copy of your details and they will provide you with a refund for the overpaid amount. As of last year this was around $88 for most members. If in doubt, just email them beforehand to check.
If you can provide proof of payment and a receipt (email is fine) from Cycling NSW then you should be fine to race immediately. The credit card style licence will come in the mail to your home address and that may take a couple of weeks. The club will be notified by Cycling NSW before this time but bring along your proof of membership on race day if you want to race before you have your actual licence.
And if you’d like to see club handicap racing from the riders-eye view, check out this video of a 45km club handicap race on the Long Swamp course in July 2017.