As we gear up for the 10th Annual Biketober event here in metro Atlanta, we know it is not always easy to get started with a new biking routine. But it always helps when there are other riders ready to give you a hand. There are riding groups across the metro area, and one in particular is getting together for fun rides with beginners as well as seasoned veterans to have a good time getting outdoors and hitting the trail.
The Senior Cycling Atlanta Group has over 600 members in its online group of all riding abilities, and even types of bikes, to get folks moving around metro Atlanta. The only requirement to join them? Bring a bike and a helmet. That’s it! You don’t even need to be a “senior”. (Group riders have ranged in age from 30 to 82)
Cindy Tanner started the group in 2019 to find new riding partners when she relocated within the metro area. She wants to encourage people to get off the couch, get out, and get moving, especially those who may be new to cycling or a little rusty when it comes to hopping on a bicycle. “There’s a ton of rides out there for the tanned, toned, and twenty-something. These rides are for everyone,” she says. She encourages anyone who is tired of sitting at a desk all week, retired and looking for a new activity, or anyone just looking to get a little more active to join them. Check the group’s MeetUp page to see their riding schedule and what kind of ride each will be before attending.
If you are new to cycling, no need to worry about showing up for your first ride with this group. Many of the group’s rides are “no drop” rides, meaning when one person needs to stop for water, a flat tire, or even to catch their breath, everyone stops. “We look out for each other,” Tanner said. So no need to worry about not being able to keep up. It is a great way to connect and find people who ride like you do. Many members of the group mentioned the social aspect of riding with friends as a reason they hit the trail every weekend.
Find the Right Crew for You
If you are looking to get started riding, be sure to find a group that fits your riding style. If you are looking for a more relaxed, no man left behind ride, then maybe the Senior Cycling Group could be right for you. If you are looking for a more face paced, mountain biking or road biking group, there are riding groups for that as well! A good place to start finding cycling groups near you is at MeetUp or Local Races.
Cycling regularly is a great source of exercise and has a number of health benefits, including improved physical and mental health. Cindy says she has seen the benefits within her own group. “We’ve had people who have gotten off the couch and really gotten into it.” She added some have lost up to 20 pounds, and others have even relieved health issues like diabetes and blood pressure. Cindy’s cycling group has even led to spin off groups in other parts of metro Atlanta to help others get and stay active.
Grab your bike and get moving
To get into the habit of biking more often, you have to take the first step: start biking! Whether it be with a group or by yourself, there has never been a time better than now to start. Grab your bike and helmet, and get moving!
Terms to know when looking for a biking group
- No-Drop Ride: No one is left behind. The group stays together, and everyone goes at the same pace.
- Drop Ride: No one is obligated to stop for slower riders, or riders who encounter a problem which requires them to stop.
- Show and go: Everyone starts when they arrive individually.
- Self-Supported Ride: You should bring everything you need for the distance you will be riding. This includes food, fluids, tire kit, and anything else you may need for the ride.