Thinking About Joining...

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Anonymous's picture

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to bike clubs, in fact, I'm so new that I'm not yet part of a club. I just bought a new mountain bike, and wanted to join in some group rides, but it seems that most bike clubs are geared to road bikes.

I'm more interested in making friends and enjoying riding, but I don't want to be the slow guy in the pack.
Would I fit into the NYCC, or should I look into a strictly off-road club?

Thanks for any help you can provide,


Anonymous's picture
emily (not verified)

you might want to check out the 5 borough bike club ( as well. i ride a mtn bike and find that they have some non-road bike rides and also some shorter distance rides that are pretty casual. have fun ;)

Anonymous's picture
Lucy's mom (not verified)

"Is it too late to take the mountain bike back to the shop and exchange it for a road bike? Out of curiosity, did you buy a MTB because you genuinely want to ride on trails, or because you thought that it was a better vehicle for the ""rough"" city streets?

The NYCC is a great place to meet people, see the city, and get some great cardiovascular exercise, but by and large, it is a road-riding club. You could probably do B and C rides on a mountain bike, as long as it's not a dual suspension rig.

I would recommend the 5BBC *only* if you were totally new to riding. Their rides are slow (equivalent to a very slow C ride in the NYCC), and the leaders keep the ride together by doing something called ""point drop sweep,"" which is good if you're NOT the fastest person in the group. All rides are for everybody; they don't classify rides by speed. That said, it's a great place to start riding.

If you don't want to part with your mountain bike, or you don't want to invest in a road bike, you could throw slick tires on your existing bike. You might also have to do some changes to the gearing, as a mountain bike usually has lower gears than a road bike.

Good luck!"

Anonymous's picture
Anastasia (not verified)
another mountain biker in nycc

I just joined the NYCC last spring - my first time joining a bike group & all I have is a mountain bike. I do advise getting slicks for your bike if you're going to do a lot of road biking - they did make a difference. I did the C-SIG, which is a good introduction to riding with a group. I expected to be the slowest one in the slowest group, but I ended up being placed in the fastest C group and managed to keep up with them throughout (except those big uphills).

Anyway, if you want another mountain biker to go on rides with, send me an e-mail.


Anonymous's picture
Agreeable (not verified)
me too. Well looking to join a club anyway

I have just moved here, having been a member of Addiscombe Cycle Team in the UK for the last few years.
I ride road, rollers, audax and am more succesful on the track (Oh how I miss Herne Hill already!).

I'm mainly riding solo or with my wife (also a racer) around Prospect Park, Nyack or Staten Island.

Guess I am looking for a welcoming club for friendly rides through winter, bit more training based in spring then races through the year.

Any ideas who's best to approach or good places to start etc.

Thanks so much.

Anonymous's picture
Paddy Atherstone (not verified)
Another Brit?

Me too. Came over from East Sussex about 4 years ago, but only started cycling recently. I have done a few rides with NYCC, but so far have mostly been doing rides around Prospect Park or up to Nyack too. There are definately people around to train with.

For racing, have a look at or I am planning on joining a racing club for the start of next season too. There are lots of people from either of those clubs who often do loops in Prospect Park and quite a few have been happy to help me out when I've pestered them!

If you see me in Prospect Park do say hi! I'm the tall bearded guy on the silver Giant.


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Are we reclaiming the Empire?

Greetings to both of you from another Englishman in New York who has been here for four and a half years.

Agreeable from the Addiscomnbe Team, I can certainly recommend the club to you.

Next time you get your bikes worked on, if you don't maintain them yourself, you might want to consider getting the brakes wired the other way round, it will make indicating your intention to turn left while braking much easier. It's actually a legal requirement, although I would be stunned if you got ticketed for having your brakes wired the English way. But you never know. The NYPD seems to be very good at finding new things to ticket cyclists for.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Are we reclaiming the Empire?

Considering the mess it's in, do you really want it?

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
It could be worse!

It could be very messy if the British came in and made everyone ride and drive on the other side of the road and threw out the American dictionary. But there could be some advantages too: imperial pints and gallons are bigger than the US measures, so if you go to a pub and ask for a pint of beer you will get more beer. But let's hope the British don't make bars and pubs shut at 11pm on weekday nights and 10:30pm on Sunday nights.

We seem to be having some very British weather at the moment!

Anonymous's picture
Peter Storey (not verified)
And another . . . well, not quite

Greetings to all of you from a native-born American who owns four English bikes, all of them with front-in-the-right-hand brakes. On that score, both countries have it backwards, as the front is the brake that actually does something, so that's the one you want to have your hand on when signalling a left (US) or right (UK) turn!

Among the Prospect Park population, I'm the tall, gawky guy usually seen on a yellow and blue Roberts or a blue Thorn tourer. Feel free to say hello as you fly past.

Peter Storey

Anonymous's picture
steve (not verified)

Well, Well, Brits in Prospect Park!!!

Look forward to meeting you guys. Although I have only been here for 4 months so I am still escaping the UK etc.

I'm the short one in bright yellow Addiscombe kit or a Welsh National Jersey (I wish!!!!) on a black Cannondale (a step down from my lovely Pearsons frame which I smashed up a month after arriving here!).

See you soon.


Looking forward to see if I can stick out a freezing New York winter on the bike.

Anonymous's picture
Paddy Atherstone (not verified)
When are you there?

What times do you generally ride in the park? I tend to do early evenings (5.30 to 7ish) or the occasional early morning if I can, and then go to Nyack or something at the weekends.

Email me if you want a riding partner anytime...


Anonymous's picture
Basil (not verified)
Brakes and sides - (push-)bicycles and motor-cycles

"I guess I never did much (push-)biking before I left Ireland as it never even occurred to me that the brakes are set up differently there. However, I've actually had the brake cables on many of my bikes changed so that right brakes front (and left brakes rear).......because that was what came naturally after riding Japanese motor-cycles (right hand lever operates front brake and right pedal operates rear brake) for many years.
(British motor-cycles (Norton, Triumph, BSA etc): Right hand lever operates front brake and LEFT pedal operates rear brake).
..............and many years ago, my ""ski-nickname"" was ""Fawlty Brakes""........a story for another time! (Any ""Fawlty Towers"" fans out there?)

Anonymous's picture
Patrick (not verified)

I bought a MTB mainly for general city use. Perhaps I could have bought a hybrid? Are hybrids any good, or should I invest in a road bike as well?

Anonymous's picture
frank (not verified)

if you must persist in mtn biking, try the westchester mtn bike asssociation site. lots of stuff, lots of rides, occasionally even races. blue mountain is some distance away, but arguably worth the effort even if the trail maps leave something to be desired (you really can't get lost although there are times when you may fear being shot -- a firing range abuts a portion of the property). otherwise, i have noted occasional rides showing up on this msg board. ultimately, having had both road bikes and mtn bikes in the city, the key issue (aside from storage) is access. to get to a fun mtn biking area requires 1)a long train ride, 2) a car or 3) a long commute via bicycle. on the other hand, you do not necessarily need 1 or 2 in road trips from the city and as for 3, that's the reason you're on the bike. regardless, enjoy.

Anonymous's picture
emily (not verified)
defending the mtn bike

although the road bike is certainly better for, well, road biking, i'm actually very happy to have a mtn bike for city riding and commuting. for most rides < 40 miles, you can still keep up a good pace (~16mph) and not worry so much about potholes and awful road conditions. even in central park, i've witnessed enough grisly bike accidents to appreciate the reliablity of the mtn bike.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

Comfort and safety are the issues - your choice to ride a MTB is a personal one, there's no right or wrong about it. Others might feel safer on road bikes (once I got used to riding a road bike, my MTB felt sluggish and unresponsive, like I couldn't get out of my own way. I had less and less use for it until I finally got rid of it to make room for a 'cross bike that I ride all the time and feel much more comfortable with).

Reliability is whether or not the thing stands up to the use and abuse that it gets. I don't think that's what you mean.

Anonymous's picture
emily (not verified)
i agree

you are absolutely right that it is a matter of comfort - i really just meant that there are reasons why a mtn bike can be a good choice, despite it's lack of grace and quickness.

cycling trips