Riding together

This article was published in 2022, in Magazine 154.

If you need support to stay active, look no further. These local cycling groups offer a warm welcome!

Cambridge Cycling Society

Cambridge Cycling Society outside a cafeEach of us handles the pandemic differently — we’ve decided to grow together. Born out of lockdown, the Cambridge Cycling Society started in February 2021 as two friends in search of a socially-distanced coffee. United by our common love of cycling and fuelled by local cake shops, we used road riding to make the most of the world-wide pause on life. As restrictions eased, we quickly realised that we were not alone in our passion and began organising rides. Our team is now 20 members strong and looking to grow, venture on new routes, and continue having a positive impact in the community.

The Cambridge Cycling Society is dedicated to enriching and growing the cycling community in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. We offer a friendly, welcoming environment where people are able to refine their cycling skills, find a group suited to their level, and improve together. We practice respectful cycling and seek to promote riding as a great way to stay active and build the community post-lockdown.

To us, cake stops are half the fun! With an eye toward promoting small businesses, we practice the club’s three C’s: Coffee, Cake, and Cycling. Whenever we discover a new café or visit an old favourite, we share our find as there are few things better than a well-earned coffee.
Cycling is a fantastic way to reduce city congestion: it promotes an enjoyable, active culture, and enriches the community with a wholesome activity. Through competition and teamwork, cycling builds camaraderie and develops the personal confidence and patience to succeed. Through the challenges, we never forget to stop to smell the roses – or in our case – have a cake!

We offer rides of varying distance with typically a Saturday ride and a mid-week ride during the summer months. Whatever may come, we have built a resilient community that continues to add value to the cyclists of Cambridge.

Soren Hoffman

Cambridge Cycling Moms

Join by sending a direct message on Instagram: @cyclingmomscambridge

Cambridge Cycling Moms having a cycling picnicWe are CMC (Cycling Moms Cambridge), for us it’s more than just riding bikes. It’s about having fun, staying active and reducing our daily stresses. We are moms who aim to inspire and support women and women of colour all over the world to get into the cycling lifestyle.

CMC started in 2020 with a small group of moms. We go out on most evenings and on a Saturday morning enjoying the outdoor goodness. We start by visiting and supporting our local shops then spending the rest of our day exploring nature. Cycling is so special to us and we believe it’s an activity that everyone deserves to experience.

One of our members had some medical challenges and kept on cycling with us, and the doctors were amazed by how quick her recovery process was after successful surgery. Since then she has continued to cycle and show others the happiness, healing, fun and adventure you can have on a bike.

Cycling with our group is liberating, refreshing, clean and energetic! Our goal is to grow our diverse group of cyclists with women who want to connect with other moms in Cambridge and the surrounding areas.

If you don’t know how to ride, you can take simple classes to start. Then you either rent or buy a bicycle and begin enjoying the outdoors even more.

We look forward to hearing from you and growing our team!

Yemisi Daniel

JoyRiders Cambridgeshire

JoyRiders Cambridgeshire in EddingtonJoyRiders Cambridgeshire is a group of volunteer ride leaders who haven’t forgotten what it’s like to start cycling. Our aim is to empower more women in Cambridgeshire to enjoy riding for work, leisure and everyday journeys and we run free guided rides across a variety of times and locations. Previous trips have included a beginners tour of the new Chisholm Trail and an intermediate weekend ride from Longstanton to St Ives. Eddington and Trumpington are also popular start points.

All riders are welcome – you just need a cycle that is safe to ride and basic handling skills. JoyRiders aim to help you become a more confident rider in all conditions, first in a group and, eventually, on your own. Leaders love to see the smiles at the end of our rides and the growing confidence of the women who return again and again.

Anna Williams

Cambridge University Cycling Club

To join, visit the website or contact our General Secretary, Matt Bryan (mjb314@cam.ac.uk). Be inspired on Instagram: @cambridgeuniversitycyclingclub

Cambridge University Cycling ClubWhether your goal is to explore the beauty of the Cambridgeshire countryside, complete a sub-50-minute 25-mile TT, or complete a grand tour of all the cafés within East Anglia, Cambridge University Cycling Club (CUCC) is the place for you. Voted Cambridge University’s Club of the Year for 2020-21, CUCC is a warm, welcoming, social club that allows every rider an opportunity to explore their potential and fall in love with cycling over and over again. The club is open to everyone associated with the university (students, postgraduates and staff) as well as people who are friends of the university such as alumni and friends of current students or staff.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to cycling as CUCC has a ride for everyone. Ranging from green rides cycling at a leisurely pace for approximately 25km up to black rides cycling at 32+ km/h for over 100km, CUCC prides itself on its inclusive attitude (and love of café stops). Club rides run every weekend during term, with an active WhatsApp group to allow members to ride with friends during the week as well.

CUCC is determined to provide a safe space for riders to flourish and enjoy cycling to the fullest. Whilst offering mixed club rides on the weekend, CUCC also offers a women-only ride during the week to encourage and empower as many women as possible to get involved with cycling.

If you love talking about bikes more than you love riding them than that’s okay too – I am definitely guilty of that in the winter! Bike enthusiasts gather for weekly pub trips and there is an annual Christmas dinner.

Don’t let our partiality for a pub trip and a café stop fool you however, we race hard too. Starting this racing year off with great success, CUCC men’s team won BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Hill Climb, with President George Spooner coming second overall with a staggering time of 2 minutes 12 seconds.
The women’s side also thrived at the Hill Climb, storming up Polly Botts Lane climb, Loughborough, to take second place. A great achievement especially considering Cambridge isn’t exactly the Alps, or even the Peaks, in fact anything above a 3% incline is foreign to us.

These fantastic race results are hardly surprising when the level of team training is considered. Frequently seen bashing around the fens at high speeds, these riders are fuelled not only by cake but also by competitive spirit and a love for cycling. Those looking to race, whether currently part of the club or not, are always encouraged to do so and we can’t wait to see many new faces racing against Oxford in the annual Varsity time trial.

If mud and dirt are more up your street then our off-road adventurers can’t wait to meet you. Heading out on Sunday at 9am our mountain bikers and gravel riders explore Cambridgeshire off the beaten track and venture further afield every term to visit a bike park or trail centre. All abilities are welcome to join.

For those with an eye for big miles and a sense of adventure, CUCC organises touring rides every year and is also keen to support solo adventures. My most enjoyable ride last year by far was the ‘CUCC 2 the Sea’ ride which took place in June and was a round trip to Hunstanton. This ride, on a gorgeous day, with a great group of riders, really solidified to me what CUCC was all about: riding bikes with friends. In January, riders can enjoy a week’s worth of big miles and even bigger climbs at the Winter Training Camp in Spain which is one of the highlights of the year.

New to cycling or been riding for years, road racer or mountain biker, café stop connoisseur or brunch bar in the back pocket – whatever type of cyclists you are CUCC would love to have you. We look forward to meeting you soon.

Maddie Angwin

Author profile

Maddie on her road bikeHi my name is Maddie. I’m a 2nd year Geographer at St John’s, a keen cyclist and a new volunteer for Camcycle.

Although I love cycling, I actually got into riding through my interest in mechanics. I used to cycle to school and resented having to take my bike to the bike shop every time something went wrong – riding my mum’s bike which was older than I was, things went wrong fairly often! This led me to start fixing my own bike and eventually getting a job at the bike shop I used to go to.

Being surrounded by people who were passionate about cycling encouraged me to get my first road bike and start seeing cycling as something to do for enjoyment. Ever since then I have loved getting out on my bike but more importantly I have loved meeting all the wonderful people involved in the cycling community.

I decided to get involved with Camcycle because when I first started cycling I was so nervous about road safety and I want to ensure that we can create a welcoming and safe environment for current and future cyclists to enjoy.