I never thought of myself as a 'Club Rider' when it came to my leisure riding. I had looked at various clubs in my area and they seemed to be too competitive for me.
What I was looking for was company when I went out of a weekend, someone to chat to whilst riding, someone to share experiences with, someone from whom I could learn.
Well, I seem to have hit the jackpot.
Marlow Riders is a new group in my area, born from a group of runners called Marlow Striders. A number of this group are/ were apparently suffering the problem that hits many long term runners- their knees were telling them to knock it on the head. Then another of the group had a brainwave. He wanted to invite as many friends as could make it to join him in paris for dinner to celebrate his 60th Birthday. The qualifier? He and they were riding to Paris. Many took him up on his offer and had to go out and buy bikes and other riding equipment. They then had to put in the training as the ride was over 3 days, finishing with an imperial century to the Champs-Élysées. They made it and a jolly good time was had by all.
I now have folk I can meet with on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a social ride.
One unexpected benefit of this is that I am discovering parts of the area surrounding where I live that i didn't know. Over the last few weeks I have been introduced to some stunning scenery and some cracking new climbs.