Recycles RCC

Everything you ever wanted to know about Recycles Cycle Club

Recycles have a bike club called Recycles RCC which is run by local members. The club was founded in 2016 and grown from year to year.We want to encourage people to ride so if you’re new to cycling or just want to get out and ride as part of a group, get in touch. The club are a group of friendly likeminded people who just love to ride. We ride will be a steady pace with a coffee stop so whatever your age or ability you’ll fit right in. We want this to be a fun sociable club which is enjoyed by all. So turn up with a helmet, a road worthy bike, coffee money and a smile and we’ll see you there!

Recycles RCC meet every Sunday from our shop on Princess Street. Each week’s ride is posted on the club’s Facebook page which can be found here

Being a member of our bike club will also gain you access to discount within Recycles Swindon

When Recycles was founded in 2011, one of its main aims was to make the shop a hub for the cycling community of Swindon. So we naturally have our own club. 

Recycles Cycle Club (RCC) is for people who want to ride road bikes – the kind of racing bikes you see the professionals using in events like the Tour de France. But that’s not to say you already need a road bike before you join or start to ride, or an expensive one, and neither do you need any experience before stepping up from a hybrid or mountain bike. 

Joining a cycling club is the quickest and easiest way to learn the cyclecraft, riding etiquette, group riding skills and other useful techniques that are necessary to make the most of road cycling, and because we welcome people of all abilities and experience, nobody is ever left behind.

We are proud that a good proportion of our members are female, and to encourage even more to join our ranks, we now have a programme of ladies-only club rides.

And you are never too old to join. Our club president, Dennis Hedges, is still riding in his eighties!

In normal (non-pandemic lockdown) circumstances, we organise rides each Sunday morning, over a range of distances. One is classed as ‘intermediate’ and is for slower, older or less experienced riders, including beginners, and one recent intermediate ride was attended by a member riding a tandem with his young daughter.

The other regular Sunday ride is for those who are more comfortable with faster speeds, longer distances or bigger hills, but what all our rides all have in common is a scheduled café stop!

In the summer months, there are additional rides on Wednesdays for those who are especially keen to make the most of the lighter evenings.

All the rides start from the Recycles shop, but we arrange to pick up out-of-town members en route, if necessary.

There is a club kit that we encourage riders to wear when we are out together, but it’s not compulsory, and you certainly don’t need to buy the kit before joining.

For some people, cycling needs to be an affordable pastime, which is why our annual fee is just £20 (or less with concessions). It’s a one-off charge, covering all rides – so you only need to bring money on a ride if you choose to buy coffee, cake or other rewards at the café!

As well as rides, RCC organises the kind of social events you would expect from any club, including Christmas drinks and dinner, a Christmas Eve café ride, and more, including an annual ‘Tourist Trophy’ event, mixing fun with competition, followed by a light-hearted trophy presentation night.

The club also arranges cycling trips. There have been several to the Peak District over three or four days, and there is an annual excursion to the Isle of Wight, where there is usually a choice of a shorter or longer ride around the island. 

Riding on these trips is free. Members only pay for accommodation (when required) and a share of transport costs.

In 2019, four club riders teamed up to tackle Land’s End to John O’Groats, which they completed in a challenging ten days. Members also link up informally online, taking part in virtual group rides, using Zwift.

Club members who are interested in watching the professionals ride often get together to see races in the UK, but also in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

We all keep in touch with the club’s WhatsApp groups, which include updates on scheduled rides and other events, but there is also a separate channel for cycling chat and banter, where you can also get instant advice.

Another benefit from membership is our club affiliation to the sport’s governing body, British Cycling. This proved particularly valuable during the Covid pandemic, when we were guided by their up-to-date advice about rules relating to cycling during lockdown.

RCC supports those who like to compete in club colours, by, for example, covering the annual subscription to Cycling Time Trials (CTT), who also put on hillclimbing events and other races. Although we encourage and support members wishing to take part in competitions, don’t worry: only a few members choose to, so: no pressure!

Another huge benefit of membership to RCC is our attachment to the shop. It acts as a kind of clubhouse, hosting meetings and socials, out of shop hours, and members are always encouraged to drop in and take advantage of the staff’s expert knowledge. 

They will also advise on what’s currently available, or help members seek out new (ie, recycled) bikes and other equipment as it becomes available. And our excellent relationships with other shops and the rest of the local cycling community means that if we can’t help, we always know somebody who can!

It probably goes without saying that joining a club automatically comes with the pleasure of feeling part of a team, but membership of RCC provides the added bonus of feeling part of an important movement that is helping people get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. So we are especially proud when those people take up the opportunity the club provides for them to get active through cycling.

So we think there are lots of benefits from being a member of Recycles Cycle Club, but the bottom line is always the friendliness that comes with being all-inclusive. Keeping a warm welcome for everybody is always our number one priority.

After all, a key aim for Recycles in general is for the shop to become a hub for our fellow cyclists in Swindon, and RCC is no different.

If you still have questions or you would like to join, contact our secretary, Paul Ashman, on 07590 688808, or email .  Alternatively, you can always drop into the shop if you want to find out more about the club.

Gill Olney

Aged 60

I have always enjoyed cycling as a means of getting from A to B, but following surgery and a long convalescence in my mid-fifties, I decided to use it as a way to regain fitness. Once I started to take it a bit more seriously, I was soon hooked, and joined the club in order to meet some like-minded people. Even though I will never be able to ride as strongly as some of the younger members, I have always felt extremely welcome within the club, and have received much encouragement. Riding with the club has enabled me to explore new routes and places to go, as well as making some great friends. I live outside Swindon, but still manage to take part by joining the group en route. I love the fact that the group is so diverse, and there is now a ladies-only group, which is great fun.

Joe Bearman

Age 21

The first time I experienced road cycling was on holiday in the Rhine Valley in Germany, and I fell in love instantly. I wanted to keep my new-found love alive, so I joined Recycles RCC. I was the youngest in the club as I was only 18 at the time, but felt wholly accepted into the group. Being new to the cycling world, it blew me away that I was immediately welcomed. Because of my disability, I had not always felt completely welcome in other sports, but I continue to feel like a valued member of this club. There is a multitude of different riding paces, styles and disciplines in the club, which allowed me to quickly learn new skills, mechanical repairs, bike handling, etc, from experienced members, allowing me to go from complete newbie to the club champion in time trialing and hillclimbing!

Toria Booth

Age 28, communications professional

I consider myself to be comparatively new to the world of road cycling, and when I first joined Recycles CC, in 2020, I was quite a nervous rider. I joined the club because I wanted to build my confidence and meet new people, but also to explore new routes (not to mention café stops!). The intermediate club rides, which are designed for slower and less experienced riders, were perfect for me. They really helped me build up some strength and get used to riding in a group. I’ve learned a great deal since I joined the club, and the experience that comes from riding with and talking to other members is incredibly helpful. My aim now is to carry on improving my fitness and challenging myself. And I am well on course to be able to attempt a personal challenge, which is my first ‘century’ (a100-mile ride).

Graham Carter

Age 59, retired

I joined the club, three or four years ago. I ride a lot around town, but decided I also wanted to get out on the open road and do extra miles as my means of getting/staying fit and losing weight. I soon found being a member of a club was the answer, even though I didn’t even have a suitable bike at the time, and had never ridden in a group before. I was amazed to discover how much easier longer distances are when you are riding with others, how much safer you feel, and how much you can learn – and of course it’s the fun and sociable alternative to the sometimes lonely life of a solitary cyclist. But perhaps best of all for me: as a keen spectator of road racing over many years, I now have an (albeit scaled-down) insight into the sport, from the peloton’s perspective!

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