Ride program not a bust

Marg. Bruineman - Barrie Examiner

If you're looking to ride a bike safely, ride with a group, or are interested in learning the mechanics of road riding, you might consider hanging with the Barrie Cycling Club Saturday morning.

The club is launching its four-week learn to ride program at St. Vincent Park along the lakeshore Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

"It's open to any member of the Barrie Cycling Club," said president Robb Meier.

The club, which attracted 90 members last year, plans on having five rides every week this year, including a weekly family ride.

The season gets underway Saturday, rain or shine, with the learn to ride in a group clinic. The park's shelter could come in handy in the event of rain.

"The basic premise will be, first make sure that everyone's bike is safe, that the helmets fit properly" and issues like appropriate clothing and hydration will be addressed.

Meier said there's safety in numbers for road riders, but there's also a right way and a wrong way of riding in a group. The clinics are also designed to help members build their confidence in group riding.

The program will morph into a rider development course during the four sessions. The goal, at the end of the clinic series, is for cyclists to develop the skills and experience they need to improve their fitness levels and cycling abilities.

The club's goal is to provide the knowledge and camaraderie for a healthy and fit cycling lifestyle for all cyclists, from beginners to the competitive racer.

Meier has been actively promoting the club during the past year, but he's also been involved in a variety of community groups bringing a voice to cycling. It's an underrated form of transportation locally that has a great deal of potential.

"We're a community-based organization and we recognize the multiple benefits of cycling, particularly cycling as a family," he said. "It allows people to see the world through a different point of view.

"I'm just very passionate about changing the transportation paradigm."

The club's weekly rides include mountain biking, road riding and Wednesday evening family rides. The club also hosts two provincial cup level races - one for youth aged 10 to 16 in May and a cyclocross race in mid-October.

The learn to ride clinics begin Saturday and continue each Saturday in May.


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