The Aiken Bicycle Membership is not only for the intense cyclists within the space.
“We have now every thing from full-fledged opponents to electrical bikes,” mentioned Kai Fernandez, the membership’s president.
The membership, which has been energetic because the late Nineteen Eighties, is a gaggle of cyclists in Aiken County who’ve joined the membership for quite a lot of causes.
Fernandez mentioned that many members joined for coaching, camaraderie and since there may be security in numbers whereas driving a bicycle.
Fernandez and his spouse, Tracie, have at all times appreciated appreciated mountain biking. They determined to get highway bikes a number of years in the past and department out, which is once they discovered concerning the membership.
“We saved seeing this group of cyclists whereas we had been driving,” mentioned Fernandez. “Someday, certainly one of them rode by us and approached us about becoming a member of the membership. We checked it out and determined to affix.”
The membership has completely different weekly rides. There are Saturday and Sunday rides year-round. The Saturday trip is named a “membership trip” and is usually an extended distance trip. The Sunday trip is a “no-drop trip” the place no rider is left behind. If a rider begins to lag or decelerate, one other member drops again to be beside them. That is to encourage new riders and assist them become involved.
In the course of the summers, the membership provides Tuesday and Thursday evening membership rides. These rides typically break up up into a number of completely different teams, permitting riders to trip at a tempo that most accurately fits them.
The membership additionally operates a Fb web page the place any member can publish about rides, good trails or about different upcoming occasions. Members additionally publish about their bikes or in the event that they’re trying to promote or purchase tools.
Fernandez mentioned that whereas the group was once primarily highway bikers, it is morphed right into a extra wide-ranging group of riders.
“We even have individuals who do mountain driving and gravel roads,” mentioned Fernandez.
The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on membership members, but it surely hasn’t stopped them fully.
“Over the previous few months, we have had extra individuals driving solo and a few nonetheless do,” mentioned Fred Adams, a member of the membership. “Now, we’re being extra socially distant and attempt to house out whereas we’re driving and never be in as tight of a pack. We even have been extra cautious when coughing or clearing our noses whereas driving.”
There’s a membership charge to affix, which Fernandez mentioned is especially to cowl insurance coverage prices if a rider is injured whereas driving with the membership. The charge is $20 per individual, or $30 for a household.
Riders should put on a helmet whereas biking with the membership, and kids beneath the age of 16 have to be with an grownup.
Adams mentioned that the group has some members who do races and different occasions. One of many group’s members, Jamie Babcock, positioned 64 out of 1,300 riders on the Leadville 100 in Leadville, Colorado, which was a 104-mile trip.
Some members of the group will trip 80, 90 and even 100 miles in a day, in line with Adams. He additionally mentioned that there are some “very sturdy women, as nicely.”
“I feel that the membership is in an excellent place,” Adams mentioned. “Over the past 10 years, it is actually been introduced again to life.”