The Sea to Sky's newest cycling club is ready to hit the road, and is seeking members of all skill and experience levels to join in on the fun.
The Whistler Cycling Club will promote safe, social and inclusive recreational road cycling as the corridor becomes more of a hot spot for the sport. Its formation reflects the growing number of local riders, as well as the influx of out-of-town cyclists training for big-ticket races in the resort, such as GranFondo Whistler and Ironman Canada. Visiting riders who will have the opportunity to either join the club, or sign a one-day waiver to cycle with the group when in the resort, according to club VP Gary Baker.
"The response to the new club from the road cycling community has been overwhelming," said Whistler Cycling Club president Frank Savage in a release. "There is a very strong cycling culture in Whistler, and the timing was right to give more organization to the road cycling side of things."
The new group will place particular emphasis on safety, with the hopes being that the club website will serve as a resource for riders looking for tips on everything from safe riding practices to training and group cycling, Baker said on Sunday, April 6.
Many of the club's directors are already active in the local pedaling community through Team Whistler, a group of cyclists loosely focused on competitive road and mountain bike training. The club will look to expand on that group's non-competitive offerings, continuing the popular Tuesday evening road rides, which have been well attended by cyclists of all experience levels. The night rides will set off from the village towards a variety of nearby destinations, such as the Callaghan Valley and Whistler Olympic Park.
New to the calendar are the Sunday rides, focused on improving fitness and learning how to ride safely in groups. Occasionally, these Sunday outings will include an opportunity for novice riders or those unfamiliar with cycling in groups to take part and gain some new skills. Rides geared towards women are also being considered.
"We realized there are a lot of people out there who aren't familiar with riding or are a little nervous about riding with a race team so to speak, so we decided we would have a more encompassing group that would be good for everybody," explained Baker.
Appealing to a broader sector of riders means the local road cycling community "will have a voice in the corridor," Baker said, and gives the club opportunities to lobby for infrastructure improvements to highways and roads to create a better overall biking experience.
The group is now seeking new members in addition to the more than 70 founding members already on board. Visit www.whistlercyclingclub.ca to join or learn more about the club's activities.