"Fitting In" Choosing a bike group.
Although I have loved to ride bikes since I first learned how, until recently I have been mostly a solo rider. Through the miracle of the interwebs I have been able to get hooked up with a few different groups of cyclists in town. I'm having trouble figuring out how to find the best "bike scene" for me. Below I'll describe some of the groups I have met and what I like or don't like about each:
Group 1- Racer Clubs
My city has several clubs for serious racers. Road bike, mountain bikes, 'cross, women's only, etc. I'm not a racer so I don't have any personal experience with any of these groups, but I'm sure that if I progress in my riding I could find a local club who could help mentor me in becoming a "better" cyclist.
Group 2- Local 'Hardcore' Riders
I met these guys through a local cycling forum where they hang out. They seemed nice enough online. I tried to meet up with them for a ride and I did not find them to be overly friendly or welcoming to new members. They all ride very nice bikes and most of them do race road, mtb, cross or all three. They seem like individually they are all good guys but I felt like an unwanted outsider when they were together as a group. I believe these guys would be a great source of local knowledge about where to ride and current conditions at the local hot spots. I think some of these guys are more serious than I want to be about bikes though.
Group 3- Urban 'Social' Riders
I met some of these folks last night and had a great time. They hosted a critical mass style V-Day ride where they encouraged dressing up and bike decorating. We rode around downtown passing out hand made valentines cards to some local people and businesses. The group was all younger people (I think everyone there was in their mid20's). The ride was a little slower than I'm used to riding on my own, and they were not observant of most traffic laws, but the streets where we rode were mostly deserted so they were not creating a traffic problem. These folks were riding all types of bikes from vintage steel road bikes to a 50's model schwinn that was so rusty I wanted a tetnis shot just looking at it. Some fixies and SS's as well. The group was not big on helmets but almost everyone had lights and reflectors. The overall vibe was very relaxed.
I don't really have a question, but maybe some other members can discuss what the various 'bike scenes' are like in your town and what group or groups you are a part of.