A NEW social cycling group has been welcomed as ‘the only club like it in the area’.
Steyning Social Cycling, for the over-55s, has attracted members from Shoreham and Sompting, as well as Steyning.
Group leader Alison Lewis said they liked the idea of social cycling, rather than a more serious club.
“They have said there is nothing else that actually caters for this level of cycling,” she explained.
“If you try to join a more established club, you need to ride quite fast, 20 to 15 miles an hour, and they will go quite far – 40 miles is a short one.
“If you want to cycle more gently but don’t want to cycle on your own, this is ideal.
“The idea is, as people get older, to keep them moving and get them out in the fresh air, as well as the social aspect, chatting and stopping at a café.”
The club was set up by the Dingemans Centre, which is run by Impact Initiatives.
Alison became an Impact Initiatives trustee last year and visited all the projects to see what was on offer.
“I saw all the other keep fit things they do in Steyning and, being a keen cyclist and knowing all the lovely countryside around here, I suggested a cycle group,” she added.
The first ride on Thursday saw Alison and five members head off members from Steyning High Street and cycle along the Downs Link to Shoreham Airport, where they stopped for a break before returning.
Alison, who is a regular volunteer with Sustrans and British Cycling, said: “We won’t always start from Steyning. I want it to be lead by the riders.
“Ultimately, I would like to get some of the keener people trained up as ride leaders.
“Hopefully, the numbers will grow overall but the numbers on each cycle will be small.”
The cycling group is affiliating with British Cycling and it is open to anyone aged over 55 with an interest in cycling.
Seven people went along to the informal planning meeting at the Dingemans Centre on February 19, following an article in the Herald.
They agreed rides would be once a fortnight, usually mid-week.
Please contact the Dingemans Centre on 01903 879297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.