Join the Club

What’s a person to do if bit by the cycling bug? There’s always riding solo or finding a friend with similar pedalling predilection. Or, option three: join a cycling club.There are roughly 135 cycling clubs registered with the Ontario Cycling Association with two of those in Vaughan. One is the Veneto Cycling Club, a local club that plans weekly rides from the Veneto Centre in Woodbridge. Sandro Zoppi founded the VCC three years ago thinking he might get half a dozen friends to join him. He was riding regularly, having started a couple years before as a way to stay active. He sent out a mass email looking for fellow cyclists. By the start of the season 50 people committed. “All of a sudden we were managing a 75-person club,” explains Zoppi, a board member of the Veneto Centre, where he’s worked for over 20 years. Last season, he adds, that number grew to 125. With the motto “we meet, we ride, we eat”, the VCC keeps things light and friendly, focusing on the sport’s social aspect. From first-time riders to experienced cyclists, the VCC takes on all newcomers, placing them in groups suitable to their abilities. “We take them up slowly. We push them as far as they can go and each week they get a little better and they feel included, because we take care of them,” Zoppi says. Last year, the VCC even brought city councillor Tony Carella into the fold. “By the end of the season he was doing 50 kilometres,” he adds. To get started, Zoppi feels riders should keep it simple. There’s no need for special riding shoes or a multi-thousand-dollar bike. “Just get out there and start doing it,” he says. “And they can do it easily with us.”

www.venetocyclingclub.ca

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Michael Hill

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