By Christie Melhorn, June 15th 2017 –
A new Students’ Union club wants to give you a reason to take your bike out for a summer ride. UCalgary Cycling aims to educate students about cycling while forging new friendships.
Cycling doesn’t require formal training and is often done solo. Many people ride recreationally, while others cycle to work or school. UCalgary Cycling argues that learning the technical side of cycling introduces you to an enriching community and can help students develop confidence.
Club founder Michelle Nguyen hopes the club will make cycling more accessible for students.
“We want to get people out riding, to try new things and get fit,” Nguyen said.
For $10 a month, students can participate in all UCalgary Cycling group rides and events. Joining the racing division costs $50 a month. Nguyen stressed that students can go on a few rides for free to see if the club is a good fit and don’t have to pay for their membership immediately after joining.
Currently, the club hosts group rides within and outside of Calgary every other Saturday, weather permitting.
“We do some short pathway rides to socialize. It’s fun to chat with each other and make new friends,” Nguyen said.
UCalgary Cycling also holds longer rides to Springbank and Cochrane. They plan to cycle to Bragg Creek later this summer.
Nguyen said cycling can also benefit students academically.
“You can use downtime to meet new people and have a fresh conversation,” Nguyen says. “It’s great to go out after studying. You can think a lot more clearly when you get back.”
While riding solo can relieve stress and improve fitness, an Oxford University study found that social exercise increases motivation and endorphin production.
Nguyen hopes UCalgary Cycling will help students feel more welcome in Calgary’s cycling community.
“A lot of people in Alberta’s cycling community are a bit older and have careers. It’s nice to be around people who are in the same stage of life and who have the same schedule as you. It makes it easier to meet up and ride,” Nguyen said.
For more information about UCalgary Cycling, click here.