Back in the day, I used to be dazzled by the cool names of bike clubs I'd come across on bicycle rides — “Yellowjackets,” “Flyers,” “Wheelmen,” “Team On Your Left.”
Nowadays, however, I'm more interested in going-out-for-the-ride then getting-there-fast. Therefore, the club names that catch my interest now carry a hint of determination rather than perspiration.
Here's a list of my Top 10 favorite names for bicycle clubs, in reverse order.
10. Road Soldiers Cycling Club: Ohio Veterans Home, Sandusky, Ohio.
Nothing says determination like soldiering out for a bike ride. Many of the members are residents of the Vets Home, and their rides are often held with the Scooter and Wheelchair Owner's Group. I salute you all.
9. Old Kranks Bicycle Club: Ventura, California
Don't even try to join this club unless you're over 50. They usually ride out of the Goebel Senior Center Commission and most rides are 4 to 19 miles. They're Kranks, not cranky, so it sounds like they have a lot of fun.
8. Easy Riders Bike Club: Seattle, Washington
Their own description: “We are a kinder, gentler bicycle club for anyone who wants to pedal; meet fun, nonjudgmental people; and search for lattes. We are all sizes and abilities.”
7. Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society (BABES): Belleville, Illinois
This is the club of fellow bike blogger Roger Kramer. I'd say they've got it about right in the name. They're famous for their Wednesday night rides and were judged best St. Louis area bicycle club in the Riverfront Times. Also known for doughnut rides.
6. GOATS (Go Out And Tour Somewhere) Bicycle Club: Galena, Ohio
This club is all about motivating its members to get off the couch and go for a ride. And the goat is not the fastest animal by any means. Check out their “motivational video” (it's only a few seconds long).
5. Slow Spokes Bicycle Club: Sterling Heights, Michigan
The name says it all. Members are active, even though their mascot is a turtle riding a bicycle. Their mission is to provide better bicycling for the entire family. These bicyclists are slow, but not as slow as:
4. Slow Bicycle Club of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois
Calling itself the premier slow speed bicycle social club of Chicago, their riding speeds cap at 8 mph. I tip my helmet to them. Next time you're out, try riding 8 mph on flat terrain. It isn't easy. Members also prefer riding in “dapper” togs, but don't discriminate against lycra crowd.
3. CRABS (Christchurch Ramshackle Antique Bicycle Society): Bransgore, England
The only non-US bicycle club on the list. Their goal is to explore the local countryside and pubs on ramshackle or antique bicycles. What's a ramshackle bicycle? Any bicycle …
… “which can reasonably be described as elderly, signs of rust being regarded as prima facia evidence of qualification provided that in no circumstances shall a drop-handler machine be entitled to qualify as ramshackle.”
And with the name CRABS, you can't name many slower critters, unless it's a …
2. Yellow-Bellied Sliders Bicycling Society: High Springs, Florida
Yellow-bellied sliders are those small pet turtles you'll find in aquariums. They're slow and native to Florida, which might be why that Florida bike club adopted them as their namesake.
I really couldn't find out much about this club, except a local newspaper publicized their recent bike tour to the largest sinkholes in the High Springs area. At a meeting following the ride, they were to discuss ideas for more bike rides.
And there's nothing slower than a turtle, unless you're thinking of …
1. The Flying Abalone Bike Club: Sequim, Washington
Abalone are marine snails, and they do not fly. They primarily cling to rocks. The club president, Russell Rogers, is a marine biologist who chose the name to encourage his science nerd friends to get on their bikes.
“Most folks in the lab were bike enthusiasts but needed just a little something extra to pull them all together. It was a success!”
According to comments at his blog, owning the best name for a bicycle club is enough to rouse them into ordering jerseys.