Written by Amy Elvidge, Program Manager
Hockey isn’t the only sport operating year-round in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area– the region has become flush with cycling clubs for riders of all ages and skill levels, offering rides and events all through the year. Clubs range in size, skill and ethos, and are based in nearly every pocket of the region.
After moving from Boston to Toronto in 2019, I was nostalgic for my long-standing Tuesday morning ride group and asked new acquaintances if they knew of any cycling clubs in our area. I was in luck—our neighborhood boasted several clubs, one of which offered early morning rides every day of the week. I quickly signed up for the Morning Glory Cycling Club, which jump started my ability to meet fellow riders at my level and discover the best cycling routes in and around the city.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist that’s recently moved to the area, or looking to try out group riding, it helps to know what’s available and in your neighborhood. Read on to explore athletic and competitive cycling clubs and meetups based on skill level and municipality.
Know Before You Go:
No Drops – Group rides where no one gets left behind should a rider not be able to hold the pace or if they have a mechanical or flat tire. These rides are best to start with to learn how to safely ride with in group and get to know the route.
Membership Fee – Cycling clubs that require riders to join and pay a membership fee and/or register with the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA). Dues are renewed annually.
Just like going for a solo ride, ride organizers and clubs will expect you to be prepared with hydration, a portable snack, spare tubes and tools, and a willingness to follow the group. If you see a club on this list that requires membership and you’re hesitant about committing, you can always reach out about a trial ride before joining.
- Morning Glory Cycling Club – The Morning Glory Cycling Club is a group of riders that enjoy watching the sunrise from their saddles. MGCC has chapters in Leaside, High Park, the Beaches and Oakville, and offers rides regularly during the week and weekend. Routes are based on skill level and endurance. Kids grass track cycling program also offered beginning in May. Club membership is $65-90 (free under 16) plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- Dark Horse Flyers – Toronto’s “friendliest cycling club” with multiple rides per week in early morning or evening organized by ability and terrain. Weekly rides meet at locations across the city. Club membership is $60-75 plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- D’Ornellas Cycling Club – An east end cycling club based out of the D’Ornellas bike shop that typically heads north for group rides. Rides are offered all week with varying difficulty and speed. The ride schedule is sent weekly via email. Club membership is $48 ($20 for under 18) plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- Beaches Cycling Club – This Club offers weekly rides in the east end Tuesday through Saturday for intermediate to advanced riders. Club membership is $50 plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- Newmarket Eagles Cycling Club – This club has been cycling strong since 1985. The Club offers group rides throughout the week for different speeds and distances, club races, time trials, hill climb time trials, InterClub races, and a Tuesday night ride for new group riders. The Club also has a Race Team for road, track, mountain, gravel and cyclocross biking. Club membership is $35 plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- Ancaster Velo – Ancaster Velo offers a friendly environment for structured group rides on less traveled roads in and around Ancaster. The club offers two weeknight rides and two weekend rides. Club membership is $35 plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- B1 Gruppo Cycling Club – This club is based out of King and Markham and offers weekly rides of varying levels and terrains. The club organizes a “Giro” of Caledon Hills followed by an Italian lunch. The Club also has a road racing team. Club membership is $228, which covers insurance and a club jersey.
- Hamilton Cycling Club – Founded in 1881, the Hamilton Cycling Club is an amateur club in Hamilton, Ontario with more than 70 members. The Club features time trial rides on Tuesday evenings and weekend mornings. Weekday races are typically on 15km courses and weekend races on 20km and 40km courses. Courses vary from relatively flat to hillier. Club membership is $45 for adults and $25 for children plus OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- Midweek Cycling Club – Midweek Cycling Club is an athletes-for-life bike racing program in Toronto and Mississauga. The club offers Monday and Tuesday night learn-to-race rides, a weekly race series and youth cycling programs. Club membership is $75 to participate in the learn to race series. Race participants must have a valid Provincial Race License ($93) or UCI Road License ($88).
- Bateman’s Bicycle Company – Bateman’s offers road, gravel, mountain and cyclocross group rides. Participating in rides is free but riders are just required to purchase membership/insurance from the Ontario Cycling Association ($51). The Shop organizes weekly rides for all levels, women-specific rides, kid rides, and intro to mountain biking rides. Bateman’s also has a Racing Team that actively competes in Cross Country, Enduro, Cyclocross and Road racing.
- Blacksmith Cycle – This bike shop in the West end hosts 9AM Saturday morning club rides that meet at Sunny Joe’s Coffee (250 Sorauren Ave). The route is approximately 85km, and the rides are fast paced. Blacksmith requires participants to sign a waiver and have OCA membership/insurance ($51).
- Team Revolution – Cycling team with a focus on staying active, healthy and raising awareness and funds for the Humber River Hospital. The team organizes weekly group rides based out of Vaughan and King City to train for an annual Gran Fondo in Italy. Weekly rides and events offered throughout the year. A minimum donation of $300 to the Humber River Hospital is required to join.
Did we miss a cycling community that should be on this list? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.