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A cycling club is a society for cyclists. It can be local or national, general or specialised. The Cyclists' Touring Club, CTC) in the United Kingdom is a national association; the Tricycle Association, Tandem Club and the Veterans Time Trial Association, for those over 40, are specialist clubs. Members of specialist or national groups often belong to local clubs.
Cycling clubs flourished in 19th century in a time where there was not a commercial cars on the market and the principal way of transportation was Horse-drawn vehicles, such horse and buggy or horsecar, among the earliest clubs can be named The Bicycle Touring Club that operated since 1878.
A cycling club's activities vary from one aspect of cycle sport to a range of cycling and social activities. Racing clubs organise competitions for members and others, including track cycling, cyclo-cross, road bicycle racing and time trials). Most competitive cyclists belong to a club affiliated to one of the national racing associations, such as British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials in the UK, and may also organise training through BC or ABCC qualified coaches. Riders often race in their club's colours.
Cycling clubs may offer touring, weekly club rides (traditionally on Sunday mornings), regular meetings and social events.
Some clubs are sponsored by commercial organisations. Riders advertising in return for the support.
Many clubs are named after their home town or district. A few clubs are named after the topography of their region, such as the Alpine Bicycle Club of Golden, Colorado. Some have no connection, such as the Acme Wheelers in south Wales, Zenith CC in Leicester, Gemini BC in north-west Kent. Some clubs are just named after the behaviour of the members — VC Daft.
Some call themselves Road Clubs or use a foreign title such as Coureurs or Velo. Examples in Britain are Warrington Road Club, Leicestershire Road Club and Archer RC); Clayton Velo, Yorkshire Velo, Rugby Velo, Thames Velo, VC Elan, VC Londres or Velo Sport Jersey all use foreign names that reflect the origins of cycle-racing in France. Another common title is Wheelers - for example, Huddersfield Star Wheelers. Forming coinages from multiple words is also common practice such as Echelon Velodynamics Bicycle Club.
Some names have roots in political or social movements. The National Clarion Cycling Club spread socialist ideas by bicycle in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The name remains - Crewe Clarion, Fenland Clarion, Nottingham Clarion, Bury Clarion, North Cheshire Clarion, etc.) - but the politics have gone. Other names reflect historical religious allegiance, such as Manchester St Christopher's Catholic Cycling Club) or jobs: RAF CC, Northumbria Police CC, GB Fire Service Road Team, Army Cycling Union. Others evoke the wandering nature of cycling - '34 Nomads, Altrincham Ravens, Lewes Wanderers, Colchester Rovers - or an aspiration: Norwood Paragon, Sheffield Phoenix, Dulwich Paragon.