Take a Spin with the Green Mountain Bicycle Club
By Phyl Newbeck
For almost 50 years, the Green Mountain Bicycle Club (GMBC) has offered cyclists in Chittenden County and beyond a chance to ride and race with friends. With almost 300 members, the club has a little bit for everyone, from touring rides on Sundays and faster-paced VP rides on Saturdays to time trials and practice criteriums. In addition, the club starts the season with introductory rides to provide tips for those who have not done much riding with others. All you need to get in on the fun is a bicycle, a helmet, and a sense of adventure.
The club’s four-pronged mission is to promote cycling for fitness and friendship; encourage safe and courteous riding practices; organize weekly recreational rides, training rides, and competitive events; and engage in bicycling advocacy at the state and local level. The group partners with organizations like Local Motion and the Richard Tom Foundation and organizes the Burlington Criterium, which is part of the annual Green Mountain Stage Race.
The introductory rides are an important part of GMBC’s outreach. There are generally four such rides each year, and they take place on Saturdays in May and June. Since those who attend have varying degrees of cycling proficiency, there are at least two leaders who teach the rules of the road and take the cyclists out for a 10- to 20-mile ride starting at Veterans Memorial Park in South Burlington. Often, those who attend the introductory rides end up joining the club for either Wednesday night or Sunday rides.