I recently received an email from a local cyclist who was asking about ABC and said he was up in the air as to what club he should join. What follows is an edited version of my response to him.
ABC membership is currently only $25 per year and applies to any and all ABC chapters that you might choose to ride with. Fees vary for special events, such as the Desert Classic in the spring, or McDowell Mtn in the fall. For special events, a discount is typically given to ABC members. We also typically honor Greater Arizona Bicycle Association (GABA) membership for such special events and vice versa. All ABC chapters are based on a weekly riding schedule, with an established starting time and location (mostly public parks). Geographically, our [insert chapter name here] Chapter might be the closest chapter to you. Of course guests are always welcomed by any chapter. Giving several of them a "test ride" might be very instructive. Seek out the ride leader, sign-in before the ride, and let them know it is your first ride with them as a guest.
ABC is organized under the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and riders in ABC events are covered by our insurance which is provided through the LAB. Event and mechandise discounts, our monthly electronic newsletter, as well as ride insurance are just some of the many benefits of ABC membership. In my experience, what an individual gets out of belonging to a cycling club is directly related to what they put in. Because of our organizational structure, you can get involved at any level you're comfortable with from the chapter on up to the national organization. The more people get involved in a constructive way, the better it is for the club. But even if all you do is show up for an occasional ride, you can know that a portion of your ABC membership will go to support safe and enjoyable cycling and advocacy in a wide range of ways. ABC board meetings are always public, so we are a very transparent organization. As an ABC member, you will always have an opportunity to be heard.
As club president, I am interested in seeing new members join ABC. As a cyclist, I'm interested in seeing that anyone with an interest in cycling is able to pursue it to their greatest satisfaction. No matter what your goals, or how you choose to pursue your interest in cycling, I'm happy to share my thoughts with you, and I am always interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. Thanks for your interest in ABC.