The Newest Cycling Club in Cobourg
The Northumberland Hills Cycling Club, formerly known as the Northumberland Hills Cycling Community was founded in Spring of 2010 by members of the citizens group Sustainable Cobourg, in response to observation that membership in the two local cycling clubs were at maximum capacity. The Ganaraska Freewheelers were sought for advice about how to organize. Together, an informal ride was planned for late April to see how much interest the group might generate.
The inaugural ride was a phenomenal success. Fifteen eager people of all ages showed up and there was no looking back. What began as an informal group of cyclists meeting weekly for a ride around the Northumberland Hills area soon grew into a group of keenly interested cyclists who enjoyed the casual and recreational nature of the rides.
Soon after, the Northumberland Hills Cycling Community website went live, bringing the cyclists an opportunity to communicate with others and plan routes and rides.
Nobody Gets Left Behind
In keeping with the original intent of encouraging people of any ability to cycle, a “Nobody gets left behind” policy evolved. There was no racing—just folks cycling for fun, fitness, and making new friends. Routes and speeds were governed by consensus of the participants. In the spirit of community, experienced cyclists offered encouragement for beginners. The recreational culture of the group attracted cyclists of all sorts: recreational riders, experienced racers, beginners both young and old, utilitarian cyclists, and those just wanting to keep fit.
Community evolves into Club
The wonderfully open format of the Club allowed for anyone to participate free of charge, without requiring a Club membership. However, as organization and structure began to take shape, questions arose about the risks vs. benefits of rides not being being an insured Club. In April of 2011 it was decided that the Northumberland Hills Cycling Community would formally organize into a fully insured and organized group and become what is now known as the Northumberland Hills Cycling Club.
In 2011 Get Out There outdoor adventure magazine awarded the NHCC with the Reader’s Choice award for Best Cycling Club in Eastern Canada. It turns out that the NHCC is full of enthusiastic cyclists who are full of spirit and support for the new club. Not bad for one year in operation as an official club!
NHCC: Mighty Growth and Incorporation
Fifteen people grew to almost a hundred in 2012. Turns out, people quite like the Club! People brought friends, family and neighbours. Never wanting to cap the membership numbers, the executive recognized the importance and value of growth and made a decision to incorporate. As of February 2, 2012, the NHCC became an officially incorporated not-for-profit organization in the province of Ontario.