Cycle club grows in tandem with burgeoning market

By He Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-05 07:58
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Club members assemble for a photo in front of their headquarters in the city. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Low ebb, poor growth

China used to be nicknamed the "Kingdom of Bicycles" as that was the major form of transportation in the years after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Even today, the country has the world's largest manufacturing base for both bicycles and electric bikes, accounting for more than 60 percent of their total global export volume.

However, professional cycling clubs that aimed to build a safe riding environment and a social space after workouts hadn't developed well in China, so Goh decided to establish his own club.

"I didn't consider profits at first. I just wanted to establish a community that would give members confidence and a sense of security," he said.

The RNCC's cycle events started with as many as 20 riders moving at a fixed pace, ensuring that everyone moved forward at a relatively synchronized speed.

Lin Weijie, who joins the events, said that the first time she rode with the team she felt very safe. "The team leader explains everything in advance: the route, speed, rules and solutions if problems are encountered," she said.

Goh also wrote some guidelines for future leaders of group activities, letting them know the rights and wrongs, and to learn to abide by their obligations and regulations.

The scarcity of decent cycling clubs in Shanghai and the RNCC's good reputation have seen membership numbers continue to grow, while the format and frequency of activities have gradually expanded.

"In 2019, the scale of each of our activities was between 40 and 80 people, and the RNCC became a benchmark. However, the characteristic at that time was that foreign nationals were our main members because most Chinese cyclists preferred to ride at night, while our activities were held in the morning, which was more in line with the expats' exercise habits," Goh said.

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