This week we spoke to the lovely Keara (Social Media & Tours Manager) and Sheridan (Digital Marketing and Events Manager) from Cadence Cycle Club. Founded in 2020 during the pandemic, owners Roger and Matthew went on a journey to create a refreshing new and inclusive cycling community. Cadence Cycle Club provides a unique spin on the classic cycling clubhouse scene, intertwining great cycling, great coffee, great events and most importantly – great people. 

With a mission of to diversify cycling culture, Cadence promotes health, fitness and a love for the great outdoors. Cadence deliver unforgettable cycling experiences, and with the beautiful South Downs on their doorstep, spanning across 4 locations, the community is expanding – be sure to check them out and get yourself down to one of their clubhouses! 

Where did Cadence Cycle Club come from?

Keara 

‘So it started on Boxing Day, during the lockdown, the two owners Roger and Mathew are both keen cyclists and within the area there was nowhere for everyone to go so they wanted to create a base that was open to everyone, whether you’re riding your grannys old rusty bike or have a brand new bike. The clubhouses attract all sorts of people from different sports and has become a real outdoor loving community.

The pandemic gave Roger and Matthew the time and opportunity to put their idea of an inclusive cycling community together, in the form of clubhouses and cycling tours.’

Would you say the pandemic helped the business in terms of growth at the start?

‘It was crazy during that lockdown period, a lot of people really got into cycling and Cadence really provided cyclists and walkers a hub and a place to go that was outside. I remember going outside and suddenly everyone had a bike, it was great to see and I think that really helped us from the offset’ 

Was the clientele all local to the Sussex region? 

‘I think there is a big mix, a lot of people seem to come down from London and are really into the E-Bike tours we offer, a few cycle clubs from Brighton have started to get involved. Sussex has some of the best cycling routes in the UK, whether that may be road or off-road and we really wanted to utilise that.’

Have you seen more of an interest in the e-bikes you offer for hire? There’s certainly been a big boom as technology is getting better and battery packs are smaller and lasting longer – have you seen this?

‘There’s actually a really big split between e-bike, mountain and road cyclists. Yes, we get a lot of interest in the e-bike rentals and tours and we offer e-bike demo days which are really popular. The great thing about e-bikes is that they enable you more time in the great outdoors, you can last longer on the bike and they’re just good fun’. 

In terms of the trips you do, have there been any horror stories? 

‘Fortunately not so far! There is the occasional puncture or bush visit, but nothing serious so far.’

Curtis: ‘Well to be fair that’s some good advertisement for the tours that you do, it wouldn’t be a fantastic look if there were to be a lot of fatalities on the way!’ 

What are the cycling events that you put on, and how did the initial event start?

Sheriden

‘The first event was more of an Oktoberfest style one that we held in our barn at Litlington, we were testing the waters to see how much interest there was and whether an outdoor even in October would go down well- fortunately it was really popular! It took place over two nights and we limited it to 60 people, so it was a really nice intimate couple of evenings with live music and local beer and gin. Lots of people walked and rode over, which was also good to see people ditching the cars. We’re looking to do more of those styled events throughout the year which is exciting. Our next event is a Summer BBQ at the end of August.’

Where are the music artists from that you showcase at your events? 

‘At the moment we ask local musicians to come and play, in the future it would be great to see if there are any musicians within the cycling community that would like to get involved. It would be great to utilise the community we have and all their talents.’ 

Do you think these events are what’s missing from other clubs?

‘I think we’re lucky to have the option to hold events as the locations our clubhouses are sited lend themselves well to social gatherings. We want the events to feel inclusive and fun, and because we hold the events in a barn, it does attract the type of people who like adventure and like to be outdoors – which we fully support!’ 

Where’s your coffee from? 

Keara

‘Our roastery is Liquid Spirit, it’s right behind our main clubhouse. Litlington was our first clubhouse, we have 3 more now all located along the South Downs Way. This was the first one and it has a really nice community around, there’s a Long Man Brewery, us, a roastery and a little ice-cream place which is great in the summer. The whole idea was to try and source everything as locally as possible. 

Our head barista worked with the main roaster over at Liquid Spirit, so we actually have our own blend, the great thing with this is we can actually change how we want it throughout the seasons and test whatever new product they have.’

How smooth has the opening process been?

‘So far so good, it has been different for each hub, where they’re all in quite different locations. Litlington (the first opening) went really well straight away, we actually had the pandemic in our favor. Our Eastbourne hub is in a slightly more urban area, whereas the others are in the countryside where people can cycle to. Our most recent hub opened a month ago, and that is still being discovered so we’re excited to see what that brings.’

What are the future plans? 

Sheriden

‘More Clubhouses, tours and events in the hope we can bring people together to enjoy
the outdoors, enjoy good coffee and food and meet like-minded people. We also hope to draw in people from all walks of life and parts of the world regardless of their preferred sport and provide them with a friendly base that they’ll feel
welcome at.’

Imagery by Cadence and writing by Curtis Connor

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