The Velo Allegro Cycling Club was founded by a group of bicycle racing and fitness enthusiasts. Beginning with just 20 members, this Long Beach-based Club has grown to regularly include over 100 members per year.
While the Club’s membership numbers have certainly changed, one thing has always remained the same — Velo Allegro’s mission to actively support and promote the sport of cycling. Our members, consisting of varying abilities, engage in activities that encompass the entire range of the sport of cycling; from recreational fun and fitness rides to the heart-throbbing, adrenaline-pumping action of racing.
Thanks to Velo Allegro’s Long Beach-base, the club attracts many beginning and recreational cyclists that are looking for cool, scenic rides that only Southern California can provide. Velo Allegro is a great club for newcomers to the sport or for those that are looking to keep fit and have fun with a great group of people that share a common interest.
Velo Allegro is a recognized USA Cycling club. As part of USAC, Velo Allegro holds an annual race, the Velo Allegro St. Patrick’s Day Criterium, and has promoted Cyclocross racing in the fall at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. Velo Allegro supports its members with race reimbursement and other value-added programs. Over the years, Velo Allegro members have won several state, national, and world titles.
Club Mission: To provide a safe and friendly environment for members to achieve their cycling goals
Club Vision: Encourage and promote cycling as a sport, recreation, transportation alternative and lifelong activity
- Be a positive role model
- Provide a safe riding environment
- Develop member skills
- Provide a quality support system
- Benefit the community and be active in bicycle related causes
Ride Rules and Etiquette
- Club rides are intended to help every member achieve their recreational and training goals.
- Our rides are NOT races. Each member is expected to ride safely.
- Our rides are open to visitors.
- Obey all traffic laws. No exceptions!
- All visitors will be asked to ride at the back of the group for at least the first visit. Even if you have extensive group riding experience but are new to Velo Allegro rides, arrive early, introduce yourself as a new rider and sign the VA waiver prior to departure
- If any new rider is under the age of 18 he or she must have a parent or guardian present to sign the wavier.
- Non-members who ride with us on a regular basis will be expected to join the club.
- Helmets are mandatory! Any member or visitor without a helmet will be asked to leave the ride!
- Mobile phones and iPods with ear phones are discouraged. Texting is not allowed!! If you can’t leave them at home, the law says one ear only!
- Members are expected to wear their Velo Allegro kits when riding with the club. This to dissuade other riders who we come upon on the road from pushing their way into the middle of our club rides creating a safety hazard. Please be respectful and explain to them we do this for all our safety and ask them to please move to the back of the group
- Always be courteous toward motorists and other cyclists. DO NOT block traffic or ignore basic rules of the road.
- Always carry Emergency ID with you at all times.
- Stay alert at all times. Keep reading the dynamics of the group and road, they can change very quickly.
- Be communicative about potential road hazards. Communicate clearly to cyclists behind when stopping, slowing or turning.
- Group rides are to be no more than two riders wide except when passing other riders.
- Hold your line and do not swerve. If you need to move left or right, do so gradually after checking for other riders and pointing out your move to make fellow riders aware of your intentions.
- Don’t overlap wheels by putting your front wheel next to the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. An evasive move by the rider in front will immediately take you down. Always remain behind the bike(s) in front unless passing.
- Don’t half-wheel your partner. When riding side by side, keep your front wheel even with that of your partner. Being wheel-to-wheel and shoulder-to-shoulder ensures a tight double paceline and increases overall safety.
- Be careful when looking back. Looking back causes even skilled riders to swerve, which can cause a crash. If you must look back, ask the person next to you if you can put your hand on their shoulder. That will keep you riding straight. Also position your hands closer to the stem for more control.
- Use a relaxed grip with your thumbs under the bar for full control when riding over minor road hazards. Keep your shoulders down (not up against your neck) and bring your elbows down and in so that they’re slightly bent.
- When riding it is best to rest your hands over your brake hoods rather than on the top of the bar. In an emergency, you won’t have enough time to move your hands to the brakes and stop in time.
- Focus on the rider(s) ahead. Don’t make the common mistake of focusing on the back wheel in front of you. Look up at the shoulders of the riders ahead and occasionally look at the road ahead so you can see what’s going on and be prepared for sudden changes.
- Don’t brake unless absolutely necessary. If you must brake, do so lightly to scrub off a little speed. You can also slow down by sitting upright and catching more wind in your chest.
- Warn of hazards. Keep on the lookout for things that could cause problems (rocks, potholes, damp pedestrian crossing lines, etc.) and shout out a warning or point out the hazard.
- Pass carefully. Look to your sides to make sure it is clear. You may even verbally warn the rider ahead that you are coming by.
- If you get tired, move to the rear. Fatigue leads to poor reaction time which can cause an accident. It’s safer to go to the back of the group than to remain in the middle of the action. Tell those around you that you’re dropping back so it’s a safe move.
- Do your business at the rear of the group. If you need to take your vest, arm warmers, wipe your sunglasses, eat a gel, etc. Any activity that involves removing your hands from the bars and taking your attention away from the group should be done at the back to avoid a crash.
- When standing from a seated position maintain a constant pedal stroke and speed. DO NOT allow your bike to stall as you stand. It may cause a crash if the rider behind you hits your rear wheel.
- If you have a mishap (flat, mechanical, etc.), remain calm. Raise your hand to indicate to those around you that you’re experiencing a problem and need to pull over. Slowly slide out of the pace line and move to the side of the road.
- If you are leading a group ride begin pedaling slowly when starting up from a stop sign or traffic signal. Riders behind you need a few seconds to clip in. Keeping the pack together helps to maintain safety.
- While in a rotating paceline, if you find that you are unable to take a pull, remain in the line of riders and if possible, indicate to riders around you that you need some recovery time.
- Maintain a riding style to that of the group. Do not go to the front of the pack and purposely slow the pace. If the pace is too fast then remain at the back.
- Bring along enough water and food for the ride you are on
- Make sure you bike is in good working order and you are carrying tools, tubes, CO2 and levers
For a full list of bike rules, check out the USAC Cycling Rule Book
Remember to ride safe, ride smart, and have fun!
Velo Allegro is proud to be an integral member of the Southern California community. We actively support and promote the sport of cycling by organizing group rides, promoting safe riding habits, coaching beginning riders and lead by example.
As an integral member of the Southern California community, Velo Allegro also is involved in giving back to the community through various charitable organizations and events.
Miller Children’s Hospital
JJCCC at Miller Children’s hospital treats more than 800 children and adolescents each year and provides quality, compassionate cancer and blood disorder care to infants, children, and adolescents. In past years, Velo Allegro has donated toys, DVD, games and gift cards for these children and their families to enjoy as they are being hospitalized for cancer, sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders.
Annually at our end of year Christmas drives, Velo Allegro club members gather and donate gifts as Christmas presents to the JJCCC for the children to enjoy during their care and treatment. Each year a small group of club members visit the hospital to deliver these hand-select gifts.
The club also raises funds during various cycling and club events locally for donation to the JJCCC at Miller Children’s hospital. Past years’ fundraisers have included fundraising dinners at Papalucci’s Italian Restaurant on Second St. with 20% of the evening’s sales going to the JJCCC. We have also participated in the Tour of Long Beach by setting up a Velo Allegro tent that included an Oakley sunglasses raffle, bike weighing contest and donation jar at the Tour of Long Beach.
Tour De Cure
The Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The ADA’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The Tour de Cure series includes the Ship to Shore cycling event which starts at the Queen Mary in Long Beach and consists of five routes of varying lengths.
Velo Allegro members employ their cycling passion to ride in support of and raise funds for the fight against diabetes. Club members have created their own team, participated as team members at their work, or joined with fellow club members as a team. Other members have donated to the ADA in support of their friends riding in the Tour de Cure. In 2014, the club raised over $2,000 for diabetes research.
Bikes For Kids
In 2014, Velo Allegro kicked off a local event to promote cycling within the City of Long Beach. The City has focused its efforts on becoming a bike friendly city. In concert with that focus, the Velo Allegro is bringing Bikes for Kids to the City of Long Beach. A low income YMCA partner school in the City of Long Beach with a minimum of 90% of students on free or reduced lunch will be selected. The school will conduct an essay contest for third graders. At an assembly, bikes will be distributed to all third graders at that school.
Club members and local businesses will contribute funds for the purchase of the bikes and helmets. The bikes will be built by Club members with final inspection by our bike shop sponsor. The bikes will be delivered to the school by club members.
During a third grade assembly, one bike per class is awarded to each essay contest winner. After a brief conference, SURPRISE!!!! All of the bikes are unveiled so that every third grader realizes they get a bike as well. The next day, school administrators, with assistance by club members, collect parent waivers and release the bikes to each third grader.