Skip to content

THE BALANCED LIFE: Energy Cycling Club

Mountain biking, road riding and gravel all in one Niagara club

We’re establishing our footing now, figuring the direction we want to go,” says Jessie El-Farram, Vice President of Energy Cycling Club (ECC). “We’ve always been a club that does road riding and mountain biking, so we’re continuing with that.”

Energy Cycling Club is a St Catharines-based club established in 2016 that caters to riders throughout the Niagara Region. Pre-COVID they had 80-100 members, then suffered a drop in membership like so many volunteer organizations did when constantly changing pandemic rules dictated their ability to schedule rides and work within the community.

For 2024, ECC has exciting plans to extend their offerings to local riders and work within the community on various volunteer projects. El- Farram says the club will continue its focus on health, fitness, fun and the social aspects of cycling, offering its members more than just hard rides.

ECC has members who are coaches to help riders get the most benefit out of their rides, whether members are looking for recreational tips or racing success. Two of the coaches’ area of expertise is training and coaching para-athletes, something unique among Niagara clubs. El-Farram is also a trained coach, and her focus with members is on skills, health, diet, nutrition, and other related areas.

ECC will be working to connect with other clubs in 2024 to increase the social aspect of cycling for their members. That could be joining others for local rides, or planning out-of-town trips for road or mountain bike riding, and attending events and races. As an example, Turkey Point is a great mountain biking destination which can be made even more fun by reaching out to the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club for a joint ride.

Community volunteerism at various levels is also important to ECC. They are hoping to add their support to Niagara’s Big Move Cancer Ride as organizational volunteers and fund raisers. Since 2008 The Big Move has generated $7 million dollars for local cancer care. The 2024 event will take place September 8, leaving from White Meadows Farms with various cycling routes through Pelham from 14K to 75K in length, then returning riders will have a BBQ lunch, live music and ceremonies.

As avid trail users, ECC sees an opportunity to work with the Niagara Trail Maintenance Association to keep our trails safe and fun to ride. They also support Bike Niagara’s free bike safety courses. The classroom portion of the course is Saturday, May 25, at the MCC in Fonthill, and the bike handling skills portion takes place Saturday, June 1, at Bethany Church in Fenwick. Pre-registration is required at

ECC is unique in Niagara because it has a full calendar of events for road riders, mountain bikers, and gravel riders, male and female. Monday and Wednesday evenings are mountain bike rides, with Mondays being more fun-oriented than training. Tuesdays and Thursdays are road rides, Fridays may be gravel or mountain bike depending on the weather and members’ preference, and Saturdays will be something special or a longer road ride.

For those concerned about their ability to keep up with the group, ECC rides specify “No drop” on the calendar, which means that the group will not leave anyone behind – comforting to know for new members.

Energy Cycling Club posts their “6 Cardinal Rules of Cycling,” on their website. As a long-time cyclist who frequently finds himself in less-than-disciplined groups, seeing these rules listed on the club’s public website was encouraging, and provided a positive feeling about their priorities.

Rule 1: “Follow the law, your safety and the image of bicyclists depends on you,” was refreshing. Any cycling club that is sufficiently conscious of cyclists’ image issues to include mention in Rule 1 has to be congratulated.

Rule 2 begins with, “Be predictable, make your intentions clear to everyone on the road,” and Rule 3 says, “Be conspicuous, ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing….” All great advice to maintain members’ safety.

If you’re considering joining a Niagara bicycle club in 2024, Energy Cycling Club offers a wide scope of riding disciplines and some unique attributes to ensure that you’ll have a fun and satisfying season.


Reader Feedback

John Swart

About the Author: John Swart

After three decades co-owning various southern Ontario small businesses with his wife, Els, John Swart has enjoyed 15 years in retirement volunteering, bicycling the world, and feature writing.
Read more