CYCLISTS across the globe are joining together thanks to a social network started in Oxford.
Wheelsuckers, founded by South Oxford residents Dave Nash, Nick Williamson and Andy Dawson, has gained more than 2,500 members in two years.
The website acts as a place for cyclists to discuss their sport and to arrange rides.
A site screenshot
Mr Dawson, 52, said: “We got into cycling through organising a charity ride in 2010 for [Headington’s] Sobell House Hospice.
“We all got more serious about the sport while we were training and started to get better equipment. It was then that we realised there were other people who would want to connect with other cyclists.
“Facebook tends to be based around family and friends, so if you keep going on about cycling people get bored. This is based around those interests and gives members a place to talk to others who share them.”
Since launching the website has gone international, with members from as far as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.
As well as hosting forums for members, who can create groups and events, it also features reviews of sports products and competitions.
Plans are also in the pipeline for a cycling event to be organised for members.
Mr Dawson added: “There are some clubs who have started running themselves from the site.
“It’s a great way for riders in local areas to link up.
“Doing a big event is certainly of interest to us and we would have to think carefully about it.
“But it is something that members have said they want to do.”
Advertisements are placed on the site, he said, but money made is invested back into Wheelsuckers.
Summertown cyclist and member Danny Wright said: “I would not do the amount of cycling I do without it and I enjoy reading the reviews.
“Before joining I used to go for rides with just one friend, but now I have a much broader group of people I go with.
It has made it much more sociable and helps me get out.”
s Visit wheelsuckers.co.uk