I want to get started in cycling, what do I need to know?
First and foremost, What type of cycling are you interested in?  
                Health and fitness
                Group and socializing
                Trail/mountain riding
                Away adventurous rides
                Moderate to fast
                Coffee shop rides

You want a bicycle that will fit what your anticipated riding style will be, not necessarily what it is now.  A lot of people start off with leisure bikes only to find that they want to transition to more of a health and fitness type riding that would include longer, faster rides. 

A good fitting bike makes the world of difference, a bike too small could cause knee injuries and other types of pains and a bike too tall will also cause discomfort.  Local bike shops or members of a club can assist with the size of bike that would most likely fit and the type you will need for the riding you plan on doing.  There’s several styles to choose from…  Road, hybrid, commuter, cyclocross, mountain, beach cruiser, recumbent, electronic  assist, race geometry vs endurance etc. 

What equipment do I need?
A helmet that fits properly is a must as well as a good pair of padded cycling shorts.  An uncomfortable rider is not likely to ride much as they’ll remember the how bad or painful the last ride was.   Tight fitting lycra shorts are good but there’s other styles that are not so revealing.  The tightness of the shorts prevents movement which is a cause of saddle sores and other types of discomfort.  Bright colored clothing with some reflective material should be worn so drivers in vehicles can see you.
A pack with set of tools and supplies for emergency repairs..  tire levers, tubes, air, patches, tire boot, multi-tool.  Even if you do not know how to use it, chances are a cyclist passing by can use your tools and supplies to get you back on the road again.  Front and rear lights for safety.  These are basic tools to carry while riding, even if it’s on a bike trail.
Water bottle(s).  It’s always good to have water or hydration mix with water and nutrition no matter the distance you ride.  Don’t forget to bring your cell phone and a few dollars just in case you need to call for assistance or to purchase additional fuel (food) while on your ride.
How do I get started with club rides?
Most clubs will post regular riding schedules on their website or Facebook account so check online to see if any of their scheduled rides fit your abilities and time allowance.  Most clubs will have “no drop” rides which means everyone is accounted for and no one is left behind to find their way back on their own.
Things to consider….
It’s good to find a riding partner, one who will guide you in the beginner phase of cycling and encourage you to keep going.  If that is not possible, joining a club and riding with a group will accelerate the learning process.  Most clubs have beginner, intermediate and advanced riding groups.
Do some online research on cycling etiquette, safety protocol and to understand cycling terminology used by cyclists.  You will also learn a lot of this while participating in group rides.
Make sure your bicycle is good mechanical condition before heading out to prevent mishaps and mechanical problems while out enjoying the ride.  If you’re unsure, take it to the local bike shop, a mobile shop somewhere or have a bike club member look over your bike.