|CLIFTON CYCLING CLUB|
No. of members Currently 150 and rising fast
Catchment area Yorkshire
BC region Yorkshire
Cost of annual membership £15 individual, £22 family, discounts for concessions
Contact details via the club website
Club founded February 28, 1895
What?s the story behind the club?s name
The Clifton Cycling Club was founded at a meeting held at the Old Grey Mare public house on Clifton Green on the north edge of the city of York.
The first club run held that spring was led by the captain A Mason and after three laps of The Green they headed out to Blue Bridge on the A19. In the early years winter riding was restricted by the poor state of the unmade roads, indeed the club paid an annual donation to the ?road menders? for their up-keep.
The winter of 1895 was so cold that the Ouse froze to a depth of several inches. “Tommy” Lumb and his partner rode a tandem from York to nearby Poppleton on the ice.
How often does the club meet?
The club has a Saturday social ride ? currently two or three groups at different speeds. A weekly ?easy riders? run for newcomers and families, a traditional Sunday club run, weekend MTB rides or weekends away, and a Wednesday night training ride. When the clocks change we also have a Tuesday night chaingang, a Thursday night time trial series, and Wednesday night MTB rides. So there?s usually a group going out nearly every day of the week.
What events does the club take part in?
We organise a time trial series (May-August), Audax rides, an annual road race and a ?come and try it? time trial event. We have members who road race and do open time trials, and those who do sportives and Audax rides, and others who do competitive MTB racing. We usually have at least a couple who do the Three Peaks, and a bunch who head out to the Etape du Tour. Plus we have a number of members who are triathletes, and the first British mixed pair to enter and complete the Race Across America are (very) active members of the club.
Describe a typical club run, and where and when does the club meet
The Saturday social rides start from Exhibition Square in York at 10am. Here?s a report from a participant, Amanda Vipond, a couple of weeks ago.
?Saturday, February 7: Kev’s group. Six of us set out ? three novices and three experienced. At a maximum temperature of three degrees there was a lot of chat about kit and ice. Brian won wearing six layers although Anna?s body warmer was coveted at lunch. Jamie’s mountain bike gear was viewed with suspicion. We did a 60-mile circuit out to Tollerton, Huby, Crake, Brandsby, Ampleforth, Coxwold, Raskelf (great café stop), Easingwold, Tollerton and home.
?It was my fourth outing with Clifton but I still arrive nervous. Will I be able to keep up? Once chatting to the group my nerves settle but it is not until we cycle a few miles I even think about enjoying it. My group cycling confidence has grown massively since joining in December but I remain slow and am constantly concerned about keeping the group waiting. I have, however, been overwhelmed by the friendly support from other club members and have never been allowed to feel a burden. Although I have felt each ride a challenge I have always returned home with the buzz of success.
?Saturday’s ride was hard. Initially I followed Kevin, determined not to be dropped, aware of the huge advantage gained by drafting (one of the new skills I am working at). I was pushed out of my comfort zone here, just that bit faster than I was used to. Later, when we hit a few hills, I was gone. My legs were heavy and the rest of the group were way ahead. I was rescued and force fed a gel. I found the rest of the ride hard but survivable. Stacey was my knight in shining armour, talking me up the hills. Despite the other two novices seeming to fly up the hills I was not made to feel that I shouldn’t have been there.
?I look forward to my next ride. Work and family mean I can’t go every week but I know the only way to improve is to stick at it. I am cycling and riding on the turbo between club rides so common sense tells me the only way is up. I thank everyone who has welcomed me, waited for me, come back to get me when dropped and generally talked me through times of self doubt. I look forward to a future when I feel happy in the peloton rather than clinging on to it by my finger nails and will log the first time that I am strong enough to go back and collect someone else who has fallen off the back.?
What?s the story behind the club?s jersey design?
The current club kit was designed about three years ago following a consultation exercise among the membership (the clothing officer was a community architect?) and has proved distinctive out on the roads.
Famous riders who are in, or have been in, the club?
John Watson (still a member)
Pete Smith (still a member)
Roy Cromack (ex member)
Roy had longest standing men?s national record (24 hours) 1970-1996 ? 507 miles. Pete has also ridden on the continent and was the first person to clock under one hour 50 minutes for a 50-mile time trial. John has ridden Grand Prix des Nations and was BBAR 1970. He was also the first to get under one hour 45 minutes for a 50.
Pete Watson (ex member) won king of the mountains in the Milk Race 1975.
Ian White (50 and 100-mile national champion in 1973).