On the 28th November, Mark Colmer, David Lindsay, Gareth Smith, Ade Taverna and I went up to the Brewery tap for the first Greater Peterborough Evening of Cycling. The event was organised by Rapha Condor Cycling Club and aimed to bring together the various clubs from the Greater Peterborough area. As well as us St Neots boys, Bourne Wheelers, Spalding CC, Fenland Clarion, St Ives CC, Peterborough CC and Fenland Clarion were also represented, so it was a great opportunity for us to network and discuss various issues with the other clubs.
Before the evening’s business started, one bald and stocky guy was doing the rounds, having a chat with everyone. He was a nice guy and some of us had recognised him, but perhaps we should have passed that information on as one of our five innocently asked who he rode for. Still, at least Di2 didn’t whip out some Rapha gear and ask for an autograph. Yes, it was John Herety, the evenings guest speaker, Director of Rapha Condor Sharp (soon to be called something else, but that is top secret) and arguably one of the grandees of the British road cycling scene. So Mark, now you know!
Following an introduction by Simon Hodson of Rapha CC, each club gave a brief overview of their successes and experiences over the past year. Not surprisingly, many were interested to learn about our own resurgence and growth in membership. However, a common theme from all the other clubs was their success with the GoRide scheme. It was great to see a group of youngsters from Bourne Wheelers in their club kit and to hear about their achievements, even if they did giggle through most of my presentation, although I think that was down to some unflattering lycra on the pictures being projected behind me! Seeing them though, I think it has made all of us present more determined that GoRide is something we must engage with and become a part of. We have made some good contacts and received some helpful advice.
The first concrete plan to come out of the evening is an inter club hill competition (Yes please!), but with a twist. The twist being it is likely to be a knock out competition, so the better you are the more times you get to climb. The Rapha club are organising this, at least in the first year and are hoping to turn it into a capital ‘E’ Event by putting on an exhibition race between a couple of pro’s as well. As soon as we know more we’ll let you know.
The second plan is to keep this event going as an annual evening, with each club taking its turn as host. Hopefully this does happen and next year we will all have even more success to report, because right now the future cycling in our region is looking very positive, and I am proud to say that our club is a small, but growing part of that success.