February is the month of #CyclingLove, and this week we are sharing our love for the amazing clubs that play such an important role in cycling across Britain!
Today, we are sharing our love for East Bradford Cycle Club! Formed in the 19th century this club is one of the oldest in the UK. They have just moved to a brand new facility and aspire to spread love throughout the community. We caught up with some of the juniors at the club, as well as Mandy Parker, who has given her time to coaching the juniors at the club for the best part of 20 years!
What is the name of your club and where is it based?
We are East Bradford Cycling Club based at a brand new facility that we helped design in Wyke, Bradford. Our club was started in 1899 and Mike Healey, a coach, set up the Go Ride club (one of the earliest Go Ride Clubs) 25 years ago this weekend. He is still coaching now in his 80s.
What do you love about cycling and your club?
It's having fun on a bike at the same time as getting fitter. Its the meeting up every week, all year round, not just the training but the social side. Making friends and having fun and that includes the coaches. Also the tuck shop hotdogs and hot chocolate are a real winner!
We love our club because it's fun, friendly, supportive and inclusive. We have an open door policy, everyone is welcome.
We love the variety of what we do, we train our riders to do most of the cycling disciplines including road, mtb, cyclo cross, track and grass track. We have equipment to make it enjoyable such as ramps, jenga (yes jenga), stakes and tape and a seesaw. What's not to like!
The coaches love teaching kids to ride whether it be around the local park or racing at national or international races. Its the teaching of skills and watching their confidence grow and where that journey takes them. The joy of teaching a child to ride for the first time is amazing.
How has being part of a cycling club enhanced personal or professional lives?
We have young volunteers whose lives have been enhanced by learning to coach or volunteer, growing in confidence and creating amazing friendships.
Some of our riders who have struggled at school have grown from the coaching at club and are achieving great things. Also some of our coaches have gone onto become fully involved in cycling including training as commissaires or event organisers.
How do you see the cycling club making a positive impact?
Our club makes a positive impact in so many ways from encouraging friendships, to growing confidence in not only our riders, but our volunteers, to supporting them to achieve things they didn't believe they could. We believe in our riders and volunteers.
Our most memorable moments can be just teaching a child to ride a bike to watching our riders win British Championships or National series races and go on to ride professionally.
We have now moved to an amazing venue we helped design. We offer lots of different opportunities in our coaching and we are seeing our numbers grow.
We are signing up to Limitless (British Cycling's programme to create opportunities for disabled cyclists) as we have always been an inclusive club and pride ourselves in offering a welcoming and supportive atmosphere to all.
We believe the most important aspect of being a cycling club is to keep your club friendly and open and work together to provide the best you can.
What advice do you have for other who are considering getting involved with a cycling club?
Our advice is to try out different clubs and see which one suits your child the best. If one club doesn't offer everything, join two or three! Make sure it is right for you.
Thank you so much to the members of East Bradford Cycling Club for sharing their #CyclingLove and we are sharing love to all our clubs help people get cycling across the nation.
If you want to join a club you can find out more here: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/search/article/20120607-club-static-Join-a-cycling-club-0