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posted 1 Jun 2017, 05:45 by Liz Garstang

There’s a lot going on at Hartlepool Cycling Club. If you’re thinking of taking up road cycling or if you’re already out there riding on your own, why not come and join us?


We have a social night on the first Monday of each month from 7 p.m. at the Lock Gates on the Marina. We have a Strava club, which is free to join, and you can follow us on Facebook or on our website, though the website is being re-vamped at the moment so please excuse the temporary format,


We run a weekly club ride on Wednesday nights, departing from the Tall Ships at 6.30. Last night 13 teamed up for the ride, including a couple of new people. You don’t have to be a member to come along and the purpose is to have a gentle, leisurely ride on quiet roads. Distance is around 25 miles with no serious climbing and no-one gets left behind. We also participate in longer, faster club runs at the weekends for those who want to tackle 60 miles plus at around 18 mph. Strava members also ride together regularly.


Last night, in collaboration with Cycling Time Trials, we presented a ‘come-and-try-it’ time trial at the Croft Circuit near Darlington. 78 people turned-up and paid £5 each to ride 5 laps of the 2 mile motor racing circuit. All received an official time for their effort and we expect that many will be back to try and better their time in the next event on Wednesday 19th July. It’s flat and safe and, if you’ve overdone it, you can take a break or sign-off at the end of any of the laps. There were a dozen or so children there last night, plus bikes (and people) of all shapes and sizes. You don’t need expensive kit or the physiology of a Tour de France winner!


Tonight we have the Thursday night time trial league at Sedgefield. Again you can turn up and pay the £3 entry fee on the night. This is a bit more serious as it’s on an open road, but it’s still an informal no-pressure event. Points are accumulated by riders entering the event and the updated league tables are published on the website each week. We run two leagues – one based on actual time for the 10 miles and one based on an age handicap. Andrew Wilson – former 20 fags a day couch potato – started cycling last year and is now at the top end of the fastest table, and 78-year-old Neil Stuart is challenging for the age-handicap title.


Every weekend from March to October, we have riders competing in local and national races. Richard Booth has already won the TLI National Championship for his age group in 2017, and is currently leading his age category in the Percy Stallard Road Race Series. We hope that he will bring a second national title to the club this season.

Paul Fountain is currently leading the Teesside SPOCO league for local ‘country-road’ time trails, and both Paul Thirling and Gary Hunt regularly place in the top 10 in the ‘faster-route’ north-east events. Behind these, we have a group of riders competing for age-related prizes or just to do the best they can and, occasionally, set a personal record. Most events in the north-east and a growing number further south and west have Hartlepool CC representation. Paul Garstang finished last in the mountainous Teesdale RC time trial a few weeks ago, but at least he was there! It’s nice to win but our main aim is to get more people taking part.


We also have entrants in many sportives in the north of England and, occasionally, further afield. Plus we have a member who rides with the Veteran Cyclists Club on regular rides on the roads and tracks of the north-east, often on retro bikes.




For membership – it’s £10/year - or further details of any of the above, please contact myself or Phil on