St Ives Cycling Club History by Tony Cork
The club started about 20 years ago in the front room of my house in St Ives. It was just after the first St Ives fun bike ride and I had asked a few of the cyclists on the ride if they would like to start a cycling club. On that first meeting over 20 people turned up and filled my lounge. Out of all the people that were at that initial meeting only Syd Smith and I remain in the Club. The St Ives CC was called the St Ives Wheelers before the war. Over the years we have had several club houses one of which was at the Seven Wives public house in St Ives. The landlord of the pub let us use a garage at the rear of the pub and on most Wednesdays was full of cyclists discussing their last outing or future races.
In the early days we only did road racing and time trialing. We had a number of good time trialing courses; our best being on what is now the A14 from Fenstanton to Bar Hill. It was a very fast course and if I remember correctly our President Ian Cammish did 19.30 and I managed a 20.45. We had to stop using it because the road became too busy so we went to Warboys for a few years. We are now at Sawtry where we will hopefully stay for a good many years.
Members of the Club would go to Guernsey for Easter. We would travel down on the Wednesday and cross on the ferry, which was a good laugh. The first race would be on the Good Friday morning and was a 25-mile time-trial. On Saturday there was a ten-mile race in the morning and in the afternoon a hill climb. On the Sunday was a road race that we all took part in, which was very hard. Monday would see us in a two up time-trial of 25 miles, which was good experience for the youngsters.
At one time the Club had over 150 members. That was largely down to the mountain biking section, which Nigel Middlehurst used to run. We used to run a mountain bike race in Hinchingbrook Park. It used to be an all-day affair and there used to be about three hundred riders.
In 1990 Phil Oxborough became the National Champion for the 24-hour time-trial. Phil along with Gary Ford and Graham Williams also won the team prise.