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CLUB OF THE WEEK: Swindon Road Club
6:00am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Sport
THE British appetite for cycling has certainly been whetted over the past two years, and Swindon Road Club are reaping the rewards.
The local road cycling outfit, now into their 83rd year, have a membership of some 220 - with competitors taking part in a wide variety of events on and off-road.
For club secretary Mark Chick, the success of Team GB’s cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ victory under the Champs D’Elysee last year have definitely helped interest in his club grow.
But he is keen for more local cycling enthusiasts - of all ages and abilities - to take part in the sport he loves.
“We’ve certainly had a reflection in the upsurge in interest in cycling post-Olympics and the Wiggins effect following last year’s Tour De France,” he said.
“For us it hasn’t really translated too much into members but that’s probably our fault in that we’ve been a little slow in converting interest into members of the club.
“I take all the enquiries through the website and we get five or six a week during the summer months when the weather is good.
“For me it ticks the boxes in terms of the satisfaction of keeping yourself fit and healthy, the social side of being surrounded by lots of different yet like minded people and when you realise that cycling is something that appeals to a part of your personality it doesn’t really go away.
“It gets inside of you and you want to be out on your bike come rain or shine. When you’ve got the benefit of a club full of likeminded members it makes it even more worthwhile.”
With free membership for under 16s and a plethora of well-organised club events taking place throughout the year, Swindon RC have an impressive set-up in place.
“We ride all year round and the biggest attraction of being a member is probably our club rides,” said Chick. “We ride round on a Saturday and a Sunday and during the summer months we have evening rides and time trials.
“We try to make sure there’s something for everyone all year round and then it just comes down to your own personal motivation.
“We’ve got some fantastic people in the club, such as Jeff (Smith, club captain), who almost have an encyclopeodic knowledge of every little back road between here and the edge of beyond.
“That means we can offer people an interesting, challenging and generally speaking safe club ride every weekend of the year.
“Within a 40 or 50-mile radius of Swindon there are the benefits of the Cotswolds and so on and we can do those rides week in and week out and as long as you’re a member you don’t have to pay to do that.”
Swindon RC are particularly thankful to the ongoing support of their sponsors - Hargroves Cycles and Brunel Scaffolding.
Anyone interested in joining the club can find all the relevant information on their website: www.swindon-rc.co.uk.
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