Allez Prestwich Cycling Club was set-up by me, Craig Newman, as a way to find like minded individuals to cycle with on a semi-regular basis; namely people who love road cycling, like challenging themselves but have no particular desire to race, or to take things too seriously. All that being said, I’m serious and passionate about my cycling but I think there a some distinct groups that people tend to fall in to.
A little bit about me. Not counting from when I was a kid, I started cycling back in 2010 when I moved over to Manchester. It was initially just a way to keep costs down. My wage wasn’t great, so I had to find the most cost effective way of being able to maximise my money, one thing I could do was cycle into work, thus saving me around £80-100 a month in public transport costs.
Back then the 7 miles from my Whalley Range home to North Manchester seemed like quite a distance. Slowly but surely I got ‘The Bug’. I started cycling longer distances with my wife, 20 miles, 25 miles, 30 miles and so on and so forth. I then got a disgusting penchant for the challenge of HILLS. Alas, this is where my wife’s interest in our longer cycles started to wane :)
All was not lost. A friend who I met at work, Gav, was a keen cyclist and then, lo and behold, one of my best friends, Richard, moved over to Manchester. I suggested a bike as a good way for him to get around and told him within 6 months he’d be wearing bib tights. He was in them in 3.
Rich and I were both getting pretty into our cycling – we’d ridden The Way of The Roses cycle route, which stretches from Morecambe to Bridlington, within 9 months of him first saddling up! – and we often discussed the factions in cycling clubs. I felt like I was really in velo purgatory in so far as where I stood between the aforementioned factions. I’m a pretty social creature, so don’t always want to ride on my own (sometimes I like it); I love pushing myself so I didn’t want to join some of the more leisurely clubs, as I didn’t want to really totter around; I didn’t want the ‘seriousness’ and ultra fast paced riding of a “proper” club, such as one that competes. I felt as though I was really in the middle of all these things and that there must be plenty of other keen cyclists in the same situation.
In October 2014 my wife and I bought our first house in Prestwich. This took me further up towards the Bury/Lancashire, which I know has some great riding territory. Rich has moved to Glossop (hills galore!) and Gav remains in South Manchester, so I thought I’d try setting something up where I could ride with people and meet new people in our new town.
I was kind if inspired by the idea that Chorlton Wanderers had, of having a defined route maybe once per month to start with and to see if I can drum up any interest. I’ll need to take some time exploring routes and putting them together.
Unfortunately, I’ve been having some knee issues over the past year, so it’s likely the routes will start out a little smaller at first with a slightly more relaxed pace. I’d assume an average pace of 12mph-15mph (on a really good day) would be achievable but I don’t want to get too bogged down in statistics, trying to specifically meet a certain pace.
As well as having rides for people who are already quite fit and into their cycling, I’d be open to putting on smaller rides for people who’d like to get started with the goal of eventually doing more miles. This would depend on the numbers, so just contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet AllezPrestwich for info.