The sport of cycling has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years.
High profile characters like Chris Boardman, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins have all helped push the sport into the public eye.
Their exploits on the track, and on the road, have prompted many to don the lycra and climb into the saddle.
And for local cycling clubs like Berwick Wheelers this has been a major boon.
Club Secretary Neil Wilson tells us more: ‘The past few years have seen quite a few new members, but it’s the shape of the club that has really changed.
“From being a male dominated club, with pretty much mainly a time trialling history just a few short years ago, we now have a flourishing ladies section, lots of members participating in sportives (long distance mass participation timed rides) and quite a few taking part in road races. One of our riders, Andrew Scorey, even won the East of Scotland road race series last season.”
The Wheelers celebrated their 25th anniversary recently and are currently going from strength to strength.
The club now largely represents the way cycling is developing in the UK as a whole, with lots going on throughout the year. As well as their Thursday evening time trials from April to September out of Hutton crossroads there are weekly social and training rides, the racing that used to stop in September is now virtually year round, with a winter cyclo cross series’ in the North East of England and Scotland, sportives are popping up all over the place and even road racing and time-trialling are creeping into the autumn and winter periods.
Many of the riders are choosing to race and ride much more often, with the weekly ‘Saturday Steady’ ride proving very popular, even with non-members who might be thinking of taking the sport up.
The club has also just launched two further group rides, the ‘Sunday Social’ meeting outside the Swan Centre at 10am on the first Sunday of each month and a road racing group that train at close to racing pace (20 mph+) on each Saturday morning, meeting in Norham at 9.30am.
Social media has seen huge leaps forward in how the club goes about its business, the facebook page and website are constantly churning out new opportunities to ride, race and make new contacts even as far afield as Australia.
The Border Trophy time trial series has been revived, Berwick Wheelers unfortunately lost that crown last year but rest assured they’ll be looking to get it back come June. The club had a go at hosting a road race last March thought Ford & Etal, it was so successful that plans are afoot to do the same each season from now on, next seasons race is pencilled in for Saturday, March 21.
“We are in a good spot geographically as well,” added Neil, “as a Scottish club based in England many of our riders race competitively all over Southern Scotland and Northern England, our riders currently come from as far afield as North Berwick and Alnwick but there are plenty of riders based locally, Berwick and Eyemouth in particular.”
So if you’re after a fitness hit or just a social ride with like-minded souls give Berwick Wheelers a call (or even a post on facebook), it might be right up your street.