IN the latest of my club profiles I speak with Rebekah Parker of Aycliffe Velo

The Northern Echo: Aycliffe Velo

Matt: Why and when was the club formed?

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Rebekah: Aycliffe Velo was founded in March 2014 as a result of a group of friends cycling together. The club started with around 20 members and has steadily grown to over 60. The club logo on the shirts is a based upon a design paying tribute to the Aycliffe Angels who worked in the Royal ordnance factories during World War 2. It shows a set of angel wings with a 303 rifle bullet and reference to the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) 59. The majority of members come from Newton Aycliffe, but we have members from Durham to Darlington.

Matt: What are the aims of the club?

Rebekah: The aim of the club is to promote cycling and to offer its members the opportunity to participate in group riding with like minded people of mixed ability and experience. The club appeals to both male and female riders and we have a wide age range of members.

Matt: Tell me something about what you do?

Rebekah: The main staple of the club rides are for road biking, however we have quite a few members who also run mountain bike and trail rides and also enter various sportive throughout the UK. The weekend rides run year round in all weather and generally follow the following format.

The Saturday Social is for road bikes and is anywhere between 15 to 30 miles dependent on who turns up and is aimed at riders who have some ability and are capable of riding at an average of between 12-15mph.

The Sunday Club ride is for road bikes and tends to be in the region of 35-55 miles and are for the more experienced riders capable of riding between 15-17mph.

We also have rides on a Tuesday and Thursday evening. These rides tend to be between 15-30 miles and usually don’t include a cafe stop.

The weekend rides usually include a cafe stop around the halfway point to let riders recover and to catch up on the latest gossip.

All rides are listed on the club Facebook page giving details of the route and distance so that riders are aware of the ride before turning up. No riders are ever left behind on any of our rides. If a rider finds they are struggling to keep up or dropping off on a hill we simply stop at the top and wait for them to catch up and catch their breath.

Matt: I understand you take part in cyclocross too?

Rebekah: There are a group of members who race Cyclocross over the winter months, September to January. Cyclocross is a sport that takes modified road bikes, off road in races that typically last for 60 minutes and include obstacles where you need to dismount and run with your bike over your shoulder. There are two leagues in which the Aycliffe Velo members compete. On December 9, Aycliffe Velo are hosting their own race in Newton Aycliffe.

Cyclocross is very user friendly and most people are fit enough to ride for an hour without worrying about specific training. The competitiveness is always good natured and apart from top racers, most aren’t taken too seriously they are just there for a good time.

Matt: Tell me something we might not know?

Rebekah: In April this year we had our first club trip to Majorca. Family and friends were welcome. We hired bikes and went into the hills for some amazing rides, We had terrific weather and are now planning our next trip.

We are a sociable club and regularly arrange events to meet up for drinks or go out for a curry.

Matt: How do we find out more?

Rebekah: If you are interested in coming out with us, please get in touch and we will arrange for you to join one of our rides most suitable for your needs. We have a web page with British Cycling. You can contact us via e-mail at rebekahparker@btinternet.com

  • If you want to see your club featured email matt.westcott@nne.co.uk