THIS week I have been talking to Paul Christon of the Cleveland Wheelers for my latest club profile. If you want to see your club featured please email matt.westcott@nne.co.uk

Matt: Why and when was the club formed?

Paul: Cleveland Wheelers was born in 1958 at Mrs Thompson's tea room in Castleton – frequenting tea rooms and cafes is a tradition that we have made a point of maintaining ever since! Dave Holden, our first chairman, and a group of other cyclists who wanted to race were the driving force behind this. They were members of the Redcar section of the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) and wanted to make the step into racing, which they couldn’t do with the CTC, so they formed the club!

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Matt: When do you meet and where at?

Paul: The long established Club Runs meet at 9.30am every Sunday all year round at the small car park near the Tourist Information point in Great Ayton. A variety of rides to accommodate all abilities are available.

Guests from other clubs are welcome to ride with us, as are cyclists who are visiting the area. We also welcome people who want to try a ride or two with us before making the decision to join on a ‘try before you buy’ basis. All that we ask is that people read through the details and ride guide on our website https://clevelandwheelers.com/club-run-details/ and Facebook page beforehand in case anything has changed.

Matt: What type of people does your club appeal to?

Paul: All people, regardless of age, gender or ability are welcome to join the club and participate in any of the club activities. We are also a fully accredited Go-Ride club. Youth and adult coaching sessions are held every Monday night at Middlesbrough Cycling Circuit, run by the club’s fully qualified and enthusiastic coaches. All are welcome to attend from 5 years and up and parents can bring their bikes and join in.

Matt: How much does it cost and what do you get for your membership?

Paul: Membership is a bargain £10 a year for adults and is free for under 18’s. As well as the aforementioned weekly club runs and coaching sessions you also get the following for your tenner:

• The comradeship and support of over 300 like minded individuals, this is the most important part of being in Cleveland Wheelers.

• A midweek TT series is held from spring through to autumn, culminating in a short hillclimb series

• A series of club organised Challenge Rides https://clevelandwheelers.com/challenge-rides-details/ over the year including the 100 mile ride that ventures into the Yorkshire Dales and the super tough Mountain Challenges including the 365 Killer Route – the hardest 100k in the UK https://clevelandwheelers.com/365-introduction/

• Opportunities to race and represent the club as part of our adult or junior team road race team and in cyclo cross and time trials

• For under 17 during the summer months April – September we run our highly successful youth racing league ‘The League 2000’.

• All members of the club also receive a quarterly e-newsletter ‘The Big Ring’ which updates people on what’s going on in the club and we also have a members only Facebook group page where all sorts of things get discussed and organised.

• This is just a snap shot of what we do. Being part of a club means that you will meet new people and get the opportunity to become involved in all sorts of things: weekends away, social events, trips to more exotic cycling locations, daft challenges etc. Much of this is organised informally between club members and to some extent what you get out of the club really does depend on what you put in and give back.

• For details of membership please follow this link https://clevelandwheelers.com/membership/

Matt: What are the aims of the club?

Paul: The key aim of the club is to help people enjoy their cycling, whatever their level, simple as that!

Tell me something about the club that people might not know?

There is a lot of friendly rivalry between local cycling clubs, everyone likes to think they can outdo one another when it comes to road racing, time trials, hill climbs etc. but there is no doubt that we are the top club in the region when it comes to putting on a spread of cakes, Mr Kipling has nowt on us!

Matt: How can people get in touch?

Paul: If you would like more information use one of the contact forms on the Contact Us page of our website.