CUCC History

Re-foundation and CUCC

A small article in Varsity, dated November 3rd, 1951, read as follows:

"A recent formation in sports life of the University is that of the Cycle Racing Club. There have been no real facilities for serious cycling in Cambridge since the original club was dissolved in the early years of the century - the last match with Oxford was ridden in 1902. Although it is hoped to resume these inter-Varsity meetings at some time in the future, for the present time the club is content in entering teams for local events. It meets on Sunday morning at 09:30 outside the Guildhall"

Cycling had returned to the Cambridge agenda, and this time it was back to stay.

Paul Lees in the club's Lent 25, 1971

By the late 1970s and early 1980s, the club had become something that would be readily recognisable to any member of today's CUCC. Club newsletters, 'Pedal Power' were sent out termly, sometimes twice termly, bringing members up to date with recent events and future plans. Then, as now, the activity of the club revolved around racing, training and casual riding. Training routes into Essex and Suffolk featured, along with reliability rides in conjunction with Town & County CC. The seventies was a particularly successful time for the club in terms of Varsity performance since 'Pedal Power' from May 1980 has as its headline:

"We hammered Oxford in the Varsity Match (yet again) for the fourteenth time in fifteen years"

With a strong series of riders at the helm of CUCC during the mid seventies, including one Dr Ken Platts, it is no wonder that Oxford had their tail between their legs for almost a decade and a half. During the course of the 1980s, 'Pedal Power' gave way to "The Cambridge Cyclist" and then became latterly "The Sprocket". Interspersed between hill climbs and club runs are timeless classics such as the "Tom & Jerry Christmas party", accompanied by a "seismic disco".

The newsletters of the early 90s document some of the changes that turned the club into what we now recognise today. Touring starts to take a bit of a back seat as "ATBing", under the leadership of Chris Jones (Churchill) and Jez Weston  (Churchill) takes off. Mountain biking had finally found Cambridge! There was now a cohort of CUCC members whose preferred activity mainly revolved around escaping Cambridge at any opportunity to find hillier, and usually much muddier, ground. The other noticeable trend is that the newsletters finally die out - replaced by a far faster and efficient form of communication, email.

And on that note, Archived previous websites dating from 1997 up to 2011 are available here: Worth a read!

CUCC is indebted to John Green for providing the information relating to the re-foundation of CUCC and to Chris Jones for finding a mine of information documenting the period 1979 to 1992;