Cambridge University Cycling Club
We cater for all University members, providing access to all cycling disciplines from beginners to elite athletes.
As well as competing in BUCS races, we regularly organise social and touring rides which allow beginners to improve their fitness and to discover the countryside around Cambridge and beyond.
News about training, races, and results will be posted here. Check out our calendar of upcoming events on 'Training & Events'.
Sign up to the club mailing list here.
On Saturday the 19th of January was ‘Champions Night’, held at Heythrop Hall near Oxford.
This is the annual awards dinner for time trialling in the UK, and is so called because it celebrates the winners of the various championships , and it happens at night time. This is clever, as otherwise it would be called ‘not champions mid-afternoon’ or something (aka just after lunch every day in Oxford, amirite?).
Riders from Cambridge University Cycling Club had one of the club’s best seasons in the national scene for nearly 20 years, and so the club had several people representing them. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Michael Hutchinson (CUCC Blue 1997, as well as over 60 national titles) whose efforts lead to one of CUCC’s last national successes when they won the team prize in the National 25 way back around the turn of the last millennium.
Rob Walker received the prize for winning the Espoirs category in the Classic Series, taking home a nice pair of Knight Composite wheels.
John Mulvey and Seb Dickson were along to collect their trophy for their National title in the team time trial. Those familiar with this will remember it as a slight debacle, involving rather more of the rule book than anyone wanted to see. A highlight included Seb being reported for not being a member of CUCC (bafflingly), the head of CTT legal then investigating this, and then Seb politely referring him on to the CUCC membership secretary to confirm this. In a plot twist, this turned out also to be Seb. Perhaps understandably, this was not taken as sufficient corroboration!
However, the end result was these shiny hats, and who can say no to that? (Seb spilt beer on his within 5 minutes, so his keepsake is now permanently spoilt).
Keen bean/ robot that John is, he actually cycled the 90 miles there, only turning up 40 minutes late in the process, (competitive by CUCC standards). CTT loving a late start/sign on as they do (they don’t) this was slightly stressful and he had to get changed in a loo with Seb shouting the countdown theme at him through the door. Felix Barker, the remaining member of that team (also the one that did the vast majority of the work round the course), was unable to attend because he didn’t get his response in on time (also a CUCC trademark). Amazing how they even fought their way out of the womb those two.
Guest of honour was renowned 1960s and 70s cyclist Alf ‘the King’ Engers, who was the first person to break 50 minutes for 25 miles, although is equally remembered for the number of times the RTTC changed the rules to try and thwart him.
At the dinner after the awards ceremony, several alumni came forwards to have a chat, leading to some interesting conversations about times gone by, and the potential for some events going forwards!
The next morning, much was made of the free breakfast, including jamming pockets with pastries for ride food.
Seb vomited into a bush, John cycled home and Seb and Jack went to Oxford to crash the OUCC club run.
Monday the 29th October was an auspicious day for all aficionados of the sport/high art form of Town Bike Racing*. The course, as set up by statute, was castle hill. The event officials were, at the start: a traffic light, and at the finish Seb Dickson, who was also chief commissaire by virtue of being the more human of the two (not by much).
The nature of the start requires good gridding technique, with only a short neutralised section of about 20m from the Pick to the lights. Men’s Captain Brown secured pole, obviously fancying himself (but that has nothing to do with the town bike race).
Start: A few fluffed starts from the less experienced, those who can track stand getting a mighty benefit. Poor quality of bicycles apparent in the squeaky whiny sounds.
+30s: Like a mass of outsize bats, with gowns fluttering in the wind the pack charges past the gallery and onto the hill proper.
+45s: Jack Kellam’s bike eats his gown. Race over for him. Squeaky whiny sound get louder.
Finish: Charging up towards the finish line booth/ bus stop comes Ben A Ferris (33) with clear air between him and the others, and is not just ahead but is also going the fastest.** Squeaky whiny sound continues.
Finish plus a fair bit: Squeaky whiny sound turns out to be Mens Captain Jack complaining about his bike not working or some other excuse. A strong flat last place for him, obviously didn’t want to embarrass anyone.
*There are of course 2 definitions approved by the Council of Town Bike Racing, the first one being if someone offers you £70 for your bike, you must accept it; the other one being a bike you’d happily leave outside the train station locked badly to a sign.
**Edwin Hubble’s redshift theory was first applied to the town bike race in Chicago, but it is actually fallacical to assume the first will be going fastest at the end, it is much more useful to go fastest at the beginning. Luckily he realised he could also apply it much more successfully to nebulae or something and now has a space telescope
On Sunday, a CUCC MTB team comprised of Robbie, Fin and Izaak made the trip to Thetford for the first round of the Winter XC Series. Robbie and Fin were racing in the 1.5hrs Senior Mens category while Izaak opted to make his XC racing debut in the 1hr version. CUCC came away with some great results. Fin got off to a fantastic start (in what was a very chaotic 200 person mass start) and brilliantly managed to further work his way up the field and secure a very impressive 6th place. Robbie suffered from the chaotic start but nonetheless worked his way through the large field, up to 12th. Izaak deserves huge congratulations for coming 6th in his first ever XC race, especially as he must have been one of the only riders on flat pedals!
All in all, a great day racing for CUCC MTB and this is hopefully a sign of more exciting things to come.