Velo Club 167

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Founder members riding Brimham Rocks 
Founder members Clive Nunn, Ken Reid, Gordon Panicca, Graham Wanless and Alan Pearce at the Otley control on Brimham Rocks 200K audax ride 1994.

VC167 was founded in November 1993 by Tony Hodgson, Alan Pearce, Clive Nunn, Ken Reid, Graham Wanless and Gordon Panicca. The new club was founded due to the similar cycling interests of the original members; wanting to do 100 mile clubs runs together every Sunday, even though they were all from different clubs originally, including Ferryhill Wheelers, Richmond & Darlington and Weardale Road club, which were all quite race orientated. The club grew very quickly and within the first year there were regularly 12 to 14 members out on 100mile+ club runs.

Tony Hodgson
Tony Hodgson, the founding secretary, "riding" cycle cross at Hamsterley 1996

1995-97 saw an influx of younger mountain bikers into the club. They started competing in North East Cyclo Cross League events, with 8 club members regularly finishing in the top three overall in their age groups. For the next 5 years VC167 was the strongest cyclo cross club in the North East and Tony Liddle has continued flying the flag for the club in the cyclo cross arena, finishing in an excellent 8th place in the 2007 TLI National Veterans Championships.

A club 10 mile series ran for several years, with 10 members riding and the same number again from other local clubs VC167 & Hambleton Road club jointly started the Croft circuit evening road races by organising 6 events in one year in the late ‘90’s.

Graham Wanless founded the Hartside 200km Audax event and 2009 will be its’ 14th year. Nigel Hall joined in 1995, and soon started organising 3 to 4 Audax events every year, from 50 to 600km. Nigel has continued organising events every year since and these are a great asset to the club. Club members became increasingly involved in riding audax events during the 1990s with the new membership of John Clarke, Mervyn Wilson, Bob Johnson, Tony Liddle, John and Pauline Streets.

In October 1995, Andy Oliver joined a club run to Leyburn on his knobbly-tyred mountain bike and had to be pushed home. He later went on to become a first category road racer and sponsored team rider. Richard King was another who joined the club during the 1990s and later left to join a sponsored team as a 1st category racer.

David Saint
David Saint starting a VC167 evening 10 mile club time trial, June 1996.

The saddest time for the club was in September 1996, when members were riding a 100 mile ride organised by the local sports centre: “The Hell of the North”. During this event David Saint was involved in an accident on the road into Middleton in Teesdale. David only 26 years old and had just been engaged to be married, but he very sadly died of head injuries in hospital a few days later.

Andy Clarkson joined in 2001, whilst riding L.E.L with existing club members and began producing regular newsletters, encouraging email communication between members, so the club moved up another level.

Membership doubled between 2003 and 2004, and the club attracted some ‘hardened’ Audax riders; Andy Southworth, Tiho Obrenovitch, Jutta Urenjak and Chris Asher, as well as some of AUK’s best event organisers and helpers; Gerry Boswell, Keith and Anne Benton, Anne Young, Mike Wigley, Peter Ralph, Denise Evans, John Radford and Chris Crossland. The annual Audax UK presentation dinner usually provides an opportunity to see members collect individual Audax awards, and for the past few years, the club audax points trophy has been awarded to VC167.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 17:23  

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