Sports Editor, Lucy Brogden, spoke to Cycling Club representative, Bethany Lumborg, to find out more about them
Newcastle’s cycling club attracts over 70 students, with members needing only a bike and a helmet to go along and join the fun. The club offers three cycling disciplines: track, road, and mountain biking, so there’s something on offer for every cycling enthusiast, whether you’re a total novice or a serious competitor.
The club ride every Wednesday afternoon and Sunday morning, covering, on average, around 30-50 miles in a single session. There are also free spin classes on offer, led by club members, so you can get that endorphin high without having to brave the arctic temperatures and terrain of Northumberland!
“The club ride every Wednesday afternoon and Sunday morning, covering on average, 30-50 miles, in a single session”
On club rides there are up to three different groups of cyclists, with each group riding at a different pace, to cater to all abilities. The club head out in all weathers, come rain or shine, and have even been known to head out into Northumberland in the snow! If that doesn’t scream dedication, I don’t know what does! A ‘standard’ ride is around 27 miles, and the club tend to head up through Ponteland, before stopping for cake mid- way along their route (the most important element of any athlete’s diet). A firm club favourite is the local Kirkley Cycles Café, which does an excellent coffee and walnut cake.
The cyclists welcome new members throughout the academic year, so it’s never too late to give it a try, whether you’re interested in socialising or competing you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
The club isn’t as much about cake as I’ve been led to believe, however, as there are BUCS points on offer for those who want to compete. For example, in November Freddie Jagger headed down to Manchester’s velodrome for a weekend of track cycling alongside over 200 other cyclists, for the annual BUCS competition. He placed an impressive 2nd in the Men’s Points race, with a score of 44, losing out to Max Stedman of Exeter by 14 points, but maintaining a competent 22 point over third place finisher, Tom Ward of Loughborough.
Other BUCS cycling events include a 10 mile and 25 mile time trial, a hill climb, and a road race which is to be held in the New Year. With such events, cyclists must earn points from other, non- BUCS competitions, to prove worthy of a place in the race.
“It’s a great way of getting out of the city exploring the countryside”
There is also a downhill mountain biking competition, and the club train fortnightly in Kielder forest to prepare themselves for the annual BUCS event. Last year the club sent 10 men down to Wales to represent Newcastle, and they hope to repeat the feat this year.
Club enthusiast, Bethany Lumborg, who has been a member of the cycling community ever since 2014, said that the club is ‘a great way of getting out of the city and exploring the countryside. Besides, who doesn’t love to eat cake?’ We definitely agree with you there, Bethany! If you fancy getting involved in cake and cycling, be sure to get in contact, and we look forward to seeing how the club fares as the year progresses.