Wheelers’ 70th birthday celebrations begin at the Tour de Yorkshire

Birdwell Wheelers, the second-oldest cycling club in the Barnsley area, began their 70th birthday celebrations at a stall on Market Hill prior to the Tour de Yorkshire men’s race last Friday.

Barnsley’s Mayor, Cllr Steve Green, was present to cut a commemorative cake which was then given away to the crowds which had turned out in numbers, despite a cold and wet day, to watch the start of the race.

Following the cutting of the cake members of the club rode a processional bike ride around the town hall, returning to the stall before the start of the men’s race.

Wheelers’ President, Christine Minto – who has held seven women’s national ‘time trial’ cycling records from 10 miles to 24 hours – said: “It is a great honour for the club’s current members to continue the work of our founders in supporting all forms of cycle racing and leisure cycling in Barnsley and the surrounding districts.

“The first meeting to form a club was held in 1949 and we are proud to be able to share this commemoration with local people watching the Tour de Yorkshire stages today.  Several of the founder members gave many years of service and support for the club – Jim Carr, Johnny Lovell, Derrick Ogden, Melvyn Fisher and Graham Taylor.”

Further events to celebrate the anniversary will take place later in the year.

Last Thursday saw the second of the club’s three 15 mile time trials at Thurnscoe. Four members – Kath Brankin, Paul Heggie, Dave Scargill and Phil Adams – were joined by visitors Chris Venters and Chris Scott.

Fastest Wheeler was Dave Scargill in 45m 49s with Heggie 2nd on 48m 42s. Ist on handicap was Kath Brankin in 34m 19s. Heggie now leads the handicap competition with one round remaining.

Tuesday, 14th May, sees the start of the club’s 5 mile series of time trials at Thurgoland. First rider is off at 7pm. Visitors are welcome.

On Saturday Trevor Mayne rode in the Rossington Wheelers 25 mile Open time trial at Hatfield Woodhouse. In atrocious windy conditions he recorded a time of 1h 0m 53s placing him 10th overall and 2nd in the 50-59 category.

On Sunday Dave Scargill rode in the 32 miles Steve Gutteridge Road Race over three laps of a circuit near Macclesfield under the auspices of the LVRC (League of Veteran Racing Cyclists). Five riders got away on the first lap and the narrow roads meant the bunch were unable to mount a chase. Scargill finished well up in the bunch sprint at the end.

Sunday saw many of the club’s members out on Yorkshire roads to watch the final stage of the Tour of Yorkshire.

Dave Hudson, Steve Myatt, Phil Adams and Chris Jenkins rode to Halifax while Austin Watson and Rodger Holmes rode a shorter loop to Snaith.

Sunday’s club run is to Hope in the Peak District.  Meet at Brewers Fayre roundabout Wombwell at 9am. Visitors are welcome.

More details on this and all the above can be found on the club’s website: “ 

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