Otley is passionate about women’s cycling and proud to have our female President – Liz Hills, leading the way. Karen Spence, the club’s Women’s Development Officer, is there to support anything which helps to raise the profile and participation of women in and around Otley.
A third of our membership is currently female and continues to grow. In November 2016 Lizzie Deignan, our patron and long time supporter of the club, became an honorary member.
2018 has been another fantastic year for women’s cycling at Otley Cycle Club. The Club continues to attract new riders through the social series rides. Otley Cycle tops have been on show all over the world from Columbia’s Alto de Letras (52 Miles climb to an altitude 3669m) to various European destinations.
Many members have achieved personal goals from their first sportive, first 100 Miles, their first time round the Triangle and their first time at racing or time trialling.
A special mention here to Amy Cuthbertson who came equal first in this year’s Alba Rosa league in her first season time trialling. Amy has also set up a Facebook group called – Ride Like A Girl/race series. She has set this up as she noticed there were not many female organised novice races in the North of England. She already has 501 group members. Well done also to Helen Coutie who was the steel bike champion in the Alba Rosa league.
Claire Jessop and Helen Goldthorpe have had another successful time trialing season along with Eleanor Hunt and Lucy Ellmore.
Rachel Crowther and Christine Bell were sadly defeated by terrible weather on 29 July as they attempted to beat their own 12 hour tandem national time trialling record. They showed amazing grit and determination. Congratulations also to Julia Day, Christine Thwaite, Ann Howe and Angela Prescott who all climbed Mont Ventoux this year in 30 degree heat. Julia and Christine displayed another example of ‘true grit’ by going on to make the ascent three ways. Only 140 women in the UK have risen to this challenge.
It starts early for our women, with our youngest members attending coaching form the age of five and then progressing on to our youth groups. The Mini-flyers have seen lots of success for the girls with three National school champions and even more Regional champions. The Club’s Race Team have seen equal success with big results in regional race leagues and town races and we see our biggest female contingent for the 2019 season.
Otley is proud to promote Women’s cycling and always has been, it’s no coincidence that the legendary Beryl Burton set her long standing 12 hour record on September 17th 1967 in an Otley organised event!
There are so many opportunities to grow your cycling within the club, with like minded people who will support you and help you achieve your goals and ambitions. Come and join the fun – check out what we get up to on our Flickr.