Nov 152018
ABC Centreville Cycling Club manchester - time trialling Dan Shackleton

Dan Schackleton

Reluctant to blow his own trumpet, I bent Dan’s arm over a number of weeks until it hurt almost as much as his feet in a 12 hour to tell us about his excellent time trial season in 2018. Many thanks to him for writing this to make me go away, it will hopefully inspire you to time trial and race as a team with ABC Centreville.

2018 Time Trial Season Review

Having exceeded my own expectations in 2017 – my first season time trialling in nearly 25 years – I had hoped to see improvements, admittedly marginal, in 2018. I didn’t really set myself any targets, only to try and improve – note to self – need to set some performance targets for 2019!

The season started towards the end of February, with the usual early season SPOCO time trials. However, the “Beast from the East” put paid to a number of events, mainly due to icy conditions on the roads. Roadworks also had an impact. Of the events that weren’t cancelled, my early season form was a bit hit and miss.Results for these early events were similar to those from 2017, with times and placings more or less in line with what I achieved last year. By the end of March, I was getting pretty frustrated, having followed a smart-trainer based training plan since January, I was hoping for better performances. A week’s holiday in Mallorca at Easter with the family (and my bike) saw me ride nearly 700 km’s and gave me renewed optimism.

Unfortunately, my first TT back after Mallorca was a bit of a disaster! A 10 on the Rainford by-pass – I did a 22:49 for 18th place – it was pretty frustrating as my course PB is nearly 1½ minutes quicker. The event HQ was the other side of the dual-carriageway and I was held up by cars (who were following riders who had finished riding slowly back towards the HQ). A fallen rider at the end of Intake Lane also caused traffic to back up and delay things further (to be honest, every time I’ve done a TT where there has been a fallen rider, my head kind-of falls off and I lose focus – even though I’ve never felt it necessary to stop as, in all occasions to date, the rider was being attended to – although the unwritten rules of cycling etiquette still nag away at me).

ABC Centreville Manchester - time trialling -Dan Schaclketon

The day after the Rainford disaster was a 15 mile TT on what was supposed to be the V728 (the 15 mile variant of the incredibly quick V718 10 mile TT course near Hull). Unfortunately, a TRO forced the event onto an alternative [slower] course, although I was quite pleased with my 33:21 for 13th place, which showed that my form was slowly improving.
A double-header weekend in May saw me improve my 25 mile TT PB from 52:54 to 52:19 (South Pennine RC – A25/11) on the Saturday and then to 52:04 the following day (Sportzmad event on the very quick R25/3H course in Wales, although, by all accounts, it was a slow day!).


A fair amount of my TT’ing is done on Cheshire “J” courses – one of my aims was to improve my overall placing in the season long M&DTTA points series (I was 7th overall last year). The courses aren’t particularly quick and the road surfaces leave a lot to be desired. However, I managed to improve my average 25 mile TT times down from long 57’s in 2017 to short 56’s this year, with my best being a 55:12. It’s difficult to do a super-quick 10 mile TT (or other distance for that matter) on Cheshire unless you’re super-human – there are too many variables, particularly weather conditions and traffic. In my opinion, Cheshire is getting too busy for TT’s to be held on Saturday afternoons – the courses are all single carriageway and are generally laps of a given circuit (usually including part of the A50). Chelford Island is notorious – it’s a small roundabout with 5 roads joining it, I’m lucky if I manage not to get held up at some point during a TT.


In June, I rode the VTTA National 50 mile TT championship on the L5012 course based on the A66 between Keswick and Cockermouth past Bassenthwaite Lake. It was 2 laps of a reasonably quick (and relatively lumpy) course – it is also one of the most picturesque TT courses (though there’s not much opportunity to appreciate the views). It was another event where a fellow TT’er came a cropper (it wasn’t until after the event that I found out he had been knocked-off by a car – it happened outside the HQ and again I wasn’t sure whether the event would be stopped or not as I was held up in both directions by police diverting traffic around the stricken rider and the ambulance that had been despatched for him). I finished with a 1:55:43.

ABC Centreville Cycling Club time trialling - Dan Shackleton

The Joy of the 100

My first 100 of the year was the M&DTTA event which was reduced on the day to approximately 91 miles due to emergency roadworks on part of the course. Apparently, some riders turned up to sign on and they promptly signed-off again once they found out the event was not the full distance…

Not content with almost 4 hours of pain the previous weekend, the following weekend was the RTTC National 100 mile championship – my first national event since I rode the GHS 10 back in 1986 as a schoolboy! The course was 4 laps of the Keswick and Cockermouth course that I’d ridden in the 50 a few weeks earlier. I finished with a time of 3:57:19 and 27th overall. A big thank you to clubmate Nigel Bishop who sorted B&B the night before at his dad’s place and also provided much needed assistance during the event handing me up bottles and telling me I wasn’t drinking enough (he even had time to ride over Whinlatter!).

The Saturday after saw me ride the BDCA 50 mile TT on the A50 dual-carriageway based course at Etwall. Roadworks higher up the A50 necessitated a course change that involved 3 laps and lots of roundabouts. My time of 1:48:27 was only a few seconds outside my PB and good enough for 6th place on the day.

Twelve Hours

After a complete week off the bike in early August (camping/beer drinking with family and friends) I had the WCTTCA 12 hour TT. The camping holiday wasn’t the ideal preparation! The WCTTCA is a well-organised, well-marshalled event starting and finishing in Wrexham. My mate Jo had volunteered to help me on the day to pass up bottles and food. It’s definitely not a fast course and temporary traffic lights on the 22 mile lap day circuit (which stopped me 3 times) certainly didn’t help. However, apart from 7 hours of severe foot pain, the event was enjoyable (as far as a 12 hour time trial can be considered enjoyable). My distance of 261.82 miles gave me 6th place on the day and was also good enough to become the NLTTA 12 hour champion (I later found out that I had also won the NLTTA long distance BAR championship).


The BBAR (British Best All Rounder) competition is a national event aimed at finding the time-trialists who can claim to be the best over a range of distances. To qualify, men must compete in at least one 50 mile event, one 100 mile event and one 12 hour. The best performances at each distance is taken and the average of the three speeds calculated to give an average overall speed. Back in the 1980’s, the coverage of the domestic time trial scene, and the BBAR in particular, seemed to take up as much space in the comic as the reporting on road racing (both domestic and continental). The BBAR was something I’d read about but never entertained any idea of doing until last year. Indeed, when I told Nigel of my plan, he said that his father in law, Barry Jones, had once told him: “you’re not a proper cyclist until you’ve done a 12 hour…”

In 2017, I managed to finish 39th overall in the national BAR competition with an average speed of 25.1mph. This year I was 30th overall with 24.9mph (although, to be fair, a number of events were cancelled due to roadworks which meant that some riders may not have been able to achieve all the qualifying distances or ride some of the faster courses).

ABC Centreville Cycling Club time trialling Dan Shackleton

On reflection

On reflection, I definitely had a better season than 2017, although it wasn’t until the second half of the season that I realised I had improved. Some tweaks to my TT position helped, as did an improvement in power output. In the M&DTTA season long points series, I finished 4th overall and 1st veteran in the 40 to 49 year old category. I was also 3rd overall in the M&DTTA BAR. My best open TT result was 3rd overall (which was in my last TT of the season, the Stretford Wheelers 25 on Cheshire towards the end of September).

Although I’ve not yet set any performance targets for 2019, things that I do intend doing are:

  • Only racing once at weekends – it takes a toll both from a recovery perspective but also from a lifestyle/time perspective, especially when you consider the additional travelling. There was one weekend when I did 3 races (2 x 10’s on the Saturday and a 30 on the Sunday).
  • Sort my feet out – I suffer with severe pain in the soles of my feet during longer distance events, especially when it is warmer (typically events over 3 hours in duration – during the 12 hour, my feet were in agony for around 7 hours).
  • Not get too hung-up on times and placings in events where traffic causes delays – it’s inevitable when time trialling on the open road.
  • Volunteer to marshall at a couple of events – the sport is run by volunteers and it can be a challenge for event organisers to recruit enough willing volunteers to help on the day of an event.
  • Try and communicate with my clubmates a bit more! I reckon ABC Centreville could win team prizes at some of the open time trials…

Key 2018 season results

Personal Bests:

25 mile TT – 52:19
12 hour TT – 261.82 miles

Best Open TT Result:

3rd – Stretford Wheelers 25 mile TT (J2/9 – 22.09.18)

Awards/Season Long Competitions:

National BBAR – 30th
NLTTA 12 Hour – 1st
NLTTA Long Distance BAR – 1st
M&DTTA BAR – 3rd
M&DTTA Points Competition – 4th (1st Vet 40-49)

Many thanks Dan, all reports welcome! Thanks to Raymond Bracewell for his top photos too.


Why not join Centreville to race or just ride in good company? Contact us

 November 15, 2018  Posted by at 5:16 pm Member profiles, TT No Responses »
Oct 012018
Charlotte Boothman_TT_ABC Centreville Cycling Club_photo Raymond Bracewell

Charlotte Boothman, ABC Centreville in great form (photo Raymond Bracewell)

If the tarmac wasn’t already in danger of melting in the searing heat of summer 2018, Charlotte Boothman would have blistered it anyway with the impressive TT rides she has laid down this year in her first full season for ABC Centreville. Her year began with a spring that included five wins.

Since then she did the Tour of Cambridge Chrono Time Trial to qualify for the UCI worlds in Italy with second in her age category and 7th overall female.

She was joint winner of the NLTTA (North Lancs Time Trial Association) 25 mile championships with Deborah moss

She was first lady in the NLTTA 50 mile championships

Charlotte rode her first ever 100 mile TT at the NLTTA 100 mile championships which was incorporated in the  national 100 Championship. She was first NLTTA lady and 8th female overall with  4.18.56, a new NLTTA women’s record, and is Ladies Association Champoion (25/50/100 miles) to keep Dan Shackleton company with his NLTTA long distance championship win for 50, 100 and 12hrs.

Charlotte was 17th out of 43 women in the national 10 mile TT in Scotland

She rode her first first 21 min 10 mile TT, with 21.31 in the Lancaster CC 10 mile time trial, helping ABC Centreville to 2nd place in the team competition team with Steve Whittington  and Paul Basso

Charlotte in full flight (photo Raymond Bracewell)

She also won the West Pennine 25 mile TT Eva benson trophy again.

Congratulations Charlotte on a great year building on Centreville’s strong tradition of women riders. With new member Janine McGreggor coming 3rd in her first race on a bike this week after only riding a handful of times, things look promising in green for 2019….

Many thanks to Raymond Bracewell for his excellent photographs

Why not join Charlotte to race or just enjoy riding at whatever level with ABC Centreville? Just get in touch

 October 1, 2018  Posted by at 10:45 pm TT, Women cyclists 1 Response »
May 012018
ABC Centreville Cycling Club Manchester lancashire South Pennines TT racing Charlotte Boothman

Centreville’s Charlotte Boothman winning in style at the D10/1 Leigh Premier TT (photo credit Ellen Isherwood)

Centreville’s Charlotte Boothman has had a storming start to her spring TT campaign, with 5 wins out of 9 outings to date.

Charlotte  delivered Centreville’s first win of 2018 in her first race for the club, clocking a speedy 17.46 for first woman on a shortened 7.5 mile course at the NLTTA 10 on Saturday 10th of March.

On the 17th of March she clocked 35:13 for 4th female at the West Penine SPOCO on L142, which was won by pro Amy Gornall (Secret Training CC) .

At the Border City Wheelers SPOCO 20 mile TT on L202 on the 25th March Charlotte rode to second female with 56:57 to winner Claire Swoboda’s 55.58 .

ABC Centreville Cycling Club Manchester Rochdale Heywood Littleborough TT women racer

Charlotte winning at the Kent Valley Wild Boar Fell SPOCO (photo: Raymond Bracewell)

Charlotte was again second woman on the 31st of March at the  North Lancashire Road Club 10 mile TT on L101, with 25:23 behind winner Rebecca Rimmington (Team Merlin)

She returned to winning on the 7th April at the Beacon Wheelers 15 miles SPOCO on L155, this time geting the better of Amy Gornall (Secret Training) by one second, in the course of which she came an impressive 13th overall with 40:53 to Gornall’s 40.54

On the 8th April Nelson Wheelers’ 50 mile SPOCO on L503 saw Charlotte ride to 2:32:02 and 2nd female. Winner was again Rebecca Rimmington (Team Merlin).

On the 14th April  a third win for Charlotte came at the Leigh Premier 10 mile TT on D10/1, with a 23:14 ride, while her fourth win came the next day on the 15th at the Kent Valley Road Club SPOCO on L307 (shortened to 22m) with 56:17 with Debbie (Moss Team Merlin) in second.

Charlotte’s astonishing fifth win of spring 2018 came at the  Wigan wheelers 10 on 28th April, with another 2nd the following day at the Wigan Wheelers 3o, just 12 seconds behind a very strong Steph Mottram.

Our congratulations to Charlotte on a fantastic start to racing in 2018, we look forward to seeing how the rest of the year unfolds.


Would you like to come and race with Charlotte or just enjoy riding at whatever level? We’d love to see you, why not get in touch?



 May 1, 2018  Posted by at 8:00 pm TT, Women cyclists No Responses »
Mar 122018

Charlotte Boothman in one of last year’s outings

Charlotte Boothman delivered Centreville’s first win of 2018 on her first race for the club, clocking a speedy 17.46 for first woman on a shortened 7.5 mile course at the NLTTA 10 on Saturday 10th of March 2018. Charlotte was 25th overall out of 89 finishers, with Rachel king of Lancashire RC second woman in 18.34. David Allonby won the men’s race for Springfield Financial RT.  Her 25.3mph average speed was on limited training following an accident. “I was a bit nervous, but you seem to switch off once they’ve pushed you over the start line.” A fantastic start to what looks set to be a strong season for Charlotte.

Would you like to join Charlotte on Centreville’s women’s team, or just ride with us? Get in touch

 March 12, 2018  Posted by at 11:48 pm TT, Women cyclists 1 Response »
Mar 122018
ABC Centreville time trialling in Yorkshire Dales

A great place to race if you can spare a moment to look up! Ingleborough brooding above the course

Centreville’s Dan Shackleton reports:

After last weekend’s time trial programme was written off thanks to the Beast from the East, Saturday’s Circuit of Ingleborough turned out to be only my second race outing of the year.

The Circuit of Ingelborough organised by Pendle Forest CC is a true SPOCO event, being hilly, exposed and a fairly technical course. It is also a counting event in the Lakes & Lancs SPOCO TT series, to which ABC Centreville are affiliated.

The circuit is basically a triangle around Ingleborough hill. With the start at Ingleton, riders head south-east through Clapham to Settle and then turn up the valley through Horton-In-Ribblesdale to Ribblehead viaduct, where they turn left to complete the triangle back to Ingleton for a (nearly) 27 mile circuit, with a total ascent of around 600 metres.

My start time of 11:31 was the second last of over 90 listed. Driving north through heavy rain seriously dampened my enthusiasm, so it was with some relief to arrive in Ingleton without the forecasted rainfall. Unfortunately, the roads were wet and there seemed to be a significant south-easterly wind.

After warming up on the rollers, I headed off to the start to find that my minute man (course record holder James Gullen) had DNS’d, not that there was any chance of me getting anywhere near him on the road!

The circuit starts uphill on Old Road and climbs for the first 1½ miles. With a climb at the start, it is very easy to start too hard, which is exactly what I did, even though my every intention was hold back a little for the first part of the race! I think it was exacerbated by the headwind encountered right from the off.

Descending towards Clapham through all the farmyard muck on the roads, I was glad to get onto the A65 and increase the pace whilst avoiding the detritus. Turning off the main road to Buck Haw Brow and my pace quickly dropped, I found the climb a struggle – I reckon I was over-geared having a bottom gear of 44 x 25.

I caught my two minute man just after the turn before Settle. Anticipating a favourable wind, I was hoping to make up some time over this next leg of the course. Unfortunately, the hoped-for tailwind failed to materialise.

The road to Ribblehead viaduct is a long slog with numerous false summits followed by short fast descents. It’s not conducive to maintaining a steady rhythm and I reckon I used nearly all my gears, which is unusual for a time trial.

As I approached Ribblehead, I could see riders in front of me, this spurred me on and broke me out of my trancelike state.

Turning left onto Hawes road, I knew I only had to get over the climb past the Station Inn and then I would have a mainly downhill run in to the finish.

I covered these last 5 miles in a shade under 10 minutes, to finish with a time of 1:12:30 for 16th place.

Initially, I was disappointed with my time as I clocked a quicker time for the event in 2017, riding a road bike with tri-bars. However, on reflection, I think the conditions weren’t as quick this year and I was slightly over-geared (and a note to self – don’t do an interval session the night before a TT, my powers of recovery aren’t what they once were!).

The promoting club’s Richard Bideau won the event, the former BBAR clocking an impressive 1:03:13. Fastest female rider was Karen Poole of Sportstest RT, with a 1:21:13.

A big thanks to Pendle Forest CC for putting on a well-marshalled and well supported event.


Full results here

ABC Centreville Cycling club Manchester South Pennines

Dan in slightly more relaxed mode the week before on the Sunday social ride, just before we headed home over Blackstonedge on snow-covered roads

Fancy riding or racing with Centreville? All ages, genders and abilities welcome, why not contact us?

 March 12, 2018  Posted by at 11:12 pm TT 1 Response »
Mar 092018

Mandy Bishop winning the 1982 UCI World Road Race Championship on the Goodwood Circuit

Cycling is a fantastic and enjoyable sport, and Centreville are keen to welcome and support new women members of any experience. So to celebrate International Women’s Day (8th March) Geoff Read had an unofficial chat to some of Centreville’s strong and experienced cyclists who happen to be female. Please note the views expressed are of course personal, about cycling in general and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club or it’s members.

While they usually let their legs do the talking, 1982 World Road Race Champion Mandy Bishop, strong time-trialling newbie Charlotte Boothman (previously Gorman), and long-time racer and club ride stalwart Pauline Cooper should have a thing or two to say on what they love about cycling, what hacks them off, and how can a club encourage, support and keep women cyclists? Their thoughts are reflections on some of the debates in cycling and society in general at the moment which inevitably touch on problematic issues, but they are keen to emphasise their love of cycling; and that the vast majority of cyclists inside and outside Centreville are supportive and welcoming.

Mandy setting another record in winning the national 3000 metre pursuit title riding for West Pennine.

Mandy Bishop

I asked Mandy what will help get women into a cycling club and what might put them off? “I joined because my family were in it, so I was dragged into it kicking and screaming whether I liked it or not: ‘You’re coming, because we’re not leaving you at home on your own.'” Mandy thinks that for some women it’s perhaps the initial step that’s hard, just getting  on a bike, and that just having a 10 mile easy ride for women with a social café stop would help to get  them into it. “The first time they go out they don’t want to turn up to find a bunch of blokes in Lycra, and there might not be a woman there, it can be off-putting. They might think ‘Oh I might not keep up with them.’ It’s like anything going into a new group, it’s very intimidating, no matter what sport it is.’

Time is also an issue, for example Mandy herself finds it hard to make time for cycling now. “Women have got families, they’ve got husbands, they’ve got things that they are used to doing on a Saturday and a Sunday, like housework, shopping and all that, that they have to fit cycling in somehow. An hour and a half, a couple of hours, they can probably manage. For women especially a café on the way home is good, so you can just sit and be sociable. Then you can say to women new to cycling, ‘Look, you are ready to ride a bike, you’re ready to go on a club run – I’ll be there, come out.'”

Mandy Bishop flying in GB strip. She was national champion at 25 and 50 miles and set a new world record on the track for 5000 metres

Mandy suggests that the issues are the same for new members of any gender. “The thing that puts you off, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or bloke, is, are they welcoming? If you turn up and someone actually says to you, ‘Oh good morning, have you come to join us?’ Not just looking at you, and you’re thinking ‘Oh god, what am I doing here?’ Not just one person, you need the whole group, if someone new turns up, they smile and say ‘Hiya,’ and it doesn’t matter if it’s cycling or anything else, it’s that initial meeting. You’re going to come back if you feel welcome.”

The vast majority of cyclists are friendly, but I’d have to admit as a man, you do come across the odd bloke out on the roads, even with our current awareness and the Me Too movement, who uses playground humour that can be very sexualised. “I find it abhorrant,” says Mandy, ” And because of the person I am, I tell them. If I was out in a group and someone said something, I would straight out say, ‘You are out of order, it is completely inappropriate.’…..But I’d have to say, thankfully the odd one is an anomaly in cycling as far as I’m concerned. Maybe because of what I’ve done, I get a different reception. But I’ve never felt with Andy and you lot [the Centreville social ride] that you haven’t wanted me to be there.” As if! Proud as punch more like.

ABC Centreville Cycling club women Manchester and the South Pennines

Mandy giving her all again the rainbow stripes

I for one don’t want to ride just with blokes all the time: boring with a capital yawn. But it’s partly up to us as men, so what can chaps do to make club cycling a better experience for women?  “Be friendly, be polite, treat women with respect. Treat them with respect for the fact that they are brave enough to go and say ‘I’d like to join your cycling club. Can I come out on the bike with you?’ You just want to be treated with respect.” In any club people can occasionally get carried away and leave riders behind, something that Mandy’s dad, the late Bary Jones who was instrumental in Centreville’s success thought was a definite no-no. If that happened Mandy said, “My dad will be turning in his grave – well in his saddlebag. My dad’s buried under Ernie’s bench – in his saddlebag. He’s got a bottle of wine, a puncture repair outfit, a pump and some photos. Under the bench. “Put me with Ernie he said.”

“I said show some respect!” Don’t mess with a world champion

Having seen cycling from all sides over many years as a racer and now as a recreational cyclist, would you recommend that women try cycling? “I’d say to any woman thinking of taking up cycling it’s really good for you health-wise, mentally too, it’s fantastic for your brain, being out in the fresh air, cycling. It’s not hard on your joints like running, it’s really sociable as you can ride next to someone and talk, it’s much easier on your body compared to pounding the pavements. My mum is 78 and she is still riding a bike, and she’s been riding a bike since she was 15 years old.”

Charlotte Boothman

Charlotte has joined Centreville recently after a very strong first season of time trialling and hill climbing last year, including a sub-hour 25 on the West Pennine/VTTA 25 on the A56 near Pendle, knocking an impressive 1 minute 43 off the record for the Eva Benson trophy, making her the first woman under the hour in that illustrious competition which has been a who’s who of  for 70 years. She also rode 22.13 for 10 at Hull on a road frame with clip-on bars and aims to go under 22 minutes this year. She has entered the Tour of Cambridge closed-road TT to try and qualify for the UCI Worlds.

Women cyclists ABC manchester Cycling Club

Charlotte Boothman getting down to business in her first full racing season in 2017

I asked Charlotte how she got into cycling. “I started off cycling to work and back, then around Middlesborough and the North Yorkshire Moors, then moved here. Someone said I should give racing a go, and I did a couple of hill climbs and a couple of tests, then last year was my first full season doing time trials and hill climbs. I enjoyed it.” I should think so too with results like that straight off the bat – an inspiration to anyone to find out what their hidden potential might be on the bike.

What Charlotte is looking for in a club is that they are “Friendly, approachable, to be able to ask for assistance if you need it, and to gain a lot of knowledge from a club,” and she joined Centreville because the male members she came across at time trials were very friendly, especially Steve, Jon and Paul. She isn’t personally too concerned about what people say. “I’ve heard stories of sexist comments and stuff, but they happen everywhere don’t they? That doesn’t really bother me, I was brought up in an environment that was like that, being army and RAF based, but a lot of women might find that a bit of a put-off. It’s one of those things that happens isn’t it? Women can be just as bad, but I’m pretty open-minded with that sort of stuff.”

Women cyclists ABC Centreville Cycling Club Manchester and South Pennines

Charlotte road racing for Lusso in 2017

She emphasised the importance of helping new members, men or women, to learn the ropes in group riding  “What would put me off is people getting stressed out and shouting at new people who are trying to ride in a group, but don’t really know what to do – that might be annoying, instead of teaching the person how to ride in a group just getting irritated by them. In can be nerve-wracking when you are turning up to a new situation, you don’t really know how people are, and especially if you haven’t ridden with a group, there’s a lot of group etiquette isn’t there?” At Centreville we are happy to help people learn this fascinating skill – there is nothing like belting along the road in a group wearing the green, blue and white!

Charlotte’s experience of racing has been interesting and perhaps unexpected. “In time-trialling people can be quite stand-offish at first, until they get to know you, but once they get to know you they are quite chatty…. but, in road racing, women especially can be stand-offish, especially if you haven’t been brought up through the system and you just appear out of nowhere, they are trying to figure you out, whereas men’s road-racing is a bit more friendly than women’s. A few of the women are fine, but when you are a newbie, you are sort of put off.” However she does understand where this wariness comes from: “I suppose when you are in the moment it’s different isn’t it? That competitive side comes out. Time trialling I find a much more relaxed atmosphere, that’s why I enjoy it, and you are pushing yourself to your limit, whereas road racing, it’s quite a daunting environment.” Of course racing with Centreville, whether in tests or road races, you are not alone, that’s another advantage of clubs. Good crack is built in, along with pre-race excuses and post-race autopsies and refreshments. And most of all that satisfying roar when a Centreville rider is called up at the prize-giving!

Charlotte winning a 2017 hill climb on Blackstonedge

I wondered if she thought there were any barriers specific to women in cycling. “When I first started cycling I didn’t want to wear Lycra, I was a bit self-concious, I think women are a bit more self-conscious about what they are wearing, but once you get through that you are fine,” something MAMLs can definitley identify with – I try to avoid standing sideways on to any camera! Also as with most of us Charlotte has had issues with vehicles. “Sometimes you get abuse from drivers, I’ve had a lot of abuse from drivers – more from drivers pulling out, and because you’ve said “What are you doing?” they’ve literally stopped the car in front of me, got out, and went to hit me, once. Road rage can put you off quite a bit. It’s lack of education with driving I think.” Again, you are perhaps less vulnerable riding with a club.

She agreed with Mandy about busy lives being a problem. “It’s getting the time, when you’ve got kids and stuff it’s hard to get out with clubs I think, and some women tend to think they are not fast enough when it is a male environment, it can be quiet daunting. But once you’ve joined the club and gone to the first club session you don’t feel as bad. I know one club started a separate female group, but the problem with that is you are segregating yourself, really – instead of joining the men’s and maybe having a slower ride once a month with women in it if they want to go slightly slower.” Here at Centreville we have club rides at varying speeds, from the social ride to full on race training, so we can help riders find the right group and gradually get stronger – and women are welcome in any of them.

Charlotte is currently coming back  from a crash injury after an encounter with an elderly motorist. We wish her a speedy return to form and look forward to riding with her through the next season and beyond.

Pauline Cooper

Women cyclists ABC Centreville Cycling Club Manchester and Lancashire

Pauline digging in in Diggle on a hill climb

Sadly Pauline was unable to talk in the end, so we will catch her later. Suffice it to say that she is a great example of a woman cyclist, being a stalwart of the club runs, a strong hill tester, and a qualified cycling trainer who has introduced lots of people to cycling and road safety. Get well soon Pauline!

And the future of women cyclists at Centreville Cycling Club?

Juniors ABC Centreville Cycling Club Manchester and Lancashir

Hannah winning the Junior Girl prize at the Beard Cup Hill Climb

I’m glad I asked, I’ve learned a lot about how any cycling club can respond to a changing world and support and welcome women cyclists; what the barriers and rewards of riding and racing are for women riders; and most importantly what we all have in common – a love of riding our bikes in good company. Onwards and upwards brothers and sisters! I don’t know about you but I’m hoping to be like Mandy’s mum one day….


Women cyclists are very welcome to come and ride with Centreville, please get in touch

For more about Mandy:

Cycling Weekely 


 Legend’s of TT


Obviously all cycling websites are relevant to women, but here are are a few specific ones:

Legends of TT: women

100 important women in cycling, Cycling UK

Jeanie Welford, the CTC’s first member, 1880

Barriers to women in cycling:

Reasons women don’t cycle in The Telegraph

Reason’s women don’t cycle, BBC

Sites for women cyclists:

British Cycling

Total Women Cycling site


Bicycling site – US based

Jan 012018

Centreville is cooking up a nice winter warmer of a cycling stew for 2018, with something for everyone, whatever your riding tastes. Here’s a flavour, why not come and join us – but please always contact us through the website to make sure a particular ride is on that day if it’s your first time out with us:

Reliability rides

In addition to our regular rides, we will be doing three reliability style club rides increasing in distance, starting next Sunday 7th Jan with 55 miles from Rochdale Town Hall at 9am round Widdop; with 60 mile and 90 mile rides to be arranged in January/February around the weather. There will be a target time, but hey ho, it’s a ride, it’s winter, let’s enjoy it and get round eh, no harm no foul. Maybe a steady group and a faster one?

Regular rides

Most Wednesday evenings before the club night at Heywood Bowling Club there is a brisk 40k training ride (unless the weather is really bobbins – ask Steve and Ben about their memorable blizzard in December!), meeting at the Winston Churchill, Bury Rd. at 6.45, mainly valley roads. Contact Ben Whitehead first, usually arranged through Whatsapp group – other nights by arrangement.

Centreville Cycling club Manchester club night rides

It’ll all be worth it come the spring. Note the nifty club mudflaps – you’ll be needing one of those from Dan

Ad-hoc brisk long rides at weekends, 100 miles, often without a stop, base miles for the 2018 racing season, often from Heywood. Contact Steve Whittington, Ben Whitehead, or Dan Shackleton, usually arranged through Whatsapp group.

Steve Whittington

Steve Whittington making good use of his base miles riding in GB strip at the World Gran Fondo championship


2 regular options:

8.30 start from Rochdale Town Hall or Todmorden depending on route, around 60 miles with a café stop, 15-25mph, all welcome, no-one left behind: contact Owen Malkin

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester on pendle

We have some fantastic roads at our disposal, like this one from Downham up Pendle – come and ride them with us

10am start from the Wheatsheaf, Littleborough, a long-standing club ride, 30-40 miles with a café stop, brisk pace on hilly rides, no prisoners taken: contact Dave Grogan or Rick Clough

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester_Saturday training ride

Saturday 10am group: fit vet 60 Dave Grogan 3rd from Left, and multiple race-winner Rick Clough, far right, run this ride.


2 regular options:

9am Sundays from the Wheatsheaf Littleborough: Club social ride, no-one left behind, steady pace, good crack, but testing beautiful routes on hilly minor roads, start, 3 hours plus a café, usually back by 1-ish. Wheel-shaped enjoyment like wot it is meant to be! Contact Geoff Read

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester_Calderdale

Another great route on the Sunday social rides, this time heading for Cross Stones above Todmorden

9.30am Sundays: Brisk training ride, around three hours with a café stop, the main criterior being Dave must, I repeat must be able to get a bacon buttie: contact Dave Grogan

Wednesdays 10am from the Wheatsheaf, Littleborough Brisk training ride, as above, contact Dave Grogan

Audaxes and sportives

Any self-respecting cyclist will of course be looking to ride Centreville’s beautifully hard Goose Eye Grimpeur Sportive 2018 date tbc. In the mean time we will be entering some of the early Cheshire Audaxes into the spring to get the miles in without breaking the spirit. Come and join us:

  • 25th February Mere Century 160km undulating but not hilly down through west Cheshire;
  • Sunday 25th March Chirk from Poynton 200km – pretty flat, good for a mixed ability group,
  • Saturday 7th April, you can join Nigel on the hilly 300km Yr Elenydd, a fantastic route but only for the very hardy! So alternatively there is:
  • Sunday 8th April from Mytholmroyd a hilly but manageable 115km: Spring into The Dales (entry on the day ok, but bring a completed form)
  • Sunday 20th May the classic and tough Etape du Dales sportive, organised by Centreville’s own Nigel Bishop for the Dave Raynor Fund, which supports young racing cyclists. Enter and ride, and if not please volunteer to help (a good day out for a good cause) – get in touch through the event website.
Centreville Cycling Club Manchester busy Audaxing

Centreville at an information control on the Cheshire Safari 100 mile Audax in November 2017. Still none the wiser…

Trips away

Majorca training. Several groups from Centreville are heading to Porta Plença in Majorca for the classic pre-season mile-fest and jollities, mainly around the 2nd and 3rd weeks of April. If you are interested you can either arrange your own accommodation and meet to ride, or you can join a group going for 5 days 12th-17th April for £550 including breakfast, evening meal and bike transfer; they will ride at the speed of whoever comes, all welcome: contact Owen Malkin.

Majorca road

Now if that was in the South Pennines, it woud just go straight up the hill….

YHA trips. To be confirmed, but there will be several two-day trips staying at youth hostels this year. To express an interest, contact us.

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester YHA weekend

Centreville ruining a perfectly good view of Ironbridge in Shrophire on the Wilderhope YHA weekend 2017. No Nick, we are not doing one of those calendars, you can stop draping….

Looking ahead to the 2018 season

You can come and test your metal on the full range of events  with Centreville this year. Dan will be building on his very strong TT season last year, and will be joined by Ben in the Spoco TT series, with Paul Basson another strong TT rider who also road races.

Centreville Cycling Club tt races Dan Shackleton

Dan flying, and he is in danger of going faster this year

Kris Jon and Ben will be doing the Eddie Soens road race in March, with more to follow, and Steve will be tearing it up on the road and pushing for age group selection.  Our road racers have some some very big boots to fill historically, but most recently with Louis Szymanski who really stepped up last year, winning several road races in front of elite riders and gaining first cat status. We wish him well for 2018 as he moves onwards and upwards.

Centreville cycling club welcomes women riders

Pauline Cooper attacking a hill climb in style

Members will also be training and racing at the velodrome, and the end of the year will be topped off with the hill climb season, and there are whispers of mountain bike rides. Centreville welcomes riders of all ages and genders and we welcomed a pleasing number of new members in 2017. New women members are especially welcome to carry on the racing tradition of Mandy, our World Road Race Champion, or just to enjoy riding. Should be a great year, hope to see you!


PS, don’t forget your lights:


Contact us

Nov 222017
Dan Shackleton time trialling 2017 ABC Centreville Cycling club

Dan Shackleton storming to another strong TT ride on board the death star

Centreville’s ace (it’s the club logo – see what I did there?) time triallist Dan Shackleton rode well all season, and won the club BAR trophy. He finished 7th overall in the Manchester and District Time Trial Association league, despite being a V40 and only doing nine events out of the possible ten to count. Dan also finished 5th overall in the SpoCo time trial series, with best five of 12 events counting. During the season he rode a 19.59 for 10, a 52.54 for 25; and a 1hr 48m 12 sec for 50. You can read about these, and Dan’s 251.92 mile 12 hour TT in more detail here.

Well done Dan, and good luck for 2018!

Full M&DTTA 2017 Results

Full 2017 SpoCo NW Results here

Fancy joining Dan and Centreville for the 2018 TT season? Get in touch

 November 22, 2017  Posted by at 8:31 pm Events, TT No Responses »
Aug 312017

Withington Wheelers 10 mile TT  – Saturday 26th August 2017

Wigan Wheelers 25 mile TT – Sunday 27th August 2017

For the bank holiday weekend I had a double-header – a 10 mile TT on the Saturday afternoon and a 25 mile TT on the Sunday morning.

The Withington Wheelers 10 mile TT was supposed to be on the J2/1 course at Chelford (which is probably the fastest 10 mile course in Cheshire). Unfortunately, temporary traffic lights resulted in the organiser having to find an alternative course at the eleventh hour. The considerable effort the organiser went to was greatly appreciated by all the riders, especially as the alternative was to cancel the event.

With the event now being held on the J6/10 course, no one was expecting to do a particularly quick time. The course is all single track road with the first 6 miles or so on fairly narrow country lanes with frequent changes of direction.

I decided to arrive at the HQ early and ride round the course to familiarise myself – I’m glad I did as there were a couple of very tight corners as well as some blind bends that needed to be approached with care.

10 mile TT’s are a relatively short but a high intensity effort (usually performed at, or slightly above, threshold power) so they hurt, a lot! Unfortunately, the course wasn’t conducive to maintaining a constant effort and I found that I was having to accelerate and ease off to cope with the corners and other road users.

Due to other traffic shenanigans in the area, the roads seemed to be quite busy, with some riders being held up by cars that were stuck behind slower riders (or riders riding out to the start). This happened to me and probably cost me a few seconds – it can’t be helped and is one of the pitfalls of time trialling on narrow country roads.

My time of 23:15 was good enough for 12th place. The winner on the day was David Crawley of Velotik Racing Team with a time of 20:59. The fastest woman was Elinor Barker of the Rio Olympics GB gold medal winning team pursuit squad, with a time of 22:36, riding for Matrix Pro Cycling. One of her targets for the 2017 season is the world time trial championship in Bergen in September, it would appear that she is starting to come into some form!

tt pic

The Wigan Wheelers 25 mile TT was held on L2521a course on rural roads to the North of Garstang.

The course comprises of two laps of a circuit starting at Winmarleigh, heading through Cockerham towards Stake Pool and back to Winmarleigh.

A start time of 08:40am necessitated an early start, particularly as I wanted to ride a lap of the course beforehand – I had ridden most of the course earlier in the season as part of a 30 mile TT but I wanted to make sure I knew the differences between the 15 mile lap and the 12.5 mile one.

Although the weather was set fair for the bank holiday weekend, we did experience some light drizzle during the early part of the event. There was a slight tailwind on the road up to Cockerham. However, after the left hand turn onto the coastal A588 towards Stake Pool, the cross-headwind made this section quite tough.

Being a rural time trial, times weren’t spectacularly quick. The winner was Brian Fogarty of Fogarty Insurance Tri Team with a time of 55:38, the only rider under 56 minutes. Fastest woman was Anna Weaver of Manchester Tri Club with a time of 1:02:30. My 58:20 was good enough for 8th place.

The time trial season is gradually drawing to a close. However, there is still the “fun” of the hill-climb season for those of you who enjoy climbing steep hills fast whilst experiencing nausea, dizziness, burning legs, blurred vision and shortness of breath. ABC Centreville will be riding out to a number of local hill climbs in East Lancashire and West Yorkshire and may even be riding a few. They are probably the most sociable of cycling events and usually end up in a pub. Come along and join us… 

 August 31, 2017  Posted by at 3:54 pm Events, TT No Responses »
Aug 032017

Danny Shackleton reports on a great ride in the Team Swift 12 Hour Time Trial – Sunday 30th July 2017


Sometime towards the end of 2016, having completed one 10 mile time trial and a few hill climbs, I decided that 2017 would be the year that I started time trialling again. Not content with competing in the odd SPOCO event and over the usual distances of 10 and 25 miles, possibly with the odd 50 thrown in, I decided that I’d have a crack at the BBAR (British Best All Rounder) competition.

The BBAR competition ranks riders by the average of their average speeds in individual time trials over 50 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours. Certificates are awarded to riders with an average speed of 22 mph or faster. It was introduced in 1930 when massed racing was still banned and time trialling was the only form of cycling competition on public roads.

Having been an avid reader of the comic (Cycling Weekly) in the 1980’s, I recalled the feats of Cammish, Longland, et al and their achievements in the BBAR long before the advent of tri-bars, disk wheels, pointy hats, power meters, etc…

Having already got the 50 and 100 mile time trials under my belt, the rest of my season has really been focused on the 12 hour event. With ABC Centreville promoting the Goose Eye Grimpeur sportive on the 20th August and having volunteered to help out, I was unable to ride the local (Cheshire) 12 hour event on the same day. The next nearest 12 hour was the Team Swift event on 30th July in Yorkshire.

The 06:10am start time necessitated an overnight stay in Pocklington the night before (otherwise it would have been a 03:00am alarm call). I was fortunate that my mate, Jo Yates, had volunteered to go with me to help out with feeding, etc… (more importantly – I had someone to stop me drinking too many pints of ale the night before).

Arriving at the HQ in the morning drizzle, we were hoping that the weather would improve over what had been predicted (during the week before, rain and thunderstorms had been forecast).

The course for the Team Swift event is flat but sporting, consisting mainly of single carriageway country lanes to the South of Pocklington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Competitors do 5 laps of a 40.591 mile circuit followed by as many laps of the 14.247 mile finishing circuit as possible within the 12 hour period. It’s a good one for feeding as riders pass the HQ twice every lap (at 5 miles and at 40 miles) although it could also make climbing off a bit easier too! The start, quite handily, is directly outside the HQ and I didn’t think that a substantial warm up would be necessary!


Having never ridden a 12 hour time trial before, pacing was a concern, especially as I have a tendency to start quickly. After much research on time trialling forums, I settled on a pacing strategy using 25 mile intervals that would hopefully see me achieve around 260 miles, based on my previous performance at 100 miles on a similar sporting course.

For the first couple of hours or so, the road was wet but the weather improved as the day went on. There was the odd isolated shower through the afternoon but nothing too severe. However, the flat course did result in it being fairly windy, especially noticeable when facing the headwind along Sutton Lane, although the course is that twisty, you are not exposed to a headwind for too long.

I quickly got into my stride and managed to do the first three 25 miles in 1:06, 1:07 and 1:08 respectively, slightly down on schedule. The hardest bit of the ride both from a physical and mental perspective was hours 4 through to 6, this was where time was still counting up and the pain of the effort was starting to kick in. There were times where I wanted to climb off – it was helpful having support at the roadside, not only from Jo but from the marshals at the turns and from the relatives and friends of the other competitors. Just after midday, Jon Taylor turned up to lend his support and with 5 hours to go, I realised that I could finish. Reaching the finishing circuit with around 2½ hours left, I even managed to up the pace slightly, knowing that I was close to the end.

12 hr 1

The winner, with a distance of 280.42 miles was Blaine Metcalf of the promoting club. My 251.92 miles was good enough for 11th place overall (an average speed of 20.99 mph).

Riding a 12 hour time trial is a completely different experience to other [shorter] time trials that I have ridden. Maintaining the aero position on the time trial bike more or less continuously for 12 hours resulted in aches and pains in my neck and shoulders, although the further into the event I got, the pain became more manageable.

Nutrition is also something that I’ve not had to consider in shorter time trials (other than 100’s) – the sum total on the day was 3 bananas, 4 energy bars, 3 energy gels, a brioche, 2 cans of coke, 4 bottles of water, 1 bottle of carbohydrate drink, 5 bottles of electrolyte drink and 1 bottle of isotonic drink. The coke was something I was craving and as luck would have it, Jo and Jon had contrived to get some for me before I’d even asked for it – imagine my delight when I asked for a can of coke and one was miraculously produced as if by magic!

A big thank you to Jo and Jon for providing much needed support, I may have packed if I’d been on my own.

12 cc

Thanks also to Team Swift who organised the event along with all the volunteers who marshalled, pushed-off, kept time, provided refreshments afterwards and shouted encouragement to all the riders throughout the day – it’s only a 12 hour event for the riders but it’s an even longer day for the volunteers.

Will I do another 12 hour? Probably, but not this year!

Dan Shackleton

Photo credits: Kimroy Photography and Jo Yates

Fancy racing with Centreville, or just riding socially with us? Get in touch

 August 3, 2017  Posted by at 9:26 am Events, TT 2 Responses »