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 »
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 112016

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 20.22.47

A New Beginning

I joined Centreville in 1987 as a 14 year old.  The first club ride I did was led by Craig Perry and went up Ashworth Valley.  My dream as a young lad was to have a pro career and win the Tour de France.  Hah!!  That was all that existed, and all that would exist as far as I was concerned!  As it turned out, I was pretty handy on a bike.  I won almost every race I did in 1988 and 1989, and became national schoolboy champion.  Then I turned junior in May 1989 and won the Junior divs.  I entered the Tour Of The Peak, a Peter Buckley National race.  The organiser sent my entry back saying the race would be too hard.  I begged for a ride and was told to turn up on the day.  If there were any ‘no shows’ I could have a number.  Well, 2 riders didn’t turn up and I got a ride.  I won it!….against the best riders in the country, the GB national squad and world level riders, at two weeks after turning 16!!  That year I won the Tour Of Wales as well and went on to get my first ride in the GB squad in the Tour Of Ireland.

A New Career in A New Town

I spent most of 1990 riding internationally in the GB squad and rode the world junior championships on the road and team time trial.  I can’t remember my exact place but I finished top 20 in the road race, which wasn’t bad as it was a pancake flat race and I wasn’t a full on sprinter at that level.  I also rode a number of first cat races and even won some at just 17 years old.  The worlds were to be in Colorado the following year and suited me down to the ground.  In the February of 1991 I attended a GB training weekend in Derbyshire.  Peter Keen and the BOMC team were there testing the riders on a king cycle machine for assessing output.  I was told after my test that I’d recorded the 4th highest power to weight ratio recorded behind Tony Doyle, Chris Boardman, and Colin Sturgess.  It was pretty amazing considering it was off season and I was only 17.  Two weeks following this, Doug Daley told me I was in the Olympic team time trial squad for Barcelona in ’92.  Everything was going well.  My dreams were happening.


Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 20.20.47


What does not kill you makes you stronger

A couple of weeks after the call, on the 17th March 1991 I was fighting for my life in an intensive care unit in Ypres, Belgium.  I crashed into an electric junction box at the side of the road during an international race in flanders.  I was transferred that night to a hospital in Bruges where surgeons had to remove a section of my left lung.


Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 21.48.50

Dealing With Highs & The Lows

It’s funny really, being young and hungry, I never thought it would make any difference the accident.  It took time for the reality to sink in that I’d lost everything and the dream was gone.  There were no more GB selections, no rainbow jerseys, no Olympics.  I went to France to race there in ‘92, to try and do something. I just wasn’t the same any more.  I got into Jean Rene Bernadeau’s Vendee U squad after OK regional results that year, but at that national level, and in such a big team, I just didn’t have it.  Apart from the lung issue, whatever it was that I had before the accident, wasn’t there anymore. I remember during a solo training ride on a warm day the realisation hitting me that it was over. I was in floods of tears as I rode along. The dream was over.’ I made the decision to quit cycling altogether in June 1993.  Following my decision to quit cycling, that’s when things got pretty tough.  I fell into bad depression.  Looking back, there was no support or help, and at such a young age after having gone through what had happened, to say I was in a fragile state of mind would be an understatement.  I tried to destroy and eliminate everything that reminded me of cycling. In 1994 I tried to take my life on two occasions. Luckily the attempts failed!!!  I got help and began to get a grip of my life.  The following year I met a woman that gave me a good reason to carry on!  We’ve been together 20 years now, and married for 19.  we have a 17 year old daughter.

Pure Enjoyment

It took me many, many years to accept, and come to terms with what happened. Even for the last 20 years, cycling didn’t exist.  It was only in August last year, after stopping smoking and starting to get fit a few months earlier that I watched the Commonwealth games road race.  I enjoyed it.  Not only that, I wanted to ride again, and got a bike!!  There’ll be no racing come back though.  I’m just enjoying cycling again, and even more so with old friends.  The best thing has been getting back in touch with some of the lads from my first endeavours with Centreville all those years ago, Andy Waugh, Paul Basson, Kris Poole, Danny Shackleton, Paul Barlow, Nigel Bishop…..and wearing the Centreville kit again was like coming home!


Words by Steve Whittington

Since this article was written Steve has raced again after a 23 year gap – see here

 January 11, 2016  Posted by at 7:31 pm Member profiles, Other 26 Responses »
Nov 142014
Barry Jones centreville cycling club south pennines

Barry on the rivet in a TT in his forties, racing for Centreville in the 1980’s

By Geoff Read, in conversation with Barry’s daughter Mandy Bishop, World Road Race Champion 1982 (as Mandy Jones) and life Centreville member

I rode with Barry a few times in the 1980’s and had the benefit of his ever-ready primus stove for brewing up at the side of the road in old-school fashion, so it was nice to learn more about his life in cycling through chatting with Mandy. He had grown up a cyclist, she told me.”Everyone cycled then, and his parents were both cyclists. Some of his earliest memories were of being in the kiddy seat on the back of their tandem.”

He would tell stories of his teenage years touring with his friend Gilly (Gil Roberts). “Once when he was 15 he and Gilly were cycling round Wales and they ran out of money – Dad had stupidly left his wallet on a park bench or something. They were stuck, but then he remembered that his mum was staying in a village somewhere in another part of Wales. They cycled there and found the village, but had no idea where she was actually staying, so they went round knocking on doors asking ‘Where is Mrs Jones?’ It being Wales the answer was usually ‘Well I am Mrs Jones, but there is another one round the corner.’ Eventually they found the right Mrs Jones!”

Centreville Cycling Club alps tour

Barry (centre) on a Centreville tour in the Alps

During his national service Barry was sent to Germany. Uniforms and the barrack rooms had to be spot on, and there was a competition to see which room had the most perfect kit. “One day some of the other lads chucked a bucket of water on their floor. Seeing it as a challenge, they cleaned it until it gleamed, and after that they always won. The others couldn’t understand how they won every time. Their secret lay in, amongst other things, each having a second uniform which was kept only for inspections. This was stitched together into perfect folds and brought out at a suitable moment. Cups on the bedside tables were kept in perfect alignment all down the room by threading a string through the handles and two blokes tugging it tight to jerk them into line. It made the others mad, they couldn’t understand it.” This makes sense, as I can attest that Barry’s primus stove, saddlebag and cycling kit was also kept in top order.

Centreville Cycling Club route planning

Barry planning another route

After the army he became an insurance broker doing the rounds for the Co-opertive’s CIS company. He was a smoker and a laid back trainer. His diary for 1959 includes entries like “Cycled 20 miles, smoked 20 cigs.” He worked his way up to 60 a day and after racing would be wracked with coughing. A young Mandy always made it clear she hated him smoking, so he often tried to give up. “When I was growing up I would sometimes wake up to find on the bedside table an envelope with a cigarette in it and a note saying ‘This is my last cigarette, I am really giving up this time.'” He actually did give up in 1982 after Mandy had won the World’s.

Barry loved racing time trials, and liked to do the BBAR, requiring 25’s, 50’s, 100’s and 12 hours, encouraging others to do the same. His best time for 25 was just over the hour, but he had very good stamina and in 1963 was 8th in the National 12 Hour Time Trial, riding 256 miles to winner Ron Spencer’s 267 miles in the Manchester Wheelers event in Cheshire, riding for Exodus. Mandy was born in 1962, and her sister Carol in 1967. In 1963 he co-founded Exodus Road Club which split off in time-honoured fashion from East Manchester Clarion, but after the trailer they used to tow Mandy as a baby broke, cycling took more of a back seat for a while.

Centreville Cycling Club cheshire TT

Barry time trialling his way through Cheshire to another cig

The family moved from Manchester to Rochdale in 1972 and Barry got back to cycling a year later, Joining West Pennine. Mandy got her first bike at 11, a Raleigh folding shopper with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. After the first big ride on it she can remember, it was named “The pig” as it took all day to get to the hostel at Earby and the ride back over Crown Point was murderous, although it was inevitably rewarded with firing up the primus for a brew. Later when she was fit she would chuckle to be passing Earby at 11am on the way out on long training rides.

Barry Jones ABC Centreville Cyclist 1986

Barry Brewing up above Lothersdale with Ian Greenhalgh and John Greene, 1986

In the unusually hot summers of the late 70’s the family holidays were cycle camping trips: two weeks round the Lake District in 76, and Wales in 77, using what were then ‘The Rochdale Holidays’ at the end of August. Barry started time-trialling again, with West pennine until the early ’80s, when he became Secretary of the then recently formed ABC Centreville club.

Barry took Mandy to Manchester, to Cyril Bardlsey’s shop for her first ‘real’ bike, a Wes Mason frame and the parts to build it up, which they did together at home. “He’d say, here put some grease in this cup – everyone did their own mechanics in those days. It was a single speed, they were cheaper and less wear and tear, and money was tight.”

Barry Jones Centreville Cycling club cafe stop

Barry in his blue touring shorts. Can anyone identify this place from the photo on the wall?

Barry began taking his kids on club rides; others did the same and the club grew and the racing scene increased. When questioned about why he was buying tickets for them to attend the annual do, he said “We are a family, they are club members, why wouldn’t they come?”

This reflects his relaxed but enthusiastic and supportive attitude to the sport which was the foundation from which Mandy’s achievements grew. She remembers “He was gently persuasive – I was reluctant to start racing and a bit shy. He suggested I might like to do the club 10, but I wasn’t confident, so I did the course–not on race night–and he timed me. He encouraged me to do some ladies races – he wasn’t pushy, he wasn’t like that. We just enjoyed doing things with me mum and dad, they were good, fun and good company.” He didn’t coach Mandy as such, but his advice to her and all young riders was “If you go out and ride your bike you will improve year on year.”

Barry Jones Centreville Cycling Club race

Does my bum look big in this? Barry keeping his stuff organized – note the blanket on the floor

She describes him as “A good team manager for me Carol and Judith. He’d make sure we changed our wheels, get us to start at the right time, and shout ‘You’re up!’ or ‘Down,’ or whatever. Unlike other dads who might get annoyed, he’d never get annoyed, he was never judgemental. He’d just give you a look, but he knew that you knew if you’d done a bad ride, that you didn’t need telling.”

Mandy remembers a ‘Medium Gear” time trial he rode with them in Cheshire. The media were in attendance, and one reporter walked up to Barry and asked him how much training he did every day. “Sixty,” was his answer. “What, miles?” asked the reporter. “No fags,” Barry deadpanned back.

He encouraged other young riders in the club, and when it became apparent that talented young racers like Nigel Bishop (who became an international rider and is now married to Mandy), were struggling financially, to get them to the races that would qualify them for international selection, he started the ’25 Club’. This was where everyone who attended the weekly club socials would put 25p in a pot. The money would then be used to help get young riders to Star Trophy events and national championships. Riders supported in this way included Nigel, Ian Perry, Neil Swithenbank, Steve Whittington, Steve Calland, and Jason Shackleton.

Centreville Cycling Club youth section 1980s

Centreville’s rising young stars in the late 80’s

“But no-one was excluded,” recalls Mandy. “He took pride in the club and all its riders, and at club nights everyone’s results from the weekend would be given in and read out. There were 150 members in Centreville then and he was proud of all of them.”

After a lifetime of cycling Barry wasn’t about to let cancer stop him riding. “When he was on chemo he would ride on rollers in the kitchen. That’s what he wanted to do. He just wanted to go out on his bike.”

Barry Jones Centreville Cycling Club racing

Barry Jones 1937-2014

Barry Jones ABC Centreville cycling Mastiles Lane

Barry on Mastiles lane near Malham

Do have any memories of Barry you would like to share? If so, add a comment or send it to Geoff via the contact page.

 November 14, 2014  Posted by at 2:04 pm Club history, Member profiles 2 Responses »