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.

Geoff

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 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….

Geoff

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

For more about Mandy:

Cycling Weekely 

Rouleur

 Legend’s of TT

Wikipedia

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

Sustrans

Bicycling site – US based