With its scenic hills to climb – and free-wheel back down again – and its roads leading straight out to the Peak District, Sheffield is heaven-sent to the road cyclist. In fact, many a keen Sheffield cyclist will admit that it was the allure of the roads that first brought them here. All of this makes for a great cycling community in our hilly city; and once a roadie’s upped sticks and moved to Sheffield, what better way of making like-minded new friends than by joining one of its cycling clubs?
Whether or not you consider yourself serious enough about Lycra shorts and drop bars to put your name down, there’s undoubtedly plenty of inspiration to be drawn from the energy and enthusiasm of this lot:
Langsett Cycles Race Team
The name Langsett has been associated with cycling in Sheffield since as far back as 1890, when the Langsett Cycles shop first opened. The original team was established to compete in the shop's road race (1951-1967) and disbanded in the '90s. Team Langsett’s second coming has been going strong since 2012; with an emphasis on racing, only the super-serious need apply.
In 1887, four ambitious young men from Sharrow came together with one dream: to win the prize for most miles ridden to the Bridlington Cyclists Rally. That dream came true, and the club has been around ever since – making it the oldest cycling club in Sheffield today. Sharrow CC now heads out on club runs twice a week and, in recent years, has teamed up with Sheffrec and the Whirlow Wheelers to organise the Monyash Road Race.
Hitting the roads since 1989, Sheffrec has grown over the years from 7 members to over 100. Its members organise a series of events throughout the year, including the prestigious Monsall Hill Climb. But this club's about more than racing; priding itself on inclusivity and enjoyment, Sheffrec welcomes cyclists of all abilities at its Sunday rides, which tend to head out to the Peaks.
Women's Cycling Sheffield
WCS’s members are a good mix of the experienced and the novice; many on its rides are in training, while others are there more for the socialising that goes with them. Either way, the group hopes to encourage more and more women to take to the roads on two wheels.
Non riguarda sempre e solo la bici. La Squadra's motto, which translates as “it’s not only about the bike,” is a fine summary of this laidback club. Co-founded by Gian Bohan, of Ecclesall Road's Nonnas Italian restaurant, La Squadra is as much about the lifestyle as it is about the ride, with its own blend of coffee and stylish jerseys to boot.
With Rutland Hall as their clubhouse, a group of young men in Neepsend set up their cycling club in 1908 – their Sunday runs initially a cause for concern at the nearby church. Today, Rutland CC is known for its weekly “teacake” ride, where riders pause for a tea and a butter-topped teacake at Hathersage’s Pool Cafe before returning to the city. Its spring-summer “chain gang” rides, meanwhile, are for members who are extra serious about training.
Calling themselves a "bunch of has-beens, might-have-beens, might-still-be-agains (if we could be a***d) and never-had-a-hopes", the Whirlow Wheelers are the least competitive club in town. They're all about the enjoyment: taking in the surrounding countryside with the sun on their back and their sights set on the next cafe stop.
Sheffield Phoenix CC
With a strong competing history that dates back to 1922, today the Phoenix is a relatively small club, friendly to riders of varying ages and abilities. It was also the lifetime club of James Frederick Wilson who, after being left for dead at Dunkirk during the Second World War, returned to Sheffield and set up the brilliant Wilson Cycles shop on City Road in 1948 – which is now run by his son, Nigel.
CTC (Cyclists' Touring Club) is the national charity for the amateur cyclist, campaigning on issues of road safety and access, promoting bike use, and organising rides. The Sheffield offshoot puts on regular rides, ranging from family friendly to hard. Non-members welcome.
An informal take on the cycling club, the Biking Belles head out on a few 20-60 mile rides a week, that anyone is welcome to join in with – just join their Facebook group to stay in-the-know. They also organise a monthly women's only ride in the Peaks on the last Sunday of the month.