About Us

The idea of the Test Valley Cycling club is to bring together likeminded folks who:

  • Want to ride their bikes more
  • Want to improve their fitness
  • Want to meet new people
  • Want to explore new places, near and far
  • Some, all or none of the above

The watchwords of the Test Valley Cycling Club are inclusivity, friendliness and support. If you turn up and are not made to feel welcome and supported you won't be back. Open, honest communication is essential, to ensure people don't feel unsure about what's going on.

Some people are already very experienced cyclists with decades of road and mountainbike riding under their wheels, others are new to two wheels and may be starting out in their 'later years'. The ethos of the club is that we can and should accomodate all comers, through structuring rides and events in a clear and understandable way. 

Often it is the fear of the unknown that puts people off joining a club or getting involved with a new activity. We want to make sure you are aware of the opportunities belonging will give you, and also what is expected of you when you do.

Most of all, it is your club. If there's a type of cycling or ability that is not currently provided for, then get involved and make it happen - you'll find there are always others who want or need the same thing, and with a good support group anything is possible.

The official stuff:

The club constitution can be viewed HERE.

Club Vision Statement:

People join in TVCC activities for two main reasons:
  • Personal health and enjoyment of non-competitive cycling
  • To encourage their children to enjoy cycling and to participate in events
The personal aspect of TVCC is well-established, with two organised rides per week in the Test Valley and area, catering to different abilities. These are attended by anywhere from two to twelve people on a regular basis, fluctuating with the seasons and weather. Over the course of a year someone attending all organised rides would cycle approximately 5,000km.

The second aspect of TVCC activities regarding family/children participation is yet to reach fruition, and will be the focus of the 2014-2015 efforts.

Enablers for this work include:
  1. TVCC becoming a registered CASC - Charitable Amateur Sports Club - in the eyes of HMRC. This is different to being a ‘registered charity’ as that requires an income of £5,000 pa. This might well be achieved in future years.
  2. TVCC establishing a formal committee structure, Constitution and bank account

These two enablers will allow TVCC to apply for and be granted funding from local body, government and charitable funding sources.

It is self-evident that the organised weekly rides work well. The input required is minimal, and they are enjoyed by all.

The idea of putting on events for families and children to participate in to grow interest in cycling for recreation, sport and utility/transport requires a major step change in funding and organisation.

The Vision

During the summer months, a weekly activity focused on family- and child-friendly cycling- be it a race in a local park, a skills challenge, an organised ride to a nearby park, pub or playground or any other sort of cycling event.

Specifically looking at competitive yet participation-oriented events, the following is proposed as a goal for discussion / adoption:

A series of off-road races for all ages of child, to be held on the Daniel Road QEII park next to the Primary School/BMX-skate park. Possibly to be held every weekend over the core months in summer - either in the school term or across holidays as well, acknowledging people being away.

Event infrastructure including:
  • Start/finish banner
  • Taped course including obstacles such as chicanes or ramps - tape being reusable event after event.
  • Large timing clock
  • Covered registration/administration tent - large pop-up gazebo with sides
  • Refreshments available - cold drinks, healthy snacks
  • Numbered sashes for children to wear whilst riding
  • Course marshals
  • PA system for background music, announcements and commentary
Spectators would be encouraged to bring picnics, chairs, umbrellas etc. and make a day of it

Examples of the format of the event would be: 
  • multi-lap races for different age groups with mass starts
  • ‘slow races’ where balance and bike control were emphasised
  • On-the-day prizes for winners (1st 2nd 3rd) plus overall series points accumulation
  • Spot prizes
  • ‘Rider of the day’ prize for honesty/camaraderie/effort
  • Anything else we can think of
The funding for the event infrastructure is out there - it just needs to be applied for. Parents are always willing to help events where their children benefit - the ‘build it and they will come’ approach is relevant.

We see this as something a number of parents could really get behind, even if just for the ‘selfish’ view that they want their own children to have something to do that’s cycling-focused.

For people who just want to turn up and ride at the weekly rides, nothing changes. If you don't want to be involved in the 'family' side of things, that's just fine.