Willesden Cycling Club

Riding the Legacy – Celebrating our history

Willesden is a suburb of North West London with an impressive cycling club history that spans over 140 years! In 1884 the first cycling club in Willesden was formed, which neatly coincided with the launch of the Rover “Safety” Bicycle by John Starley. Despite healthy membership numbers, the club decided to disband in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War 1.

The current Willesden CC was formed in 1926, it soon began to rapidly expand and gain a reputation for the quality of its riders. By the late 1940s riders were becoming super-stars of both National and International renown. For example –

  • Jim Love was recruited for the track team for the 1948 Olympic Games.
  • Don Burgess won Olympic Bronze as part of the 4,000m pursuit team at the 1952 Olympic games in Helsinki.
  • Ken Mitchel became a professional rider and took part in the 1955 Tour de France.
  • In 2024 our former club mate, Cormac Nisbet, joined the famous Soudal Quickstep development team as a professional cyclist.

Now could not be a better time to join our peloton to “Ride the Legacy” and “Celebrate our history”

Going the Distance – Audax Champions 

The Willesden CC became a high profile and very successful club in Audax Long distance cycling. Garnering both national and international recognition for our achievements –

  • National Audax points champions for 12 years between 2011 and 1983.
  • Won the championships for individual riders on 14 occasions.
  • Jack Eason was awarded “Randonneur of the Millennium” status by the Audax committee.
  • We are highly experienced in riding the famous 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris Randonnée. The ride celebrates the original race that was held between 1891 and 1951.
  • We won the Audax Club de Paris’s “Oversea Club Cup” for the most number of finishers from a foreign team for the Paris-Brest-Paris.
  • Fun Fact! The Paris-Brest-Paris is the only bike race that has a cake named after it! It is called “un Paris-Brest”. It is available at all french patisseries and even your local Tesco!
  • Thanks to our club mate, the wonderful Simon Doughty, the London-Edinburgh-London 1400km Audax event was transformed from a niche event into an internationally recognised, ultra-long Audax. It is the flagship event of Audax UK and is probably second only to the legendary Paris-Brest-Paris.
  • In 1984, two Willesden riders, Simon Doughty and Mark Brooking were part of the 7 person Brindisi to Calais ultra-long distance randonnée. Their achievement received international praise.
  • The organiser of the successful Tour de Ricky, Liam FitzPatrick, has previously won the “Audax Organiser of the Year”.
  • Willesden organised events include the London-Wales-London, the Tour de Ricky and the 600km London Midland Ride.

Club Travel

Depending on membership demand we have regular expeditions away throughout the cycling season.

  • April
    A great start to the year is our cycling trip to the Italian Adriatic riviera. Staying in an excellent family run hotel, where your cycling kit is washed for you each evening (yes really!). Each day there is a variety of rides, led by the local cycling guides. Excellent quality bike hire is available at an additional cost.
  • May
    The annual Isle of Wight Randonée is a 110+km circuit of the island. This is a popular and free event, which we have enjoyed riding for over 20 years now.
  • July/August
    A 10 day Camping trip to the annual FFCT Semaine Fédéral in France. Each year this festival of cycling is held in a different region, providing many new roads and places to explore.
  • October
    Plans are in progress to introduce an autumn trip for a week of cycling in Mallorca.

Club riding at a Social pace

In the late 1940s our club rides would be immense, with over 100 riders – just imagine the cafe queues! Today, our club rides are more manageable and run at a social pace (circa 12mph/20kph average speed).
No one is left behind.
All rides are confirmed by WhatsApp messages.

    • The Sunday club run
      This is central to any cycling club. Our riders start each Sunday morning at either Denham or Rickmansworth at 9:30am. Rides are 50-60km with a cafe stop at the halfway point.
    • Wednesday WoW Ride
      The WoW ride (Willesden-on-Wednesday) starts from Beaconsfield. We also start from other locations to add variety. There is always a good cafe stop and GPX files are provided. Distances are 50 to 80+kms.
    • Saturday Social ride
      Meet at RedHill on the A40 Near Denham at 9:45 for rides to a carefully curated network of our favourite cafes.

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