A brief history of Horsham Cycling
During the autumn of 2004, Keith Russell and Stewart Forbes started planning a cycling club in Horsham. With the massive growth of the town since the early 1990s, they realised that the time was right. They immediately implemented plans for this new club to be named Horsham Cycling.
Meetings with Horsham District Council’s Sports Development Officer Ian Ford gave much-needed advice. In early Spring of 2005, the council advertised the Club on its notice boards, at its venues and around the town. They also received a small council grant to get them started.
Andy Duffin (AD Cycles) and his friend Andy Bristow also gave assistance and some resources to get the Club up and running.
The Club had its inaugural ride to Rusper and Newdigate on Sunday 17 April 2005 from the Carfax. About 20 riders turned out on that fine, dry, sunny morning for the short ride that finished with a buffet lunch back at the Forest Youth Wing.
By April 2006 the membership had reached over 80 and continued to grow steadily. Initially there were two Sunday rides: 'Social' and 'Sporting'. During the autumn of 2005, the Intermediate ride began. At that time, due to its rapid growth, Keith and Stewart struggled to cope with dealing with all the chores of the club and so a committee was formed, and officials appointed to manage the club and help share the workload.
In 2006, trips to the track at Calshot commenced and our first the reliability trial of 30 miles was hosted as part of National Bike Week in June of that year.
In April 2006 the Club hosted its first Open time trial on the Faygate – Newdigate course and a few months later its Club TT summer season consisting of nine events.
In September the Club had a weekend trip to the to the Isle of Wight which has become a regular annual event.
Membership grew steadily over the coming years. Of the original 21 members, a number are still regular riders with the Club. The London Olympics of 2012 brought a spike of interest in cycling and contributed to a rise in membership to the c250 it has remained ever since.
The programme of social events also blossomed, with the annual dinner, summer barbecue and regular pub nights always well-attended. Weekends away became much-anticipated fixtures in the diary: the Spring trip, the Isle of Wight weekend and the trip to Belgium to ride the cobbles and take part in Vélo Club Mouscron's annual randonnée.
Regular Club rides have grown from 2 Sunday groups to 8, with Saturday rides starting in 2017 to provide an even wider choice for Club members. The racing diary grew to the point where we often have full fields for our TT series.
The 2020-21 Covid pandemic was a setback for the Club as all rides, races and social events were suspended for the best part of a year, but once restrictions were eased life slowly got back to normal. Long may it prosper.
Honorary Life Members