A ground-breaking Harrogate club in the vanguard of the town’s recent love-in with cycling is preparing to mark a landmark birthday.
The focal point of the Cappuccino Cycling Club’s celebrations for its tenth anniversary are two cycle rides, one saw members return to the 30-mile route of its very first ride last night, Tuesday, the other a 45-mile run set to take place on Saturday at 8.30am.
Having grown out of a casual idea in 2009, it has been an amazing ride for this inclusive club which has grown to such a point that its birthday event may yet see as many as 300 cyclists turning up.
The club’s co-founder James Lovell said: “After myself and a friend Robert Minors came up with the idea, we went from 70 to 80 members to a 300 membership very quickly. We both loved cycling but we also loved coffee and cake.”
“Team Sky was formed in 2010, Britain had its great cycling success at the London Olympics in 2012 and then Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France the same year.
“Then the Tour de France came to Harrogate and then the Tour de Yorkshire.
“We call that period the great “lift off” for cycling.”
What makes the Cappuccino Cycling Club special is the friendly attitude it has shown from the very beginning.
Although proper road cyclists, unashamed to wear the correct lycra attire, the Cappuccino crew are not an ultra-serious racing club obsessed with competition.
James said: “When people first join they often say “you don’t seem to be a tradtional club, you seem to be more accessible.
“We ride four times a week but there’s also a lot of socialising in the club. There’s even been a couple of marriages. People have met through the club and have kids now.”
Once the anniversary cycle is out of the way this Saturday, via a pub, of course, the club members will gather at the club’s base at Harrogate Squash and Fitness Club for a party including turbo training, pizza, beer, a DJ, a bouncy castle and a bucking bronco.
James said: “We take cycling seriously but most of our club rides even now are based on riding out to a cafe or bar, then riding back. We like to take a civilised approach.”