From "Bulky" to race winner!!!
So My name is John Lucock and I’ve been asked to write a little bit about cycling and the West Midlands Police Cycling Club WMPCC………
I’ve cycled on and off all my life, I always loved the feeling of freedom of riding a bicycle, what a great way to keep fit and lose yourself for a few hours. As any cyclist will tell you there is no better way to escape your stresses!!
I returned to cycling last year following a few years away from the bike due to circumstances and a busy career. I had, shall we say, “bulked up” so I decided something had to be done so I blew the dust off my bike and got out there!
I find cycling to work is a great way to keep fit and save yourself money, and sanity by beating all the traffic sat in queues on the way into Birmingham, where I work!
The WMP Cycling club has some really good members, I have to mention Mick Lenehan who is the most welcoming and supportive person to welcome and encourage new members to the sport. To Mick it doesn’t matter who you are, how fast you are, what kit or bike you have, Mick will just encourage you to ride your bike and keep you motivated.
There are a few of us who organise a regular Sunday morning ride from the Cannock area and it’s a great opportunity to do a few miles, we always visit a café for a coffee and cake and generally enjoy riding our bikes and having some banter.
At the start of this season I decided to do some competition so I signed up to British Cycling and entered a few races. I have been racing in the South Staffordshire and Shropshire cycling clubs road race league which is a weekly Thursdays night race league. Entry to the league is only open to affiliated clubs and thankfully WMP CC is affiliated as we provide marshals and vehicles to support one of the events during the 11 week series. This year we marshalled at the Cannock circuit where we had a great turn out of Marshalls and provided five vehicles to protect the riders during the event.
I have had some success within the league where at the Bridgnorth race on the 26th of May 2016 I attacked the field with a fellow rider, but from a different club, as soon as the race started. Within a few seconds we got a gap of a few hundred meters, through the first lap of around 17.5 miles this gap went out to about two minutes on our pursuers. At the end of the first lap (of two) I decided it was time to go it alone so attacked my fellow break away rider on a climb which is shown in the images.
The rest of the race, a further 17.5 miles, was then just me and my pursuers…. My two minute advantage was slowly ebbed away by the pursuing pack which contained three professional riders along with some talented amateur riders! I didn’t look back once during the final lap, I just pressed on, riding as hard as I could until I could see the line, I looked back to see the bunch about 300 meters behind me and closing at full speed. It was a race for the line with very heavy legs, but, I held them off winning by 3.2 seconds.
The photo’s show me crossing the line, proudly flying the flag for the West Midlands Police Cycling Club!
There is another image of me racing at Stourport sports village which is a closed roads purpose built cycling circuit.
The beauty of the league is that there is a handicapping system so riders of all abilities, providing they are reasonably fit, can turn up and participate in this fantastically exciting sport. There are all sorts of people who take part, from people in their 50’s to junior riders, both female and male.
At WMP CC it’s not all about racing though, the club has visited Belgium to ride a sportive this year which was a fantastic opportunity to which many would not have been able to do without the club, and this was a brilliant social event.
We have also ridden sportives (like a fun run) such as the Telford Toothpaste Challenge, The Tour of the Black Country and the Wolverhampton to Aberdovey ride. Pictured at the finish.
These type of events are truly open to all levels and abilities, turn up with whatever kit you have and you will have a great day out!!
So that’s it so far this year, we still have loads coming up though, a few of us will be representing the WMP CC at the national emergency services time trial championships in London in September and at the National emergency services road race championship which is in Leicester also in September, so wish us luck and watch this space.