The early days…
The club was formed in 1992 from a group of workmates at OMC Ford, in Oldham, riding together during 1991. Although the roots were as an English Chapter of the Los Angeles Police Dept’s Law Enforcement Cycling Association club and with friends here in Oldham, Rochdale and Sheffield (one of whom also being a policeman), the club name Trans Pennine Cycling Club was selected. It seemed a good idea at the time, however our association with the LA Sheriffs was short-lived and our Sheffield student members came back here to the sunny-side of the Pennines: but the name and club colours have stuck.
For a while in the mid 90’s, we had a bit of a competitive streak going within the club, with some members having a go at racing, time-trials, even running an open 4-up Team Time Trial event for Manchester District CTT, as well as our own internal club sprints, hill-climbs, treasure trails.
And, the leisurely side of cycling was never far away, with a number of Epic Rides and Club Tours and Charity Rides.
Times have changed: the competitive elements of the club have matured a bit, or moved onto other things, traffic levels in the valley roads have increased to less-than-comfortable levels and off-road cycling equipment has evolved.
So, going with the flow, we have incorporated off-road rides as well as seeking quieter on-road routes, thus allowing us to take our time to enjoy the splendid environs of Rochdale, the Pennines, the West Pennine Moors, Ribble Valley and into The Dales beyond.
Our rides around Rochdale
These are some of the road rides we undertake:
- Gold / Silver / Bronze “Over The Edge” versions,
- The Whalley Wobble,
- The Treasurer’s Trog,
- Owd Betts / Bacup / Sharneyford / Cragg Vale,
- The Clarion Club House at Newchurch in Pendle,
- Nick O’Pendle / Barley circuit,
- Haslinden / Pickup Bank / Edgworth,
- Denshaw / Scammonden / Slaithewaite,
- Gisburn / Waddington,
- Isle Of Skye road / Holmfirth / Glossop,
- Haworth over Cock Hill,
- Halifax Ski Centre via Oxenhope
We are blessed with a great network of trails – up and across the moorlands above the town and along the network of canal towpaths running through Rochdale. These allow us to cruise along canals, tootling along towpaths or blasting along beautiful bridleways, or up onto the moorlands to go snaking around singletrack whilst trying our best not to be wrecking rims on rocks. (All with a responsible attitude towards other users, of course.)
Here are some loops we have adopted for our summer evening and wintery weekend rides…
The Mary Towneley Loop: a classic day out, suitable for hard-tails, with not too much technical stuff (one tricky descent!) across the moors overlooking Burnley, over to Widdop then home around Todmorden. See the Pennine Mountain Bike Assoc website for more
Gisburn Forest Trail Centre: not too far away (by car though), for a day in the forest…
And of course, there are Lee and Cragg Quarry trails, by Bacup, where technical skills may be polished (or punished!).
Sportive & Audax rides
These are rides set by other organisations that are open to participation and we are lucky that a number of the best of them set off from Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.
The local Audax “Brevet Populaires” are scenic day rides, from 50km to 150km distance, looping out into Ribble Valley and the edges of The Yorkshire Dales. We have members who have gone “the extra miles” riding 200km “Brevet Randonneur” events and beyond – 300km, 400km, 600km and the premier events of the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris and 1400km London-Edinburgh-London epics.
But the short rides are hilly enough and usually reward participants with a sociable day and end-of-ride food.
As a club, we have ventured forth on some epic trips and tours. See our Touring page for more information about these adventures.
Our monthly meetings take place on the first Monday of each month at Woolworths Sports & Social Club, Gypsy Lane, Rochdale, OL11 3HA when all matters regarding the club and our programme of rides are discussed. All club members are invited to attend.
Note: the social club’s bar is open to us during and after the meeting.
The date of the next meeting is posted on the Home Page banner.
So, to conclude:
That briefly describes what we are about, what we do, where we go. We are currently not affiliated to any racing organisations – our friends in the Triathlon Club or in other racing teams can entertain any such ambitions that you may have for going fast and furiously – but we welcome all enquiries from those of you seeking to enhance your enjoyment of cycling on and off-road.
Contact: Eric or Steve, per the Home Page, or use the form set up here.