The Trans-Pennine Cycling Club has it’s origins in 1992 when founder members Tony Slater and Keith Ogden decided to set up a club of their own with fresh ideas and as an alternative to the other clubs in the area.
January 1990 Tony Slater started at OMC Ford, Oldham. Tony noticed a man turned up at work each day riding a bike. The man was Frank Leigh, a 63 year old life member of West Pennine CC. He had been with them for 40 years. Tony and Frank became good friends and would spend many hours talking ‘bike’ as Frank still had a huge enthusiasm for cycling. He had worked at the company for a ling time and knew everyone. He mentioned to various people employed there that Tony was a cyclist, including one Keith Ogden. It then became evident that there was a large number of cyclists at the motor company.
In June 1991 Frank and Tony rode the Hope Hospital (Salford) to Southport and back charity ride of some 76 miles. Keith heard about this and became obsessed with joining them the year after but sadly, in 1992, Frank died.
In 1992 Keith Ogden read an article in Cycling Weekly about a club in the USA who were looking for a British chapter. They were attached to the Los Angeles police force and used the club to get youth off the streets and away from crime. Keith asked various friends and workmates if they were interested in starting their own club under the guise of the Law Enforcement Cycling Association (LECA), as the yanks were called.
The response was favourable, and in September after Keith had advertised for members, the club started to meet for rides. The parent club let us use their motto and crest. “Cycling Against Drugs” was their motto, and now it was ours. In October we had our first meeting and a committee was formed. Our colours and kit were designed with our own logo. Now we were a real cycling club with a real racer in our midst – Paul Radford.A policeman from Sheffield had joined us and promised more members from the city, so in respect for them and in area in between, the club was named “Trans Pennine”. Sadly, the policeman left soon afterwards and we never did see any of his promised members. But the name stuck and the clothing (derived from the L.A. Sherrifs – the original name of LECA and the Australian national kit) to this day still looks excellent.Thanks to the friendliness of the members and the warm welcome given to experienced and novice cyclists alike, our riders have been able to experience racing, touring, mountainbiking, charity rides and many other facets of our sport. But most importantly they have made new friends and enjoyed the companionship of group riding.
VERY EARLY GROUP PHOTO
The photo to the left might possibly be one of the earliest group photos taken of the club. On the back row are Christine, Dave and Paul, while on the front are Keith and Tony (our founder members), Phil and David.The location is at our meeting place – the Wrens Nest, and the date was the 9th of January, 1994
The years have certainly passed very quickly since the start of the club back in September 1992. I thought that due to the influx of new members and a reminder to the more established in the club a quick overview of the formation of the club was warranted.After leaving Sheffield Polytechnic in July 1992, for whom I raced whist studying, I saw an article in Cycling Weekly by one Keith Ogden who was considering forming a new club in the Shaw area. I contacted Keith and arranged to meet him. We spoke about the affiliations and governing bodies, what we wanted, the objectives and establishment proper of the club, and I also met Tony Slater and a big chap called Derrick and his son. Keith had been in liaison with an American Team called the L.A. Sheriffs, which was a professional team based in Los Angeles. It’s policy was to help promote a healthier lifestyle against drug culture through cycling. Members and representatives from that team would go into schools and colleges and tell them of the benefits of cycling and the high you can get rather than smoking crack and other drugs which were prevalent in L.A. Working with the law enforcement over there they saw some success. Keith was active in youth work and was keen to emulate this policy. Over the next weeks we had a number of meetings and one chap called Guy Aldworth from Sheffield attended. The most important meeting thus far was to decide on a name and team colours for the club. Several suggestions were put forward including ‘Trans-Atlantic C.C.’ and ‘Shaw Jubilee Wheelers’, but a consensus was finally reached on ‘Trans Pennine C.C.’ as we wanted to show the link between members on both the east and west sides of the Pennines. The club shirt design changed little over the ensuing years. It was designed emulating that of the LA Sheriffs, but in place of their ‘Chevrolt’ sponsor logo, we had a cyclist passing through the hills. The C.A.D. or ‘cycling against drugs’ was retained from the American jersey showing our affinity to the promotion of cycling against socially unacceptable activities such as drug abuse. The sheriff star logo on the sleeves was a derivative form the L.A. police department and has the script LECA or ‘Law Enforcement Cycling Association’ circling the inner of the logo. On entry forms for road races and time trials we originally entered the team as ‘Trans Pennine CC / LA Sheriffs English Chapter. However, after the demise of the American squad and cessation of links, this secondary side was dropped. For several years the club went through a turbulent period. About half the club left to form an off0shoot road team. When this happened there was only six of us left and we debated whether it was viable to keep going. That team lasted for only one season, but the TPCC remains stronger than ever. I am pleased to see the club growing in prestige both on the racing front and in the promotion of rides in conjunction with the BCF etc. The TPCC is going places and I would like to thank all the members new and old for their input to the club and their friendship over the years. Happy cycling.
Way back in 1990 a work colleague died from cancer, and in his memory and in aid of Christies Hospital my work-mates (including Keith Garlick and Big Gaz) organized some sponsored walks. By 1992 a few of us had fomented the idea of building a three-seater bike and riding it from Scarborough to Blackpool. We accomplished this in the summer and the following year we did a similar event from Portmerian to Christies. The radio and tabloid publicity from this last event was noticed by Keith Ogden who contacted us and suggested that we meet for a training ride. Gary and I had already had a few rides out on mountain-bikes with a proper cycling club in Glossop, but neither of us felt particularly welcome or experienced enough to fit in. So we met Keith at the foot of Crompton Moor with some skepticism and were even more doubtful when he came without a bike. Apparently he had had an accident the previous weekend when he had crashed through a hedge during a time trial and needed to rest. Being a friendly and persuasive character, Keith talked Gary and I into joining him and his newly formed ‘Transpennine Cycling Club’ on the upcoming annual Manchester – Southport – Manchester ride. As we had already taken part in a Manchester to Blackpool ride, we felt we could at least have a go at keeping up with these ‘professionals’ and if we dropped off there would be plenty of others to ride with. I had recently purchased a cheap road bike, and Gary borrowed one from a friend. On the day of the event I was particularly impressed with the club when we rolled out from the start. They all had on their new club jerseys and as I followed at the back of the line I thought they looked fantastic. I had never ridden with a group on the road before and I found the teamwork and sheer speed exhilarating. And what’s more I could keep up! I remember Keith and Tony on that ride and they and the other members were very encouraging, helpful and friendly. By the time the event was over I was hooked. A year or so after joining the club I was finally persuaded to have a go at a time trial. I had long admired our experienced racers such as John and Paul Radford but had lacked the confidence to race. Now I was fitter and faster and ready for a ten-miler. I entered a two up event in Cheshire with another new member – Neil Stansfield. We both enjoyed the event, and it was the start of many years cycle racing. Soon the club was organizing it’s own time trials and road races. Our two-up and four-up events became quite famous – especially with Keith Garlick’s ‘tombstone’ trophies, and our ‘Horse and Jockey’ road race became an annual fixture for several years. This was organized jointly by our club and the late Chris Knight of the T.L.I.
Not sure you, or anyone in the club will remember me; I was a member of the Trans Pennine CC in 1993, when I lived in Manchester for most of that year, having relocated from Nottingham.
I recently googled the club & found your website & was particularly interested in the history section – it raised so many old names that I remember from that time & also gave me a mention too!
Like Paul Radford, I got in touch with Keith Ogden after he wrote a piece for Cycling Weekly about the club & the link to the LA Sheriffs. Once I moved to Manchester, I used to attend the club meetings & Sunday runs from the Wrens Nest; took a real pasting from the boys on my first club run, being originally from East Anglia where its flat, to the Pennines, where its not, was an eye opener. But I got them back on the descent of Blackstone Edge – I can’t climb as I’m 6 ft plus, but I’m heavy enough to descend ok..!
I edited a few of the club newsletters too & rode the York 100 mile ride, organised by Cycling Weekly for National Bike Week. Due to the connection with the LA Sheriffs, we did correspond with Malcolm Elliot when he was riding as a pro with them, with a view to him coming out for a ride with us! Surprisingly, we did get a response that Keith might still have, penned by the great man himself suggesting that he might be up for a ride when he returned from a winter’s riding in Australia – I’d moved on so not sure if he ever did follow that one through.
Because I had a road racing background, I got on with Paul & John Radford particularly well; eventually Paul persuaded me to ride a time trial with him (see attached photo), where I took the mother of all kickings from him – he didn’t even seem out of breath, such was the quality of Mr Radford!
I only stayed for the one year, being relocated with my firm down to the south coast at the end of 93, where I met my future wife Lorraine, but remember my time with the TPCC fondly. Keith Ogden was a total legend, as was Tony Slater; I’d appreciate if you could pass on my best to them & to the Radford brothers too if you are in contact with them. I can be contacted on this e-mail, or alternatively firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone wants to get in touch.
I’m still riding my bike; there isn’t another sport for me, & hoping to race again this year, as long as Team Aldworth (wife Lorraine & 4 kids) are prepared to support it!.