New cycle club set to start this weekend

Gary Matthews from Reydon is launching a new cycling group in the Southwold and Reydon area.

Gary Matthews from Reydon is launching a new cycling group in the Southwold and Reydon area.

© Archant 2012

A NEW cycle club in Southwold will have its first ride this weekend after holding its first official meeting on Monday night.

Founder of Sole Bay Cycle Sport, Gary Matthews, wanted to gauge the level of interest from people in the area at The Randolph Hotel and was delighted at the turnout.

The former triathlete had feared the worst before the meeting when a blizzard blew across the area but was buoyed by the number of people that attended.

“It was an awful night, it was pretty bleak so I did worry not many people would come,” said Matthews, who has his own personal training company, Gem Fitness. “But to have 25 people turn up was really great. I had 50 application forms printed out initially and I got rid of all of them as people took them for friends as well.

“Interest is very high so we are up and running. There were lots of positive vibes and positive ideas. We are planning to enter sportives through the year – we are hoping to get together as a club and ride together as much as possible. We are really looking to get the club out there.”

Matthews, 51, is now planning to host the club’s first ride tomorrow by cycling from Southwold to Sizewell Beach Cafe.

He will also compete in the Somerleyton 25-mile time trial on Sunday under the Sole Bay Cycle Sport banner and he hopes to be able to guide other riders through the competitive process.

However, Matthews is determined the club focuses more on the social side of cycling with the emphasis on enjoyment.

“We will concentrate more on the sportf side of things and make sure people use it as a chance to get together whilst doing something good for your health,” added Matthews, who has managed to secure sponsorship of their cycle shirts through Adnams. “I will do some of the races and I offered last night to guide anyone that wants to go in that direction.

“The actual process, filling out of forms, can be quite complicated. They haven’t quite dragged themselves into the 21st century yet – it’s all done on postal forms and that sort of thing.

“It can be a little bit intimidating to the newcomer so I want to try and smooth that passage for anyone that wants to go that route.”

There will be a ‘club night’ on the last Monday of every month at The Randolph and organised rides every Saturday and Sunday.

It is £15 to join Sole Bay Cycle Sport, which includes your own cycle jersey, and £12 a year subscription thereafter. For further information contact Gary Matthews on 07971 602482.

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