The Club has five primary committee members consisting of Andy, Dave, Alex, Tony and Alice.

We thought we would ask them a few questions… and here are the answers…

Club Chairman – Andy Smith

Andy Started riding with a few fellow Triathletes on a Sunday morning almost twenty years ago. This naturally developed into a regular group of social Sunday rides and entering several 100 mile sportives.

My first cycling memory? When I was 5 years old, learning to ride a very small 2 wheel bike with my elder sister holding on to the saddle on Old road in Shipston.  There were no cars coming along that road in those days. I realised that I had gone all the way to the top of the road and my sister had let go of the saddle halfway along.

What’s the best thing about Shipston CC?   Riding in a tight peloton, chatting to good friends all wearing team kit and looking after each other.

Favourite cafe stop? I have been cycling in groups for nearly 20 years now and good cycling cafes come and go. There have been some good cafes over the years that are now closed or gone downhill. We are lucky that some really good new cafes have opened recently. To pick one single cafe out of them all is difficult. Some are good at quick service (important for a large group of cyclists) Some are good value for money and some have plenty of seating. However on a nice summers day I really enjoy a stop at Trudie’s Tea Garden in Cherington.

The best thing you’ve ever done on a bike?  So many enjoyable times riding my bike it is difficult to pick out the best. I always enjoy riding in good company and some of the Sunday club rides will always stick in my mind. However the best thing would have to be the toughest, most scenic, most iconic and most emotional ride and that was completing the Etape Du Tour. A stage of the Tour De France 1 week before the professionals, with the route taking in the Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and finishing with Alpe d’Huez with snow and 35 degree heat all in one day.

Club Secretary – Rachel Macrae

I represent the ones who everyone else has to wait for on the hills, but are always first in the queue at the coffee stops. I couldn’t even find a cycling photo of me that is fit to share with the world (red and sweaty in all of them)!

First cycling memory? Hurtling down a hill aged about five (on the pavement!), forgetting where the brakes were when I reached the bend at the bottom and going over the handlebars to land in a rose bush, losing a tooth as a I went. My cycling life has improved since then!

What’s the best thing about Shipston CC? The people, of course! I’ve made some wonderful friends over the years and I have always been impressed at how supportive members are, sharing expertise and encouraging less experienced riders.

Favourite café stop? I love them all!!! Cake is my main reason for riding! If I had to choose, it would be Mor Bakery in Chipping Campden because their pastries are fabulous and enormous. I’m also very keen on Lighthorne Cricket Pavilion (award for the most cream in a Victoria sponge), Still House Café at Cotswolds Distillery (hummingbird cake big enough to feed a family of four for a week), Gilks Café in Kineton (lovely croissants). This is my favourite question so far – I could go on for pages and pages, but I’ll stop now.

The best thing you’ve ever done on a bike? I suppose “stopped for cake” is not a valid answer here? I really enjoy the club holidays, with Sa Calobra in Mallorca being a highlight (although I did use an ebike for that one!). Also, I recently rode the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton ride, on a perfect summers day, and managed to get all the way up Ditchling Beacon without getting off and walking, so I was very proud of myself (and no, that wasn’t on an ebike!)

Club Treasurer- Dave Martin

First cycling memory?  My earliest cycling memory is learning to ride my bike without stabilisers. I vividly recall riding across a park with my dad running alongside holding the saddle, and then suddenly he wasn’t there!

The best thing about Shipston CC?  The best thing(s) about SCC for me is summed up by: Scenery, Camaraderie and Cake.

Favourite cafe stop?  My favourite cafe stop is Whichford Potteries, I like the beatnik vibe!

The best thing you’ve ever done on a bike? My best (most exhilarating) ride would have to be the “Descent from Orient”, a four mile downhill switch back, from the club’s trip to Mallorca in 2017.  

Ride Captain – Alex Macrae

Alex is one of the very strongest in the group. He has been riding with Shipston for many years now and has competed in many sportifs. Friendly and very approachable Alex is always there to offer advice to new members.

First cycling memory?  Cycling around the garden in Iver without stabilizers for the first time at the age of 4.

The best thing about Shipston Cycling?   The members are all very friendly and support each other when required. Alex has also made several long standing friends as a result of joining the club. Sunday club rides are regularly extended in the summer (usually monthly) to include coffee/cake stops not normally visited during the other seasons. 

Favourite cafe stop?  My favourite cafe stop is at Whichford. I like the eco-friendly and quirkiness of the place!

The best thing you’ve ever done on a bike? There are so many fantastic memories, but 2 stand out above the others. In 2017 I completed the Mallorca 312 sportive, a 312 km (194 miles) route around the beautiful Island in just over 12 hours. The other abiding memory was cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in 2019 over 9 days covering 990 miles managing to raise over £5,200 for SSAFA – the military charity.

Communications – Alice Mercer

Alice puts together our weekly newsletter and runs our social media pages.

First cycling memory? On a trailer bike attached to my Mum’s bike, I used to stop pedalling and hope she wouldn’t notice – funnily enough she did! 

The best thing about Shipston CC?   A great incentive to get out and explore the beautiful countryside we live in, with good chats and of course great cake – even when the weather isn’t so great!

Favourite cafe stop?  The cake selection at the Garden Shed, Wellesbourne I think wins for me – their Rocky Road is AMAZING, but Hillers Farm Shop comes in at a close second.

The best thing you’ve ever done on a bike? Each PB or new hill I conquer is an achievement!