During Lockdown three friends, team mates and keen cyclists from Whitley Bay Rockcliff, Ian Richardson, Shaun Malarkey and Andrew Bell were looking at ways of staying fit during the Covid Pandemic, as they had been training to take part in the annual C2C in a day challenge which was cancelled due to the Pandemic.
With no rugby being played for the foreseeable future, they were also thinking of fun ways in which to keep fellow teammates and club members interested and active while the club was closed.
Following a lot of research by Shaun it was discovered that there had been a regularly active cycling club based in the Rockcliff area of Whitley Bay (close to the Rugby Club's original home) from the late 1890’s.
The Rockcliff Wheelers, as they were known, were an extremely popular club which held regular cycling events throughout the year around the North East, often starting from the Monkseaton Arms.
By chance a lady in Monkseaton shared on social media a photo of a cycling certificate from 1936, which referenced Rockcliff Wheelers Annual 100-mile challenge which her father had completed in 1936.
Further investigation by Shaun discovered that the Wheelers Club seemed to fizzle out during the Second World War.
Perhaps this was now the time to resurrect the name of this once proud cycle touring club.
This has now led to the reformation of Rockcliff Wheelers as part of Whitley Bay Rockcliff Rugby Club to develop a range of twice weekly social cycling events for club members, friends, and the local community . The Wheelers are in the process of completing registration process with UK Cycling .
Following a few discussions and seeking permission from our partners, the first (re-formed) Rockcliff Wheelers social and friendly cycle ride commenced at 6:30pm on 8th July 2020. The ride contoured the coastline to Blyth before heading in land and looping back towards Whitley Bay through Seaton Deleval whilst enjoying the chance to socialise and get some fresh air and exercise. All that was needed following the short ride was some refreshments and a chance to sit down on a cushioned seat.
Its early days for the Wheelers and we are keen to encourage everyone to come and join us on one of our rides currently held on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Those that have already joined us come on a variety of styles of ‘jalopy or ‘boneshakers’ ranging from road, mountain and hybrid bikes and we stay socially distanced together as a group ensuring the pace suits everyone. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org and or look on the ‘Strava’ appn (www.strava.com) download it and join the club Rockcliff Wheelers for details of the next ride.