Durham and the surrounding area is home to some of the best roads in the UK, with a different style of riding whichever direction you choose to go. Heading west you can be in the heart of the Pennines in under an hour, offering dozens of climbs, including the 6 highest public roads in England, and some of the climbs featured in stage 6 of the 2021 Tour of Britain. Being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO Global Geopark, the North Pennines are a truly spectacular place to ride a bike year-round. Wee villages nestled in the valleys often provide cosy cafe stops as well!
Flatter rides can be found heading south towards the North York Moors or east out to the sea! Also within reach are the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and remote scenery of Kielder and Northumberland.
The club aims to lead rides three days a week, catering for all abilities. We love grand adventures – Great Dun Fell anyone? – just as much as we like chilled cafe rides, or heading for an ice cream at the beach. You can see some of our favourite routes here, where you can also download a custom map showing the best climbs of the county! Join our facebook page to learn about upcoming rides, or to find people to accompany you on your own adventures.
We cater for a wide range of abilities at DUCC, from beginners to successful racers. We have at least 2 club rides each week (although we aim for 3!) and more casual rides are organised through our Facebook group so you’ll never be short of people to ride with! Most club rides start in the Trevellyan college car park (it’s a hill college, just past the science site).
Wednesday, 2:00pm: Club rides; a range of rides go out, all offering a different session to accommodate all levels and training goals.
Saturday, 9am: A range of rides will go out most saturdays. Usually longer rides of 3+ hours (2+ hours during Winter) are preferred, however there is always the chance for something shorter and steadier.
Sunday, 9am: Club run. A steady ride with a couple of groups going out, during the spring and summer we’ll incorporate a cafe stop on route but during winter we may opt to cafe back in Durham at the end of the ride. Sunday rides are fantastic opportunities to meet new riders in a more relaxed fashion.
Racing – Durham University Autumn Crit Series
We’re lucky to have a good racing scene in the North East. As of 2021, we are adding our own crit series to the mix! The main features of the calendar are as follows:
Durham University Autumn Crit Series: Introduced in 2021, this is a series of 3 races held at the Middlesborough sports village. The club will aim to get as many riders involved as possible, providing transport to and from the event where numbers permit. It offers 4th cat only races for newcomers, as well as E123 events for the more experienced racers.
Velo 29 Winter Series: http://velo29events.com/races/winter-series/
The season kicks off in second term with a winter series just south of Darlington, the wide track there means the 4th cat race is perfect for newcomers to racing, while the E123 provides some fast racing to get you into shape for the coming season.
The Prissick Evening Crit Series: Details found on the British Cycling website closer to the time.
These races are held on another track in Middlesbrough, towards the end of second term and then runs weekly throughout third term.
At the races
Whilst trips in 2020 and 2021 were difficult to organise, we hope to arrange more trips for all aspects of the club throughout the 2021/2022 year. A Spain trip is in the works, and we will no doubt incorporate our annual summer trip to the Lake District into our calendar.
Coaching and Other Sessions
Strength and Conditioning: Open to race team members, these are coach lead weekly sessions through Team Durham. S&C takes place in the performance gym up to twice a week at Maiden Castle. The sessions are specifically tailored to cycling working on leg strength as well as core exercises. They are led by Team Durham strength and conditioning coaches in the new high performance weigh rooms.
General Training Plans: These are available for all race members covering a variety of disciplines and interests: road racing, crit racing, cyclocross and general fitness. These have been tailor made by our cycling coach Phill Smith. He is available to give training advice and can be contacted through [email protected]
1 – 1 Training: For performance riders 1-1 coaching is available from Phill, with weekly session prescription and race specific preparation and advice. Previous riders have gone on to race in the Tour series, British Cycling national series and sign for pro teams whilst riding for the University. Applications for 1-1 coaching will open at the start of the year and places are limited. Please note that the upgraded membership will be required to be considered for coaching.
The club always takes part in the inter-university BUCS cycling events. These are great events, often organised by other university clubs, they give opportunity for our members to take part in competition and measure themselves against the best university riders in the country. The events that take place and their rough place in the calendar are as follows.
Hill Climb: Traditionally held in October at Curbar Gap in the Peak District, though the 2016 edition will be held in Stirling.
10 Mile TT: All the time trials take place around Easter time in April.25 Mile TT: Recently hosted by Cambridge University Cycling Club.3 Up TTT: It’s not that often that you get the opportunity to compete in a TTT, great fun!
MTB Cross Country: This has lost its BUCS status recently but is still running, usually in June.MTB Downhill:Usually in Summer term, see Mountain Bike under disciplines.Road Race and Criterium: Back on the Calendar in past couple of years, early May just down in York.Track Championships: While more often than not we don’t manage to send a team to the track it could be a different story in a couple of years, see the track cycling section under disciplines!
BUCS points are awarded for both individual and team results. These go to both the BUCS cycling league table and the overall university standings, in which Durham have been a strong second in recent times.
You can find more information about BUCS cycling here.
The club has two established annual trips, a January Pre-Season training camp in sunny Spain and a post exams trip to the Lake District.
The Spain trip gets the base miles in while sharing the roads with many of the pros, we usually see Quick-Step a couple of times! In past few years we have been well looked after by Citrus Cycling.
The Trip to the Lakes is very popular, only a couple hour’s drive from Durham and there’s some of the hardest and best cycling in the UK. The mountain bikers join as well to make it one of the most inclusive and best enjoyed club events.