A Brief History of Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club LVYCC
by Bob Griffiths
LVYCC started in 2000 when I wanted a safe place to ride for my sons, Andrew and Steven. At this time, the existing circuit at Eastway in east London seemed to be the ideal site. It was an enclosed, secure area and offered both road and off-road riding experiences.
The club was set up with the help of Neil Simpson (British Cycling), Pete and Karem (Lee Valley Senior Club) and Terry (Whitewebs) and with excellent backing from the Lee Valley Park Authority. The club was established on the Hillingdon Slipstreamers model which welcomes youth members from any club to be trained as youth riders who then return to their senior club when they become juniors.
14 youth riders attended on the first day and the club grew quickly to a peak of 110 members. Notably, few riders came from senior clubs and instead the club simply grew of its own accord as more and more enthusiastic youth riders and their families joined up.
A tentative link was formed with Interbike, mainly through the Assen Youth Tour, but this never really evolved into anything substantial.
In October 2006 the Club moved temporarily to Highams Park following the closure of Eastway before moving to its current base at Hog Hill in February 2008.
The primary aim of the club is to encourage youth cycling as a fun activity for all. However, we recognise that many youth riders enjoy the competitive side of cycling (no Saturday coaching session is complete without a short time trial or race in which all the riders take part enthusiastically). Where appropriate, we encourage and coach riders to embrace racing across number of cycling disciplines. As part of this process towards youth rider progression, LVYCC now has a formal link with the senior Essex club Glendene. This club is recommended to riders over the age of 16 as those with racing aspiration and ability can join a fully sponsored junior racing team.
Over its relatively short history the club has had several national champions and national series winners in road racing, mountain biking, cyclocross and time trialing. There have also been good results at an international level and members have also had the honour of representing Great Britain. Furthermore, several members have also been selected for the British Cycling Talent Team.
Since coming to Hog Hill, the club is again growing rapidly and very shortly it is hoped that racing success will continue as it did when the club was based at Eastway.
Bob Griffiths (October 2008)