Cycle Club Woking (CC WOKING) started back in 1981, founded by Bob Gontar as a mainly juniors club, filling a void where established clubs (Charlotteville etc.) just didn’t cater for juniors.
In 1982 Kevin (Herbie) Blackburn (current Woking CC member) joined the West Surrey CTC, and throughout 1983 rode with the likes of Simon Doughty and Ray Craig doing greater and greater distance events until they completed the 1983 Paris-Brest-Paris (758 miles/1215km in one go). They then started looking for the next challenge and Road Racing beckoned, but with very few clubs around being interested in anything but Time Trials. With this, Simon Doughty, managed to persuade Bob Gontar to start taking seniors in the club, and CC Woking took off.
A mix of maturing ex-juniors and new intake resulted in a small club in 1984 with virtually every member competing in the Surrey League and other Road Races, plus Time Trials and Randonnées, in fact almost any event around (MTB was yet to take off then).
At that inception the main players were (Woking Cycles sponsored era):
- Bob Gontar, founder and president (ex-first cat)
- Rick Tarver, star 2nd cat ex-junior
- Simon Doughty, long distance expert (2nd Cat, 3rd Nat 24hr as an unknown in 1985, Best All Rounder for Border Cycling Association, 1984/85, BCA 12hr champ 85/86)
- Ray Craig, leading light in the Audax UK, back in 1970s was first Brit to enter any Randonnées (they were all French then)
- Kevin Blackburn (rode everything to enjoy it, with 25th Nat 24hr in 1985, and 1 or 2 RR placings, and Border CA Handicap wins, but nothing special)
- Gillian Blackburn (Lady’s Best All Rounder for the Border Cycling Association 1985)
- Mark Fraser
During this early phase Bob, Simon, Gillian, Rick and Herbie shared the different committee roles (chair, secretary, treasurer, race/events secretary, etc.). Bob having been the founder, coach and mentor to the club went back to live on the Isle of Wight, where his family came from, and some members stayed in touch and would go there for training camps (before the Med training camps took off!). As members of the Surrey League and Border Cycling Association (Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, W Sussex), CC Woking had to run 2 races in each league a year.
When CC Woking first struck in 1984 and again in 1985, they won almost everything there was on the Border CA competitions – Simon was Best All Rounder (BBAR – season long grand prix over all their events) and won several of the TTs inc. the 12hr, Gillian was lady’s BCA BBAR, Herbie won all the shorter handicaps (10, 25 and 30), Ray won all the longer handicaps (50, 100), and Simon and Rick progressed to 2nd Cats in Surrey League.
For a spell at this time the Surrey League managed to secure use of the unopened M25 around Leatherhead, and we raced Thursday evening handicap road races up and down the motorway – quite surreal!
In 1984 we ran the first Woking Criterium Town Centre race under the Surrey League, (a year before the Charlotteville Guildford Criterium – which has been running ever since). The Woking Criterium ceased sometime around 1988 when the town planners put bollards in Commercial Way and Chapel Street (circuit had been Commercial Way, Chapel Street, High Street and a short section of Cawsey Way before starting again). It was nice to see the Tour Series and Halfords bring Town Centre racing back to Woking recently.
Sponsorship for the club continued in 1987, thanks to JE Ellesley builders and then around sometime after by GFB Seafoods.
Around 1997, there was still a CC Woking presence at the Charlotteville evening club TTs at Pirbright. But that ceased until 2013 when the Bike Swanky / Woking CC jerseys made reappearance.
The current Woking Cycling Club was formed on March 15th 2013 with the founder members being Paul Down and Alan Hanley.