Beacon RCC is a vibrant, well-established cycling club based in south Birmingham. The Beacon exists to help people get the most out of all branches of the sport and pastime of cycling. As well as taking part in all these cycling activities, our members regularly meet for meals, drinks, country walks and many other purposes.
Newcomers are always welcome at the Beacon. If you are thinking about joining, you may want to get to know us a little before making up your mind.
Members of the club partake in a wide range of
- Sociable group riding: club runs to local cafés and meeting points
- Time trialling: on-road individual or team races against the watch
- Road racing: mass-start races on the road
- Track racing: races on indoor and outdoor banked cycle tracks
- Cyclocross: cross-country circuit races
- Audaxing and cyclosportives: on-road challenge rides, often involving large numbers of people riding at their own pace
- Race training: preparation for the competitive-minded, on the road and on indoor static trainers
- Touring: extended rides to or in more distant places
- Cycling-related talks and presentations
Beacon has a youth Go Ride programme for 16 and unders called Beacon Academy which is dedicated to the development of younger members. The Academy offers cycling coaching and racing opportunities in south Birmingham. Emphasis is on fun and developing cycling skills and confidence.
Find out more at the Beacon Academy Facebook page.
Beacon RCC is run by a voluntary committee elected by its members at the club AGM. A full list of current committee members and their positions can be found on the Contact page.
The club offers support to the development of its members in a range of ways from funding coaching training courses to offering racing bursaries to under 23 members.
Alongside formal club activity there are plenty of informal activities organised by members such as mid week rides, evening training sessions, and social trips to cycling events.
Beacon RCC is a registered Go Ride Club.
Beacon RCC was founded on 10 November 1946, by a group of young men who used to meet on the slopes of Beacon Hill, in the Lickeys, southwest of Birmingham. Being admirers of the great Italian cyclists of the day, such as Fausto Coppi, the group chose red, white and green as the club colours.
From the outset, the Beacon was very active both as a racing club and as a social and touring club. Early competitive successes came from Norman Adams – an outstanding hill-climber and short-distance time-trialist, who won the Welsh National 25-mile title in 1951 and was close to the British record at the distance on several occasions – and from Dave Duffield, who excelled at long-distance tricycle riding, setting a variety of place-to-place records, including Land’s End to John O’Groats. Many people will know Dave best as Eurosport’s Tour de France commentator until recently.
The 1970s was a golden era for racing at the club. Rod Goodfellow was a prolific winner at all distances, but particularly in endurance events, while his wife Chris joined forces with June Pitchford, Maggie Gordon Smith and Janet Crowther to form an all-conquering women’s team. In ’75, Steve Jones took the National Junior 25-mile and Best All-Rounder titles before stepping up to the senior ranks to carve out a professional career. A little later, Dave Hughes and Tony Webb set a series of national and regional tandem records, as well as having a tilt at the world human-powered vehicle record in a tandem with faring. Mixed tandem records were also set by Jane Herrin and Trevor Bull.
Highlight of the 1990s was Hugh McGuire’s national over-60s road race title. In the modern era, the club’s leading competitor has been Ruth Eyles, a multiple national time-trial champion and winner of women’s events at all distances from ten to a hundred miles. For details of the Beacon’s major racing successes down the years, see our Roll of Honour.
However, the Beacon has never been just a racing club. As the picture shows, sociable group riding – particularly on Sunday morning club runs – was a big element of club life from the outset. For generations, Beacon men and women of all ages and abilities have explored the Midlands countryside together, spending many an hour chatting in cafés from the Welsh marches to the Cotswolds. The camaraderie fostered by these rides remains one of the defining characteristics of the club to this day. As a result, the Beacon is as well known for the friendly welcome extended to participants in its Audaxes, road race and open time trials as it is for the performances of its racing stars.