The 1990’s saw increasing traffic volumes which gradually limited the numbers of courses available towards the close of the decade.
Club riders included Terry Icke, Melissa Kitcher, Paul Doughty, Andrew Hartwell, Tony Saunders, Colin Price, Mike Malins, Paul Hanwell, Nigel Rendell, Adrian Snell, Mike Snell, Gary Steadman, Terry Belbin, Mark Valentine, John Hook, Eddie Beck, Paul Hughes, John Burrows, Graham Hurst, Paul Harris, Brian Harris.
Successful riders of the era included Clive Brooks VC Camelot, Glenn Longland and Lee Paxton Antelope RT, Eamonn Deane BJW.
Races promoted in the area included the usual 10’s 25’s and 50’s. In 1995 there were 64 Open events which included 2 x 100 mile TT and a 12 hour promoted by Poole Wheelers.
In 1996 Poole Wheelers hosted the National 12 hour Time trial which was run on a course centred on the Roundhouse Roundabout at Sturminster Marshall with legs off to Blandford, Poole, Bere Regis and Bakers Arms. Ros Spencer recruited a huge number of helpers to assist in the logistical nightmare that is a National 12 hour event. Marshals were required for each leg of the course. She arranged for feeding stations as required by the RTTC. The HQ was at the David Lloyd centre in Ringwood.
After a day of massive effort by the riders, helpers and organisers, we were rewarded with the record breaking ride by Andy Wilkinson of Port Sunlight Wheelers. He set a new national record of 300.271 miles in the 12 hours averaging over the 25mph…. Andy managed to set a new record at 50 and 100 miles and the 12 hour. He went on to set a number of end to end records. He rode the RTTC events during 1996 and disappeared into other endurance pursuits.
1998 saw the final Poole Wheeler promoted 12 hour event won by Malcolm Cox covering 279 miles. The roads had become to heavy with traffic and the danger to riders considered to great to continue. The South DC ran a 12 hour event in 1999 which was never repeated.
By the close of the 90’s there remained one 100 mile time trial run by BJW. During the late 90’s there were a number of tales that I can recall. Paul Doughty rode into the rear of a tanker on the Wimborne bypass during a race and spent a good deal of time recovering, he also received a ban for his troubles.
Terry Icke suffered injuries including a broken pelvis as he rounded Stag gate early in the 12 hour event. He got out the saddle to bring his himself back up to speed and woke up in hospital.
Mark Valentine suffered life threatening injuries when knocked off his bike on his way to work on the Bournemouth spur road one dark winters morning. He has since returned to cycling and has ridden a number of recent events.
The 21st Century
The beginning of 2000 saw Poole Wheelers entering a team of riders in the Tour de North Contentin centered on Cherbourg in Northern France. This stage race saw a racing team under the banner of Poole Wheelers. The true Poole Wheelers were joined by other club riders. The team was Terry Icke, Tony Saunders, Mark Valentine, Paul Harris, Mike Tarrant (owner of Prendas Ciclismo) Eamonn Deane (BJW) Roland Tilley, Paul Doughty.
The end result of this was Eamonn came 3rd in the 255km race and Roland 7th – A truly creditable performance by all the riders and and great way to start the 2000’s….
Paul Doughty and Melissa Kitcher moved into the equestrian scene after many years of supporting cycling. John Hook moved to Spain a sad loss to the club at a time when he just looked to be getting even quicker.
Riders entering into the race scene were Max Baldock, Mike Graven, Pete Cotty, Mark Dobbs, Pete Grounds, Lou Dutch, Richard Davidson, Gareth Cobb. and re-entering Paul Jeffrey.
The sport of Triathlon has contributed to our success with many riders joining to improve their cycling section of the 3 disciplines, Richard Martin and Denzil Hunt reflect this trend.
2006 was a particularly good year with the club winning the EDCA and South DC titles through having a consistent team of riders.
Whilst the old stalwarts are still competing for the club. We have been lucky to see the natural talent of younger riders shine through. Max Baldock had a very successful 2006 mixing it with the established riders and making a name for himself locally, particularly over the shorter distances.
Club activities seemed to have broadened considerably with riders in Etape events and other long distance events The 1600km Paris Brest Paris was attempted by Paul Dytham in 2007( he’ll be doing it again next time) Cyclocross, Road racing and TLI events have all been well supported.
Amazingly the driving force behind the club has remained constant with Ros Spencer (mentioned in 1973) and Joan Price (Joan is mentioned in the 1940’s account on the occasion of her 18th Birthday) giving up considerable amounts of their time to keep the events running.
Graham Hurst has been active as the Chairman and promoting cycling through his coaching with British cycling.
Our club captain of the last two years Max Baldock has injected huge doses of enthusiasm into the 82 year old club resulting in a rejuvenation many thought they might never see. New members provide the promise of a great season in 2008 with Gary Tuskin, Leighton Girling, Adam Darcy-Wykes together with all the usual suspects.