Malcolm Walker has been a keen cyclist since his early teens and having lived and cycled around the roads and lanes of Hampshire and especially Odiham for the last 20 years he found himself talking to himself more and more on his regular Sunday morning rides. On arriving back at the Next Door café in the centre of Odiham High Street for his regular coffee he got talking to other cyclists who had also been out riding on their own.
With many cyclists every Sunday stopping at Next Door for a coffee break and even some using it as a meeting place, Malcolm realized that there must be keen cyclists like himself that would benefit from a cycling club, if for nothing more than to have another cyclist to ride and talk to. If he was talking to himself on his rides surely others were!
Next Door was already a natural meeting point, so he approached James the owner and asked if the club could be based out of Next Door, with the coffee bar becoming a club sponsor. With Next Door on board and the club having a formal base, Malcolm then approached Mike Keynes, owner of 1st Gear Cycles in Alton, and a formal link is now established between the club and the cycle shop.
So together Malcolm and Mike put together some flyers and a poster that James put in his window at Next Door seeking interested cyclists to attend an initial meeting. About 19 people turned up and on Sunday April 21st 2013 it was agreed that the new club would have its first ride out. Through no more than word of mouth and the poster in the window 22 cyclists turned up for the club’s first ride out - an amazing turn out………….. and a great start to Odiham Cycling Club.
Since then, Odiham Cycle Club has grown to just shy of 100 local members in 5 years of existance, and has been at the heart of the the very popular Tour of The Candovers cycle sportive.