What a year for Forge – with so much to look forward in 2024.
The Forge flotilla continues to grow in numbers as we sail towards what promises to be a fabulous fourth year.
We are now 160+ members strong – up from 101 last year. Quite impressive. However, the really important number is the amount of riders who turn out as regularly as possible to make the Club sustainable, who contribute their spare time and efforts to make it the best experience possible.
The Club was born and developed during COVID when we had the time, inclination and support to build proper foundations and structures. As we have grown, this has really paid off. Forge feels quite grown up – maybe cycling club years are the equivalent of dog or cat years. We’ve always tried to ‘do the right thing’, do it ‘the right way’ and give as many people as possible a voice and have their say to influence the decisions we make.
The regular Sunday and Thursday evening rides have found new faces, routes and fun. Our trips continue to grow with 2023 highlights including Calpe, Flanders and Purbeck, backed up by epic days around the south coast and our favourite playground of the Surrey Hills.
Individual challenges have been awe-inspiring and celebrated by the Club, from gravel rides the length of the Camino de Santiago or the outpouring of support, advice and kindness for any rider taking on a personal challenge or recovering from injury.
We’ve raced, winning nine criteriums and earning a multitude of podiums and top 10s. Seven riders have jumped up race categories, 12 riders won race points and four qualified for the World Fondo Championships in Glasgow. We started 2023 with five racers and end the year with 16 regular speedsters, with another seven declaring their interest in 2024. Whoosh!
Across all groups, from social to fast, and from all abilities, we’ve been there for each other; encouraging, supportive, cajoling and caring. It’s the Forge way.
And for starters we’ve got Mallorca, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and La Marmotte Granfondo in the Alps all lined up to look forward to in 2024.
It’s all been possible because we have been so blessed with so many contributing with enthusiasm and energy to all we do; helping with our events, each ride with Ride Captains, kit organisers, the webheads on the website, our social media influencers, membership management, our racing whippets, those helping with the commitment summary and of course, our Committee.
One of the most important founding structures of the Club is a strong desire to keep the running of the club fresh and dynamic. In 2024, there will be new ideas and faces on the Committee to manage our continued growth and keep Forge an exciting and inclusive cycling club.
Members of Forge, it’s your club. Fly the Forge flag with pride and joy in 2024.