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those days, from roller-racing to track to time trialling to road racing, and some
strong friendships were made, which I came to realise was probably the most
powerful reason for belonging. Shared experiences of ambition, endeavour, fair play,
hard work, success, and even bad luck and failure too – these are all things that
help to build one’s personality and enable us to understand ourselves and each

In the early 90s I found a bit of a niche for myself in another branch of the sport,
Mountain biking, which was a real growth area at that time - and I sought to gain
a few new off-road members in De Laune to keep me company. We built up a quite
strong off-road section, off to races all over the country, camping at weekends,
and via an advert in MTB magazines - inviting riders to join our club in ‘Sunny
Peckham’. The volunteer base was strong too, and I’m really grateful to De Laune
members who were highly supportive in helping the Beastway Mountain Bike Series
to get going in 1994. I’ve had to step away from running this now, but I’m really
proud that it’s still running, under new management out at Hog Hill 21 years on.

My main focus has become finding ways to encourage new people into the Club
and into the Sport, and over the years I’ve found a variety of ways to do this.
Whether it was working as manager of Herne Hill Velodrome, or setting up Herne
Hill Youth CC, or working for British Cycling, Eastway Cycle Circuit and also briefly
at Hog Hill, I’ve always had the greatest pleasure seeing people getting on bikes
and growing in confidence as they gain fitness and a love for the sport.

Now we have a real challenge – to start to grow the membership in De Laune again.
We have a lot of things on our side. Firstly there are a lot of potential members
out there. Secondly we have some outgoing and keen regular riders who know and
understand the South London cycling scene. We also have resources that can help
to raise our profile and market ourselves more effectively. Riding and having fun,
and providing opportunities to ride is mostly how to do it. Friendship,
encouragement and having a laugh is most of the rest.
I look forward immensely to the next five years – during which time I intend to
serve the Club well, and as a start I’m planning to get out on my bike a bit more
and to be less well-rounded than I’ve become of late!

Best wishes,

Bill Wright

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