Meet Dulwich Paragon.
Dulwich Paragon was formed in 1935 as the “Village Wheelers”, to help those rendered unemployed by the Great Depression stay fit and active by cycling from South
London into the countryside of Kent and Surrey and back. And it encouraged women to join at a time when most clubs were men only. Not so many people are queuing at the job centre these days, but the rides into the countryside remain the same – and they remain as inclusive as ever. Since that time, Dulwich Paragon has developed into one of London’s largest and most prestigious cycling clubs.
Dulwich Paragon riders are competitive in racing too – Jonathan Gales beat a young Ethan Hayter to the line to take the National B Tour of the Hopfields race in 2018, and lately, Caroline Reuter won a National Trophy cyclocross race in the V40 category. Meanwhile, outside of racing, their striking blue kit is a common sight in South London and beyond, with the club running regular Saturday and Sunday club runs both on and off-road, evening chain gangs, training sessions at the velodrome, and even virtual turbo sessions and a virtual racing squad during lockdown.
We asked the club’s former Kit Secretary Charlie Codrington why they chose Nopinz as their kit supplier:
“We chose Nopinz as our kit supplier because of their track record in making cyclists faster. We also loved the fact that the items were made individually to order, which meant no more cardboard boxes full of unwanted XXS and XXL jerseys sitting in someone’s spare room!”
Each year they promote the Wally Gimber National B road race (won by a certain Mr Wiggins in 2001), along with the legendary Crystal Palace Crits, and a host of other events across road racing, time trial, track, and cyclocross. The Crystal Palace Crits are currently going ahead every Tuesday evening following an enforced break in 2020, and the Wally Gimber race is expected to return this summer too.
Annual events include the Ride Of The Falling Leaves sportive, the short, sweet, but steep Dulwich Footpath hill climb, and training camps and holidays in Spain, Sri Lanka, and beyond.
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