OT Cycling Club (OTCC) began as a group of like minded cyclists, with a wide range of ability, going out on early morning weekend road rides, which were originally led by James Choularton of Outdoor Traders Cycle & Ski Shop in Abingdon. Rides would start and finish at James’ shop and their duration was limited by the shop opening times. Refreshments were provided both before and after the rides, with lovely cakes baked by James’ wife, Rossella. During these rides the idea was formulated to start a formal club and OTCC was born in early 2013 with an initial membership of 24.
Within two years the club quadrupled in size and established itself as one of the area’s premier cycling clubs, based at and supported by the Outdoor Traders shop, whose premises were previously Braggs Cycles, the spiritual home of Abingdon cycling. The club’s core weekend rides remain the same with pace and distance dictated by the make-up of the group and the social nature of the riding ensuring that “no-one is left behind”.
As membership and capability increased the club has expanded its activities. In late 2013 OTCC was a founding club in the Oxfordshire Road Race League (ORRL) and the Outdoor Traders Race Team formed in 2014. During 2015 OTCC was accredited as a British Cycling Go Ride club offering a weekly training session to keen youngsters. Through the links of its members the club has privileged access to the airfield at Dalton Barracks for race, TT and skills training, including Go Ride. The club also supports other local activities such as the Abingdon Marathon, providing both lead riders and manning a water station, the annual Abingdon Spring Cycling Festival and other local fundraising efforts.
Following the unfortunate closure of the Outdoor Traders shop in Summer 2017, the club found a new base at Behind Bars cycle shop in Abingdon and changed its name to OT Cycling Club. OTCC is still going strong with the midweek and weekend rides continuing as normal.