Back in the latter decades of the 20th century and with the sport of cycling in the UK in serious decline, with even the BMX craze on the wane, a phenomena known as Mountain Biking blasted its way east across the Atlantic Ocean. This was circa 1987. By 1988 a very small number of MTB’s could be seen on the local trails, the first ever cross country race this side of Bristol had taken place and the green shoots of a cycling recovery were evident. Kim, Ian and myself just happened to have individually fallen in to the joys of this new sport and took part in that very race (held in Whitleigh Woods).
We didn’t actually meet up at this event but by one of those fates in life we soon did. Well you would whilst riding the limited trails of the day. Naturally we agreed to meet weekly and ride together; more and more took up the sport and our group rapidly expanded, therefore it was only natural that we muted the idea of a local MTB group. The Dartmoor Mountain Bike club was our grand aim, until it was pointed out that would surely end up with the park rangers after us and that we would receive no support for advertising our presence in the local bike shops. Yes in those early days the thoughts of MTBers careering all over Dartmoor was a frightening prospect to other outdoor lovers and they had been very vociferous in saying so. How that has changed!
So who would come up with a name like YOGi from that? It was Kim of course Youthful Offroad Guru’s of ideology. What! Of course we worked this to reflect the cartoon character a certain bear who spent his life eating cakes whilst avoiding park rangers at all cost’s. Okay it was the lucky rangers of Yellowstone National Park but we laughed and went with it. I still have a copy of the very first (black & white) poster we stuck in the bike shop windows, a far cry from today’s slick website and glossy coloured flyers. So that’s the history bit!
Fast forward to the 21st century, cycling in the UK had gone from being pretty much dead in the water to the fastest growing sport in the UK, not to argue the most successful and indeed fashionable. So to spring 2009 (and some would say about time), we decided to become a formal club, well the truth is Kim persuaded us (albeit easily) we should and to catch us with a hot iron even designed and produced our club colours. And here we are now with very close to having 450 current members.
Which finally brings me the point of this news item: Kim has formally announced that he is stepping down from the committee simply because he feels it is right for him at this time.
The first thing to say of course is on behalf of all the membership we offer our thanks to him for his massive contribution in helping us to become what we are today; one of the UK’s biggest and most active clubs. So after Kim’s involvement with YOGi Cycling for 12 years in each of the 20th and 21st centuries it’s a sort of goodbye and a wish that he fills his time with something equally fun.
He’s not going anywhere of course and will still ride regularly and continue to be one of our ride leaders.