John Parkinson Memorial Road Race
Promoted by Macclesfield Wheelers in memory of former member John Parkinson.
Macclesfield Wheelers has been supporting grassroots cycle sport since the club’s inception in 1948. We’ve been running this particular event since 1957. We didn’t run it from 2003 to 2005; so 2019 is the 60th John Parkinson Memorial Road Race.
We’ve used several different courses since the first 72-mile ‘massed start cycle race’ on Sunday 12 May 1957, starting at Waters Green. These include a Macclesfield town centre evening criterium in 1975 and circuits around Bollington in 1980 (45 miles), Gawsworth in 2000 (60 miles), Holmes Chapel/Somerford in 2002 (68 miles) and as far afield as Waterhouses in Staffordshire.
In 2006 and 2007 we ran the event as a mini stage race with an opening 2.5-mile time trial from Siddington Crossroads up Pexhill Road before a road stage 90 minutes later (too bad if you were last TT rider off). 2006 was also the first year in which we ran the event under the rules of TLI Cycling, as opposed to British Cycling.
At the moment the event is run over five laps of the Siddington Circuit (55 miles) under the rules of TLI Cycling and comprises three group category races.
Run by volunteers
We’ve only been able to run this event for 60 years, and will only be able to run it for the next 60, with the dedicated support of our members. These are the people who:
do the risk assessments
accept the entries and bank the entry fees
hire, and pay for, the HQ, emergency medical support and motorbike marshals
mark out the course
sign the riders on
marshal the race for as long as it takes in whatever the weather
staff the lead cars with drivers and observers
staff the finish line with ever more sophisticated technology and people who can make it work
choose a charity to which we give all the donations raised from providing refreshments
make the cakes, buy the milk, pour the tea and wash up
compile and publish the results
distribute the prize money, and
take down the course signage and put it away until we do this all over again next time.
To you all: thank you.
John joined Macclesfield Wheelers aged 14 and became an enthusiastic, if not particularly successful, racer. He spent all his spare time cycling and would think nothing of riding 200 miles to Lincolnshire and back over a January weekend, and then doing the same distance to Betws-y-Coed and back the following weekend. On Maundy Thursday 1955 he rode to Colwyn Bay with three other club members, leaving after work in pouring rain at 6.45 pm and arriving at their hotel at 1.15 am to the surprise of its manager, who had forgotten they were coming.
John took his place for the start of the 1955 Bollington Road Race. The punishing early pace meant he soon lost touch with the bunch and, from the start of the second lap, faced the prospect of a 79-mile lone ride in torrential rain. Out of 50 starters, 39 retired before the finish. As he turned down to the finish, the last man on the road, he was applauded all the way to the line.
John died in in January 1957, aged just 20, after his bike was hit from behind by a sports car on Chelford Road between Broken Cross and Monks Heath.
We run the John Parkinson Memorial Road Race each year in his memory.
From the start, proceed to Lower Withington Green (1). Left past the Red Lion Pub (2) along Twemlow Road to the first left into Trap Street which eventually becomes Giantswood Lane. Go through Gleadsmoss (Black Swan Pub) (3) continue through Newsbank (4) to Hulme Walfield. Left into Smithy Lane (5). Left onto A34 (6). Continue on A34 through Marton and the Finish Area (7) to Siddington crossroads (8). Left onto B5392 and continue past the start for four more laps.
Finish on the A34 approximately 6/10 mile before Siddington crossroads near Farm Gate, after a short rise in the road (keep to your side of the main A34 road).
Previous winners include
Ian Sandbach 1957, 1958
Hugh Porter 1961
Peter Buckley 1964, 1967
Pete Matthews 1972
Dave Cuming 1977
John Herety 1978
Jeff Williams 1980