In 1983, Winchcombe Cycle Club members, Pat Smith and Dave Hedley visited France to take part in the Paris – Roubaix randonne the infamous ‘Hell of the North’.
It was Tim Groom WCC Member, who was inspired to run our own Cotswold version of the event here in Winchcombe in 1984, 35 years ago, the beginning of our own ‘Hell of the North Cotswolds’.
When Tim tragically left us the organising baton passed first to Pat Smith, then Brian Hayward and on to today’s organiser John Taylor, all ably supported by members from Winchcombe CC and Cheltenham and County CC in subsequent years.
The event started with a small group of Winchcombe Cycle Club riders taking part using their winter road bikes on the lanes and trails still incorporated in the route today.
The first HONC had about 20 riders and it pre-dated the development of mountain bikes and CX bikes, today we have over 1250 entries with the event supported by 100 volunteers from the two Clubs.