The Catford Challenge Shield 1887
The Catford Cycling club was founded in 1886 through the inspiration of Charles Percival Sisley. Sisley went on to become editor of The Cycle, a leading cycling publication of the 1890's. Membership in the C.C.C. was drawn from many parts of the United Kingdom although most of the members came from South London. The stated aims of the club were to promote Sport, Road Riding, Racing, Bicycle Touring, and Goodfellowship. In 1887, the Catford Club introduced the Catford Challenge a fifty mile race on a groomed track . Any competitor to win the race 3 times in one year would be the "holder" of the Challenge Shield, a trophy that hung in the Catford Cycling Club House. The winner of the Catford Challenge would also have his name and the year of his win engraved on the shield .
J.H. "Johnny" Adams won the Catford Challenge in 1888. His name appears on the shield. Johnny Adams was one of the most celebrated cyclists of his time. He was well known for both long distance endurance records and racing accomplishments. Most notably, Adams held the "Lands End to John O'Groats" record, a 900 mile ride the length of the English mainland, end to end in 1884. He accomplished this in just under 7 days riding a 40 inch Facile Dwarf Safety Bicycle. Also in 1884, Adams held the 24 hour distance record of 266 miles riding a Facile on a cycle track.
A rather famous member of the Catford Club was Robert Louis Jefferson a remarkable Victorian cyclist . As a correspondent for C.P. Sisley's The Cycle he traveled widely by bicycle seeking material for the magazine. Among one of his many voyages awheel was a 6000 mile journey, in 1896, from London to Irkutsk,Siberia. In 1897 he rode from London to Mongolia ! Then, not to be outdone, Jefferson rode 6000 miles from London to Khiva, Uzbekistan !
Below is the Catford Challenge Shield and a photo of the Catford Cycling Club circa 1889. Also pictured is a medal presented to C.P. Sisley for a 126 mile long distance ride awarded September 26th, 1890 by the Catford Cycling Club.
The Catford Cycling Club survives today as one of the U.K.'s more formidable clubs
Members of the Catford Cycling Club 1889. Both the safety bicycle and the tricycle are made by the Singer Co.
Medal presented to C.P. Sisley, founder of the Catford Cycling Club, September 26th, 1890 for riding 126 miles in 12 hours