For 19 years I, Rod, Andrea, Tig, Bill, Grahame, Sarah, Ray, Gary, Andrew, James and scores of others ran the Beastway MTB Series in London, but in 2013 we called it a day,
Nicknamed ‘Beastway’ because it was a bit of ‘Beast’, we as the ‘Structureless Tyranny’ enjoyed almost two decades of turning out in the summer for an average of 13 weeks each Wednesday evening.
When we arrived in the late Rod’s camper van to set up the course for our very first race, it rained so hard it took a huge amount of will power to venture out. There on we never failed to get set up on time and at times it was manic but we learnt so much about human nature.
When the series began our intention was to provide low cost and accessible grassroots racing in the London area and over the first decade, held at old Eastway, now demolished and the site of the London Olympic Park, entry grew from 80 or so riders to over 200 riders an evening. I think we fulfilled our remit!
With the closure of old Eastway we first moved to Hainault Country Park, which was a hard place to organise at and then we relocated to the present location at the wonderful Redbridge Cycle Centre, overlooking London.
In 2012, I said: “The weekly commute of the Structureless Tyranny across London was OK when we were at Stratford but now it adds a huge amount of time to our journey meaning that we start at lunchtime and at times don’t get home until midnight. This and other commitments mean that we are struggling to balance our lives around the series.”
My best memories are from the fancy dress finale evening which saw some great costumes including a squadron of WW1 bi planes chasing the ‘Red Baron’ or the soldiers who came in full camouflage and confused all by becoming moving bushes!
The Beastway Mountain Bike Series had a special sponsor with Brixton Cycles and the great support of the staff at Redbridge Cycle Centre and old Eastway.
Old Eastway was a wonderful place and this is all that remains of the road and off road circuits at the London Olympic Park.
Thankfully Beastway didn’t end there and is now under the management of Hackney GT – http://www.beastwaymtb.com
Videos 2012/14 – https://www.youtube.com/user/cyclevidcrazy/search?query=beastway
19 Years of Pictures – https://cyclephotos.smugmug.com/CycleSportLondon/19-Years-of-pictures/