You are on - The history of Cycling in Coventry


This webpage is intended to provide some insight into the contribution of the City of Coventry to cycling.

Members are invited to contribute information for this page and we would particularly like input from club members who have family connections the any aspect of cycling in Coventry. 



The design of bicycle that we ride today is a development of the "safety bicycle" so called to distinguish it from the ordinary (or penny farthing). The first commercially successful safety bicycle was the Rover produced in Coventry........

so arguably our sport of cycling was born right here in Coventry.

John Kemp Starley designed the Rover and in partnership with William Sutton produced it at the Starley & Sutton Meteor Works in West Orchards. It is however his uncle James Starley who was honored with a statue in Greyfriars Green and bacame known as the "Father of the Cycle Industry".

Here are various links that tell the story in greater depth:

The Forgotten Man - the life and legacy of John Kemp Starley

The Safety Cycle (Wikipedia)

James Starley (Wikipedia)


The TriVelox gear system was produced in Coventry and designed/developed by Alec Shuttleworth and William Hill. William Hill was the uncle of Coventry RC member Mel Hirst and Mel and his son Mark have produced a website detailing the history of this venture.

The TriVelox Gear System (if you wish to know more about the history of the cycle industry in Coventry, the TriVelox web page also has a link to a detailed bibliography on the subjaect).

 A short video of the TriVelox gear in action

Articles on members of our club


John was a member of Coventry Road Club before turning professional, rejoined after his pro career, John was the original Proprietor of the Coventry bike shop John Atkins Cycles that subsequently had a number of owners and has now closed. John is now a Life Member. There is an article about John on the History of the Club page but Jennie Morgan brought this VeloVeritas article to our attention:-

Article on John Atkins [VeloVeritas]