The mid part of the 19th century witnessed a rise in amateur sport in Great Britain, due largely to the new wealth from the industrial revolution reaching more of the population and thus providing more leisure time.
The first edition of the Maidenhead Advertiser in July 1869 reported…
“The first contest in this neighbourhood between a pedestrian and a bicyclist took place upon the Reading Road, Maidenhead Thicket. An immense number of people, including many of the neighbouring gentry assembled to witness the event. The race course was a mile in length. When about thirty yards from the start the bicyclist came to grief, falling upon his right side and sustaining severe bruises. The pedestrian who was also bruised by the accident, won the race without further opposition in four minutes and fifty seconds. The upset was caused by some mounted gypsies and a butcher’s cart being on the race course. A collection was made in aid of an Amateur Athletic Club which is being formed.”
No record has been found of what happened to the money or whether a club was formed at that time. Nothing more seems to have happened until 1883, when Maidenhead Wanderers Bicycle Club agreed to add athletic events to their annual sports. The first joint meeting under NCU and AAA rules was held in Kidwell’s Park on August Bank Holiday, 1884. The club changed its name to Maidenhead Wanderers Cycling and Athletic Club in 1904 and then to Maidenhead Cycling and Athletic Club in 1912, following amalgamation with another local cycling club.