Inspirational Boys Brigade leader pedals past elite riders a year after beginning cycling

A Boys Brigade and Girls’ Association leader has peddled his way into the elite cycle ranks just a year after taking up riding.

BB leader Ab Woolass
BB leader Ab Woolass

Ab Woolass, who is associated with the Wolverhampton Battalion, only took up cycling during the 2020 lockdown to improve his mental health and has shed five stone after getting in the saddle every day possible.

Last weekend the 55-year-old rode in the Lincoln National Road Championship after excelling in several amateur events and came an impressive 75th out of the field of 534.

Ab Woolass at the end of his first professional race

Ab Woolass, who is the West Midlands District Boys Brigade & Girls’ Association District President, said: "It was hard but I managed to maintain a fast pace, the cobbled hill at the finish was a killer 12.5 per cent incline especially after cycling 90 miles."

Over the last 18 months Ab has completed cycling challenges which include the distance between John O'Groats to Land's End and even one to the equivalent to riding to the top of Mount Everest in 16 hours. Younger cyclists have even christened Ab "the Mountain Goat" due to his incredible stamina.

He added: "I wonder what would have happened if I had started when I was a bit younger."

The first Boys Brigade in Wolverhampton was formed in 1893 in Chapel Ash and there are currently companies in Bilston, Bradley, Portobello, Lanesfield, Tipton and Cheslyn Hay.

Ab said: "Each company is special in its own right and has its own history, everyone is really welcoming and I was delighted to see all the hard work and dedication in Wolverhampton and Shropshire Battalion.

"To join your local BB just go online to and find a group near you."

Ab Woolass in London for the Queen's Birthday in 2017

The father of two runs the BB at Perry Barr Methodist Church as well as being in charge of the West Midlands District and has been busy getting the church ready for its first post-Covid services.

Ab also raises money for Maggie’s Fund which was founded in 1996 by Maggie Keswick Jencks wanted to create a new type of cancer care after suffering from illness herself. The first Maggie’s opened in Edinburgh in 1996, and they now have a network of centres across the UK and some abroad.

Donate to Ab Woolass’ fundraising effort by searching Ab Woolass on

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News