Banbury Star Cyclists' Club

December 2020 newsletter

Lots more club information to read and digest in this month's newsletter 

Presidential ponderings

Membership renewal process

Pre-Christmas ride

Club Racing Trophies: 

2021 Club TT update #1

2021 Club TT update #2

2021 Road Race

Can you help the club

Club rides - latest information

Mudguards - now mandatory

2021 Membership

Race Squad news

Zwift sessions 

Winter workout sessions - yoga


Club Blog

Club kit - winter garments

Forthcoming club events 

Don't forget, copies of all previous newsletters can be found on the club website:

Newsletter archive

Presidential ponderings

We will shortly be leaving lockdown 2.0 as a Tier 2 region which allows for the resumption of club rides, starting this coming Saturday and so we'll go back to where we left off with pre-registration and groups of no bigger than six in size. With your help and co-operation we can all get back to putting a few Christmas calories in the bank whilst enjoying group rides again.

In addition to the regular rides I hope as many members as possible can come along on our traditional pre-Christmas ride, which we are planning for Saturday 19th December. 

Following last month's request, my thanks go out to those members who've stepped forwards to help the club after the call to arms last month, more of which is below. Spreading the workload out really helps those who are running a club that has massively expanded in the last couple of years.

We'd usually be having our celebratory annual dinner and awards evening around now but of course that's had to go on the back burner for 2021 which is a real shame after the year when we as a club have accomplished so much. All is not lost though and we will be awarding a few of the club's trophies in the coming weeks for those few races that we managed to squeeze in.

Thank you for your continued support during this most challenging of years. We have some exciting plans for 2021 and i'll close by wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. 


2021 Membership renewal

Membership renewal for 2021 is now open and we've held the prices as the same as the last couple of years. In keeping with 2020 we are also repeating the early bird joining discount of £10 which extends to the end of January, after which rejoining will cost £30.

We've taken the opportunity to introduce a couple of improvements to the way joining is made to give us better control of your data. You'll still fill in a form on a website and then transfer the money to the club's account, what has changed is the database that sits in the background. Rest assured it remains fully GDPR compliant.

Membership Renewal

Pre-Christmas ride

On Saturday 19th December we plan on running Gentle Cafe and Intermediate pre-Christmas rides. Full details including registration and the venue will be sent to all members as part of the weekly ride summary email that we send.

Club Racing Trophies

A club as old as ours enjoys a long history of racing prowess, a fact that's reflected in the vast array of trophies that our members compete for over the course of the year. Unfortunately the 2020 records will show almost all will remain nameless this year due to most races being cancelled.

Managing and keeping tabs on such a range of trophies is no mean feat and requires a lot of effort in particular as part of the build up to our annual dinner and prize giving evening as they all need to be collected, engraved and given a bit of elbow polish.

Following a request for help, Kevin Zwolinski has kindly volunteered his services to take on this task, thank you!

2021 Club Time Trials: update #1

Oli Wright has been busy in the background preparing for the 2021 time trial season which starts on Sunday 7th March with the 23 mile Hardriders event. This will be a full Open and entries will soon be open on CTT's website. We are proposing a Plan B date for later in the year if Covid restrictions prevent it from taking place on it's usual date and if we do move it could well be the first time short sleeves and suntan lotion have been required making it more Softriders than Hardriders. Ice and snow certainly won't be an issue in early June!

After that we start a full season of Wednesday evening races from March 31st onwards with the usual 5 mile loosener out at Gaydon. Again, this may need to be moved as it's in Tier 3 Warwickshire.

The full list of races will appear in the racing calendar which we'll make live in January once the last of the formal paperwork has been submitted and the various authorities have given us their blessing. You'll no doubt be relieved to hear that most of your favourite courses have been retained although we've had to workaround the loss of the K4/25 due to the on-going roadworks at the Kineton army barracks. The 30 mile race will definitely still feature!

It goes without saying that all 2021 TTs will be predicated on the Coronavirus legislation in place at the time regarding inter-tier travel and group gatherings taking place and whatever rulings are passed down by cycling's national bodies. The experience we gained from running Covid-secure TTs this year will be rolled over to 2021 as we demonstrated how well we can run events which turned out to be hugely popular.

2021 Club Time Trials: update #2

Some additional information regarding next years TTs, particularly Wednesday TTs, is given by Oli Wright below

As mentioned previously, the Club’s Wednesday TT events in 2021 will be run under TLI’s rules and regulations, with the exception of the inter-club event which will be a CTT event so that we won’t have to ask other club’s members to join TLI.  In order to race you will need to be a card carrying member of TLI in advance of entering any events.  I spoke with TLI’s head honcho this week and he suggested that I let everyone know NOT to purchase TLI membership until the turn of the year.  Please therefore hold off doing so until then.  I’m sure with Christmas around the corner, you won’t be too concerned!
Entries for any CTT event will be as before, including the inter-club TT - for which you will need to pay the Club the sum needed to cover the cost of levies to CTT for that event.
The process of getting under way with TLI is well in hand, and although it seems a long way away, we can hopefully look forward to a very eventful season next year without the interruptions of 2020.  If you’ve been wondering about TLI, then here is the basic introductory information from their website.  You may wish to visit for further information:

With Keri stepping down from timekeeping and course setting duties next year, I will need a number of volunteers from the TT group to assist with running events.  I am hoping to race next year after having this year off, so next season will have to be a team effort.  I know we have two or three members and associates with some good experience already but we will need more of you to have a go.  I would be quite happy to run a lesson or two online over the winter so if anyone is interested then let me know please.’  

TLI information
Email Oli

2021 Road Race

It was no surprise to anyone that our highly-regarded road races, held each May for men and women racers, had to cancelled this year due to the lockdown legislation.

Mike Gillet has come forward to take on the running of the 20201 race after doing such a fantastic job in 2019, he'll be supported by a large number of volunteers who are required to help with such a large event.

We've been in discussion with British Cycling for next year's date and can confirm the 2021 race will be held on Sunday 23rd May following the same format as previous years with Category 3/4 men riding in the morning for the Cavalcade Cup and then Elite/1/2/3 women in the afternoon as part of the Women's Team Cup Series.

At the time of writing it's the only road race planned in the whole of the UK next year and will have a very high demand. Entries open in the next few weeks on the BC website.

Count me in for 3 climbs of Edge Hill

Can you help the club......continued

As mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter, we've had a great response to the request for help from the membership in taking on responsibility with some of the things which keep the proverbial wheels turning. There are still a few areas where we need help, these being:

- Become a British Cycling-qualified Ride Leader to lead a small group on our weekend club rides.

- Become a time keeper to occasionally help run our 2021 time trial events.

- Be the focal point for our Rising Stars junior cycling scheme

If you are keen in helping in any capacity please email the club's secretary in the first instance and we can then sort out the details.

Yes! I can help my club

Club rides - latest information

We are now deep into winter and deep into the mud too judging by the road conditions over the last couple of weeks after it's rained so mudguards are now mandatory for all weekend rides. Please read the section below for all the details.

The recent allocation of the region into Tiers will result in some changes to the way we run some aspects of rides for the foreseeable future.

The first is that our club rides will remain within Tier 2 areas which means venture into Warwickshire is excluded whilst they remain in a higher band.

Another change will be the cessation of our coffee stops as long pauses in unheated pub gardens are not viable at this time of the year and further clarification is required to see if pubs can open to serve us. We are waiting for British Cycling's guidance on this and will communicate the changes to everyone before this weekend's rides when a better picture is available.

Don't forget 10am on a Friday is the cut-off time to register for Saturday's rides. 

Above all, please note


The main changes are:

  • Pre-registration for each ride is mandatory
  • Only club members can ride, no guests
  • Rides will no longer meet at Broadribbs. We will meet at the People’s Park 
  • Group size limits will be in place, each group will consist of a ride leader and up to five members.
  • Multiple groups will leave at timed intervals
  • Social distancing will be maintained throughout the ride 
  • All riders must bring the necessary PPE as defined by the Government
  • Absolutely no spitting or nose clearing by anyone will be tolerated unless it’s into a tissue

It is essential anyone wanting to take part in a ride is fully aware of the changes before registering for a ride. The full set of changes can be found on the club's website here:

Club Ride Information

Mudguards - now mandatory on club rides

A reminder to members that mudguards are now mandatory on all club weekend rides. The only exemption to this is if the roads are completely dry following a dry spell and no rain is forecast. This will now be confirmed by the ride leader in his pre-ride email.

The first two photos above, clearly illustrate the mudguard length and mud flap which is acceptable. Whilst the third photo of a bike which has new mudguards fitted, is not acceptable - the rider will be fine, but not those following.

The club rule is as follows:-

Club rides during the winter months, following the clocks changing in October until March, will encounter wet and/or muddy roads and mudguards are to be fitted to bikes as a courtesy to the rest of the group by preventing spray. The bottom of the mudguard must come below the line of the rear axle.

If you want to purchase a club mudguard extension they are available for a mere £8 and are very easy to fit. Contact Paul for more information.

Email El Pres here to buy one

2020 Membership

We'd like to welcome Nikolas Tsoutsos who has recently joined Banbury Star.

All existing members will have received an email detailing how renewals for 2021 will be changed using a much better online tool called MembershipMojo that gives us greater flexibility in managing the needs of 200 members whilst still remaining on the right side of GDPR law. The overall renewal process is the same, you will fill in a form and then make a payment to the club's account via BACS and then your membership card will be delivered.

Please remember to complete your emergency contact details and any medical issues on the back of the card and also bring it along on club rides.

Membership subscriptions and any other payments to the club should now be paid direct to our Nat West account.

Sort code = 53-61-33

Account = 65953886

Having now moved entirely to online banking and contactless card payments no more cheques or cash will be accepted for membership or payment for club events. 

Race Squad news

It's now hibernation time for road racing and with very few cyclocross events taking place due to Coronavirus restrictions all efforts have gone into preparation for the 2021 season with the online Zwift sessions.

Zwift news

Zwift is really catching on and some members like Naomi de Pennington are starting to take it very seriously - or is that addiction? As you would expect, Naomi is doing really well and on a 3 race international women's series she's ended up in 13th place.

Our own popular Zwift turbo sessions are now held every Monday evening for those who want to cycle from the comfort of their own home. We also connect by Zoom video conference to allow real time chatting to take place (editor: shouldn't they be too busy pedalling to talk?)

All the latest details, session times etc., will be posted on Facebook.

If you're not sure what Zwift is all about, then click on the link below and read Race Secretary Mark Boyles summary and guide.

Zwift explained

Winter workout sessions

To keep both our fitness and engagement levels up over the winter months the club is holding weekly yoga sessions with a qualified instructor that are open to all members and benefit from the warmth, comfort and privacy of your own home. These sessions are ideal for all abilities and ages and tailored for the needs of cyclists, there's no pressure to keep up with anyone, no one is watching you and it’s FREE!

We use Zoom for the hour long sessions and over twenty members dial in each Thursday evening at 7pm to take part. If you don't know your standing asanas from your Downward Dog then now's the time to come and find out how they'll benefit your cycling.

Log-in details of how to join the sessions will be emailed to all members each week. 


We've been wanting to expand our social media presence to include Instagram as part of the goal to widen the club's online reach but just needed someone who knows the difference between a hashtag and a caption.

Step forward Harry, son of Club Secretary Dave Pittman, who has volunteered to run the account and communicate to the social media-savvy masses.

He's been busy advertising our activities and events so please follow us @banburystarcc or click this button:


Don't forget the club blog

Many thanks again to Hayley Holland, Martin Norris and Adam Parle for writing blogs over the last few weeks. We'd love more though and unbelievably the next blog to be written will be our 50th. As a trawl through some of the previous blogs will reveal, a whole range of cycling related subjects have been written about.

So don't be shy - tell us your story, opinion, advice, recommendation etc. Ideally, send your blog as a Word document, with a related photo if possible, to the contact below. 

Blog articles
email the blogger

Club kit - winter garments

Full details of club kit are on the club website and remember 5 items of any one garment are required before an order can be placed with Enduro via Dave Speck.

With winter now upon us, don't forget the following are available:-  LS Jersey £61.20, Compact Gilet £50.40 and Roubaix LS Jersey £73.20. Full details of these garments are available on the Endura website, together with a sizing guide.

Matt Sleath now holds a small stock of short sleeve jerseys.

Contact Dave Speck
How to order club kit

Forthcoming club events

Hardriders Open Time Trial - Sunday 7 March (hopefully)

130th Anniversary Ride - Saturday 10th April

Annual Road Race - Sunday 23rd May

Open 10 mile Time Trial - Sunday 5th September

For more details and other events please look at the calendars on the club’s website or Facebook group.

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Banbury Star Cyclists' Club