Banbury Star Cyclists' Club

March 2021 Newsletter

In this month's newsletter we have:

Presidential ponderings

Banbury Community Action Group

Hardriders 2021

Membership details

Club kit - latest information

Celebrating 130 years

130th anniversary ride

2021 Club TT details

An introduction to time trialling

Chain gangs are back

2021 Seven Cols Competition

The annual road race

Can you help the club?

Club rides - latest information

Zwift - the latest news

Yoga sessions continue

Forthcoming club events 

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

Newsletter archive

Presidential ponderings

The rules imposed by the Government's Covid restrictions have put the club into a period of hibernation since December but the good news is that we can now see a way forward over the next few months that gets us back to club rides and racing. 

This will no doubt come as a huge relief for those of us who enjoy either the social side of cycling or the more competitive aspects and we will be able to enjoy the resumption of riding in some beautiful spring weather.

Cycling in Banbury isn't easy as we know all too well as the infrastructure and provisions lag far behind that enjoyed by other towns and cities in the UK. This gap has now been recognised by Cherwell District Council and Oxford Country Council as they will produce a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan over the next few months. I hope as many members as possible take part in the consultation phase - this is a golden opportunity to improve the cycling experience for years to come.

The days are becoming both longer and warmer and very soon we will be back to club life. It's been a long journey.


Banbury Community Action Group

Anyone who uses their bikes in Banbury knows all too well how difficult cycling can be. Whether you're negotiating potholes, traffic jams, poor road surfaces or non-existent cycle lanes you're exposed to risks that have been reduced or mitigated in other towns and cities following the implementation of improvements proposed in a Local Cycling, Walking and Infrastructure Plan that assesses the existing infrastructure and then recommends changes.

The good news is that Banbury will now have an LCWIP all of its own with external consultants employed by Oxfordshire County Council shortly starting on an exercise that's due to last six months. 

The consultation phase will be open for all residents to contribute their thoughts and the club will also be involved as we carry a lot of influence with almost 200 members.

If you'd like to take part please email Edward Frape at Cherwell District Council and he will add you to the list of interested parties who want to work with the consultants. It's time for our voices to be heard! 

Contact Edward Frape

Our main 2021 events - latest news

Our decision to move Hardriders from March to late June has been vindicated with the proposal by the Government to lift restrictions over the course of the next few months that allows the race to still go ahead.

This will be a popular event and entries have already been received for Sunday June 27th.

Sunrising Hill? Easy - enter here

2021 Membership

We'd like to welcome those who have recently joined Banbury Star.

For 2021 joining has changed a bit and we now use 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. You still fill in a form and then make a payment to the club's account via BACS for your membership card to 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. 

Membership Renewal

Club kit by Kalas

Just a reminder that although Kalas are our new kit supplier, the process for ordering is very similar to the old, with full details of the kit available on the club website.

Our first order from Kalas is due to arrive next month, but we will open a second slot when the demand is there. Summer will be with us soon, so don't order too late.

As mentioned last month, Dave Speck and Matt Sleath still have the following new Endura garments in stock:-

Dave has; 1 x large long sleeve jersey at £59, plus 1 x large women's short sleeve jersey at £54

Matt has;  2 x medium and 1 x large skin suits at £110 each, plus some child's short sleeve jerseys at £35 each 

Club kit
Contact Dave Speck

130 years ago

As we should all know by now, this year the club celebrates its 130th anniversary. So, what was actually going on in 1891 and what were the bikes like then?

Well, Queen Victoria was on the throne and Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, was enjoying his second term as our Conservative Prime Minister. The UK had a population of 33 million, the Boer War was still 8 years away, a pint of beer cost a shilling and a 4 bedroom house was around £650.

On the cycling front, the 1890s really saw the bicycle craze take off, following the development of the safety bicycle with its chain-drive transmission and the subsequent invention of the pneumatic tyre. Before that, bikes like the Penny Farthing, launched in 1871, were the most common.  The first well known chain-drive bicycle was the "Rover" produced in 1886 by John Kemp Starley (pictured above) which is on display at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon.

At the time, nearby Coventry was very much the world's bicycle city and during a 100 year period there were over 450 bicycle makers in the city. In 1891 a new Cogent Safety Bicycle would cost you £12.10s.0d. as advertised below.

Unfortunately the club records we hold don't go all the way back to 1891, but start with a large hand written book of Club Minutes for the period 1903 to 1929. From these we can see that the total membership was probably around 30 or 40 with a fee of 10 shillings (50p) and 5 shillings for juniors. Women were not entitled to become members until an EGM vote in 1935. The earliest club photo we possess is below, believed to be taken around 1900.

130th Anniversary Ride

Moving the 130th anniversary ride from April to late July was a wise move as the new date coincides with the ending of Covid restrictions according to the latest Government plan and we will be able to meet up before the ride for a club photo and at the Hook Norton brewery for a buffet lunch.

2021 Club Time Trials

Club time trials are back on again!

The lifting of restrictions and the re-introduction of the rule of 6 allows us to restart our Wednesday club TTs this month with the usual opener out at Gaydon. This is earlier than we anticipated and is great news for those who are already hardened racers or those taking their first pedal revolutions in racing. Hopefully we will now be able to complete the entire race calendar.

In terms of details the biggest change is that everyone racing must hold TLI membership which has to be taken out before the event. The races themselves will continue where we left off with mandatory pre-registration, contactless payment and strictly-policed prevention of gatherings at sign-on, start area and finish line.

Full details of what to expect are on the website and registration for the first time trial has already opened.

TT Calendar
2021 Time trial preview and registration

An introduction to time trialling

Banbury Star prides itself on being a progressive club that offers competitive time trials open to all club members, irrespective of ability or sex. Our policy pays off, we are the most successful club in the entire Midlands region and enjoy a highly-regarded and hard-earned reputation for our well-organised events.

If you're interested in taking part in a time trial but are unsure as to what's required, our Race Secretary Mark Boyles will be holding an online teach-in session on Friday 12th March. It will of course be open to more seasoned racers and there will be the opportunity to ask questions about the specifics of this year's races. 

Chain gangs are back soon

One of the revelations of last year was the demand for our Monday evening chain gang evenings which were previously the preserve of the speedsters. We decided to make them suitable for all ability levels by grouping riders together who still wanted to ride a chain gang but at something less than race pace, concentrating on skills improvement such as riding in close proximity.

Tobi Ng has offered to get them up and running again, starting in April to coincide with the resumption of time trialling and we will email all memebrs with the details in the next few weeks.

7 Cols Competition - anyone had a go yet?

With the improving weather conditions and the thoughts of some spring training, has anyone had a go at our new competition yet?

The link below to the club's website contains full details, including an entry form.

Don't forget, there's also now a slightly amended Garmin route, which you'll need to download, as the original start/finish has now been moved out of town.

Who's going to be the first name on the scoreboard?

The Seven Cols

2021 Road Race

We are currently in negotiation with British Cycling to move our popular road race to later in the racing year as the Covid restriction relaxations would not allow for large group gatherings when it's due to be held on the 23rd May.

Delaying gives the local racing calendar a much-needed event after everything was postponed last year

Entries are now live on the British Cycling website and will be honoured if BC give us an alternative date.

The race itself will follow the same successful 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.

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

Like with our time trials, club rides will shortly be resuming after pausing in December.

Saturday April 3rd will be the date when we get going again and is likely to be very popular as spring cycling in the Cotswolds can't be beaten.

Club rides will start where they left off with pre-registration required in the week before the ride to allow the club to organise riders into groups as the rule of six will still be in force.

We won't be able to do our traditional mid-ride stops just yet as pubs and cafes will remain shut for a few more weeks but impromptu pauses for a takeaway coffee may be possible.  

All members will be sent an email with details of the rides and the link to register.

Club Ride Information

Zwift - the latest news

The King of Zwift, Andy Perry reports that the Saturday Gentle no Café Ride and Sunday Long ride will continue on Zwift until we return outdoors, which is likely to be 3/4 April. The intention is to continue collecting as many Zwift Badges as we can before we end the group rides. Each one will be subject to cancellation if most people have decided to ride outdoors.

The second series of Thursday night races has already started and will continue until March 18th. Further details of this series can be found via the link below and all the results are published in the news section on the website.

Monday evening training sessions continue at 7pm for those who want to enjoy training, competition and some fun during the winter. We also connect by Zoom video conference to allow real time chatting to take place.

Latest details, session times etc., will be posted on Facebook together with the Secretary's weekly email.

Zwift 5 Event Series
Zwift explained

Yoga sessions continue

Please note, there will be no yoga session tomorrow night (2nd), but normal Tuesday evening sessions will resume again on Tuesday 9th at 7pm. Run by the excellent Jackie Balchin, a qualified instructor, her hour long sessions are tailored for the cyclist and they're FREE.

We use Zoom for the sessions, so you can keep your cameras on or off. Log-in details of how to join will be emailed to all members each week. 

Member Amy Russell wrote on Facebook - Definitely recommend, I'm a complete beginner to yoga but feel the sessions have really helped my core and flexibility...and the 10mins at the end to lie down, close my eyes in peace and quiet after a day of home schooling is pure bliss 

Forthcoming club events in 2021

An introduction to time trialling - Friday 12th March

First 2021 event - 5 mile TT - Wednesday 31th March, 6pm at Gaydon

Zwift training sessions - every Monday from 7pm

Yoga sessions with Jackie - resume again Tuesday 9th from 7pm.

Zwift 5 Event Series - 7pm on 4th, 11th and 18th March

Annual Road Race - TBC

Hardriders Open Time Trial - Sunday 27 June

130th Anniversary Ride - Saturday 17th July

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