Banbury Star Cyclists' Club

November 2017 newsletter

The clocks might have gone back with the start of shorter winter daylight hours, but Star members are still out in record numbers on our popular weekend club rides. As well as riding, this winter will also see a lot of planning underway in respect of existing and new events for next year, plus new initiatives which we believe will really propel the club forward in 2018.

Read on, as this newsletter contains all the details..

Remember, this is your newsletter, so please send any comments, ideas or proposals regarding its content to the Press Officer.

email the Press Officer

All previous newsletters are now available to view on the club website and can be viewed by clicking on this link:

Newsletter archives

Presidential musings

Autumn has now taken a firm hold and as I write this storm Brian is doing its level best to blow club riders off their bikes and is also acting as a portent of how challenging winter riding can be. We are very lucky to have a small group of dedicated ride leaders such as Andy Perry, Rob Christopher, Bill Ord and John Tustian who, aided by a few others, have done so much this year to take large groups on rides around our beautiful countryside. We will be riding right the way through the colder months which brings with it fresh challenges for clothing, tire choice and the need to fit mudguards, more of which below.

At a time of the year when interest in cycling clubs drops off we are still seeing new members join and now have 168 which has far exceeded by expectations for this year. We will go in to 2018 knowing the future of the club is secure and I am fortunate to have such a great team around me to organise rides, races, events and social evenings. 

As we continue to grow it's highly likely that at least one more club ride will be added to the weekend calendar with the goal of helping keep the numbers of riders to a manageable level and also enabling a faster turnaround at the cafe stops. Putting on more rides does mean we will need more leaders or ride leader assistants and if you'd like to help out in this capacity please contact me or mention it to one of the other club officials. Two members have already come forward to offer their services which means we can spread the load around and it would be great to have more step up to the mark because 2018 is going to be a huge year for Banbury Star.

Don't forget the ten pin bowling evening that's coming up and then the end of year awards evening. You don't have to have won anything to attend, it's open to all members and is going to be a celebration of all the good things we've done in 2017.


PS we still need a member to step forward and help out in the role of Treasurer. It's a small amount of time and you'll be making a huge contribution to the smooth running of the club. 

Members corner

Following the death of Eric Smith earlier this year, one of his sons handed over to us a box of old club archives which Eric had been looking after. The picture here is of the oldest item, a book containing all the club meeting minutes from May 1903 and covering the next five decades of club life. It's an amazing record, all beautifully hand written in both pencil and pen and ink. The collection also contains many photos and press cuttings and has left us with the dilemma as to what should we do with it all. 

Having seen the regular column in the Banbury Guardian "Look back with Little" I thought that might be a good starting point. Well so it proved, as after making contact with local historian Brian Little, he seemed excited at the prospect of sifting through all these archives. Whilst nothing is certain, he led me to believe that what we've given him to look through could generate at least a couple of features on the club history in the Guardian. I'll keep you informed.

Roger, Press Secretary

Don't forget, if you'd like your say on any club matters, this is the place to do it. Names can be withheld if that's your preference. The link below is your contact. 

email the Press Officer


The club continues to grow rapidly with new members joining frequently, so a warm welcome to the following who've joined in October:

Tom Sewell, Stephen Rutledge, Mery Wolke, Joseph Howarth, Alastair Gilroy and Daniel Burton.

Join now and your membership carries over to the end of 2018!

Speaking of 2018, the renewal method for existing members will change as we are moving entirely online (including payment) to ease the burden on the membership secretary and to ensure we've got up to date contact details for everyone. The website will be modified in readiness for the transition and it's simple to join online, since going live in September 2016 almost 100 members have joined this way.

Join here

October Quarterly meeting - main points

The club's October quarterly meeting was a busy affair which covered many aspects of club life including:

- Mike Hicks being voted in as the Race Secretary

- an excellent breakdown of the demographics of our 167 members by Ian Maconnachie

- statistics for our club rides by John Tustian which saw a record average of 21 on a Saturday and 24 for the two Sunday rides

- a proposal for an Open 10 mile time trial on the 1st September

- confirmation from Mike Hicks that the organisation of both the road race and Hardriders events are well underway

- some figures for the most successful time trial season we've ever held

- a proposal to tweak the club rules restricting electric bikes to only the gentle cafe ride

- a presentation by Mark Boyles for the race squad and its goals and ambitions for 2018

- the optional time trial supplement will be increased to £15 to reflect the levy costs the club has to pay CTT. There will also be a modest on the day payment for non-members at our time trials.


The next meeting will be the AGM, to be held in January 2018.

email the Secretary

Group riding etiquette

As our weekend club ride numbers continue to grow it is more important than ever to remember some of the basic rules and Do's and Don't's of group riding. This is not only to ensure everyone's safety, but also as we largely ride in club jerseys, to show respect and courtesy to other local road users.

These are a few of the issues we need to address which have become apparent recently. Riding three abreast, in the centre of the road and over the central white line. Blocking or congregating around junctions when waiting for others and riding with hands on the centre of the bars, when they should always be in a position over the hoods to apply the brakes instantly.

We should also, whenever "Car Back/Front" is called, be fully aware of what this means relative to our pace, positioning and the fact that someone wants to, or will overtake you. As we all know, a frustrated and annoyed driver is perhaps our biggest danger.

Finally, please remember the need to point out potholes to the rider behind you won't be able to see past you and take avoiding action. Our roads are in a bad state and potholes present a clear risk to group riding.

Here's a helpful video from our friends at Global Cycling Network on group riding.....

Ten Pin Bowling - tomorrow night

A change to our normal first Thursday in the month social night this time around with a club Ten Pin Bowling event on Thursday 2nd November at 7.30pm.

We have four lanes reserved and the cost will be a mere £8 for two games and that includes some hot food.

The venue is the MFA Bowl at the Cherwell Centre in George Street. Click on the link below if you're not sure where that is.

To reserve a place please pay online: the club's bank account is 46009578 and the sort code is 05-02-16 for a money transfer.

Find it

2018 Time Trial Season Preview

With the club's time trial season now behind us our new Race Secretary Mike Hicks is already working hard planning and seeking the necessary approvals for next year's events.

These kick off with our annual Hardriders TT on 4th March. The new HQ for this will be Wroxton Sports Club, which has good changing facilities, hot showers and ample off-road parking.

Plans are also well advanced for a second Banbury Star Open TT on 1st September. This will be held on a new fast 10 mile course along the B4100, starting at the top of Warmington hill, out to the Gaydon roundabout and back again.

The 2018 calendar for our Wednesday night TTs is now well advanced with only a few tweaks being considered, including the addition of the above new course.

Wednesday results

2018 Banbury Star Road Race

Our annual road race remains the club's main event of the year and the date has already been agreed with British Cycling for Sunday 27th May. We receive a lot of great feedback from BC officials and racers alike because of the challenging course and smooth organisation which many members contribute to by giving freely of their time both in the build-up and on the day.

The course and format remains unchanged with a Men's Cat 3/4 race in the morning, followed by British Cycling's Women's Team Series race in the afternoon.

Club Reliability Rides

Around 50 riders entered this year’s Autumn Reliability Ride on Sunday 8th October. The picturesque 60 mile/100km route down to Burford saw a lot of riders now setting times well inside their estimated targets.

The Spring Reliability Ride will take place on Sunday 18th February 2018.

Spring/Autumn Reliability Ride info and maps

Cafe of the month

Another new addition to our weekend club ride coffee stops is The Crewe Arms at Hinton. This has already become a firm favourite with members judging by all the favourable comments that were made on Facebook after our last visit. "Best cake EVER", wrote Bill Ord.

At this point we should say a special Thank You to John Tustian for not only seeking out these places, but for prearranging as many "Coffee and Cake" deals as he can.

The Crewe Arms

Race Squad news

At the quarterly meeting, Mark Boyles gave an excellent presentation on the proposal for the Banbury Star race squad which will now go ahead. The presentation can be viewed by clicking on the button below and if you'd like to be part of this in any way, whether it's to time trial, ride in road races or just improve your skills or fitness please contact Mark. This squad will firmly cement Banbury Star's position on the local race circuit and also give our aspiring riders their own development plans and goals.

We will also be doing weekday winter evening rides which will be open to all members.

Please note: The first two training sessions have just been announced. Saturday 4th November at 2pm Race Craft session and Wednesday 8th November at 6pm Turbo Training. Further details and updates should be sought via the club's Facebook page.

Race squad presentation
email Mark

Youth Section news

During the BSCC quarterly meeting, held on the 17th October, the club voted on and approved naming the youth section of the club 'BSCC Rising Stars'. This name keeps links with the whole club but also allows the youth section to have it's own identity.  We will let you draw your own conclusions as to the merit of the name but we think it's both a positive and aspirational name, one that befits the future of our club.

The Rising Stars sub-committee recently met with the British Cycling Central Region co-ordinator. She is tasked with helping local clubs set up youth sections and become Go-Ride accredited. The meeting was very productive giving food for thought, areas to focus on and also securing offers of help for launching training sessions and supporting competition events throughout the year. In due course we will bring you news of these events and venues, which promise to be challenging, exciting and great fun for our youth members.

From the work the committee have been doing and our conversations with BC, it has become increasingly clear that the success of the Rising Stars will be largely down to the support of parents, guardians and youth helpers (Aged 14 and over).

With this in mind, we would like to know of any members that would be willing to become involved as either a Coach or First Aider. Further information on BC coaching can be found via the link below.

It would also help us if we had some idea of the number of members children who would be interested in becoming part of the Go-Ride programme.

If you would like to volunteer for either role, or have children who may be interested then please email our Go-Ride coordinator Lee Heron via the link below

email Lee
BC Level 1 Coach details

Thruxton RTTC time trial report

Eleven club members finished off their 2017 time trial season with a visit to the RTCC National Closed Circuit Championship event at Thruxton race circuit near Andover on Sunday 15th October. Riders completed 5 laps (approx.11.7 miles) of the circuit at 30 second intervals in fine, but at times exposed windy conditions.

The 80 strong junior field started first with Reuben Trotter finishing 17th with a time of 27.10 making him 3rd in his class. Blaine Carpenter was 23rd on 28.21, Lydia Watts 32nd on 29.23 and 5th fastest women and 14 year old Toby Heron recorded an impressive 57th on 32.05 against strong opposition.                                                                          

The large 170 entry men’s Open field also contained some serious opposition, with the clear winner setting a time of 22.48 at an average speed of just over 31 mph. Lee Heron was the fastest of the seven Star riders competing, with a time of 26.54, which earned him a respectable 10th place in his class. Mark Boyles, still not fully fit from his recent tumble, recorded 27.32, Ian Maconnachie 29.02, William Peel-Yates 29.51, Geoff Hewett 30.48, Rich Collier 32.12 and Mike Gillett 33.20.

Mountain biking

Seven riders took part in the club's inaugural mountain bike ride on Saturday 14th October. Ably led by Steve Goddard from a central Banbury start, the well-planned route of approximately 15 miles was two hours of traffic free fun. Using canal towpaths, bridleways, old rail tracks and cycle paths the ride was a real eye-opener as to how much off-road riding can be enjoyed so close to the town. As the photo shows, even a broken chain made us all smile. 

If you have a mountain bike gathering dust, why not give it a quick service and come and join in - it doesn't need to be full suspension. The next ride is planned for Saturday 11th November. Keep your eye on Facebook and the website for further details nearer the time.

MTB blog

New club kit

The latest batch of the new club kit was delivered recently with long sleeved tops and waterproof jackets now much in evidence on club rides. It was decided at the last quarterly meeting that with our earned Endura credit we will now hold a limited stock of just Small, Medium and Large jerseys. Dave Speck has again kindly agreed to hold this stock.

New members qualify for a £20 refund from the club when you make your first purchase of kit.

The next ordering window will be in January 2018 for spring and summer items, each member will receive an email informing them at the time.

Contact Dave Speck
How to order club kit

Winter cycling and mudguards

Many clubs encourage riders to fit mudguards for winter club runs, in fact some even make it compulsory. We are definitely the former, so here's the encouragement bit. 

For a start mudguards can make your winter riding a lot more pleasant. On wet roads, instead of enduring a constant muddy spray from your tyres, mudguards keep you, your bike and equally important, your fellow riders, largely dry. Even when riding through the rain, you’ll only get half as wet because you’re not being showered from below as well as above. What’s more, your expensive new club kit stays clean(er).

So, give it some thought and maybe have a look at the link below on Cycling Weekly's suggestions

7 of the best mudguards

Weekend Club Rides

Please look at the club's website and Facebook group for details of organised rides, all of which have downloadable Garmin maps

10.00am Saturday: easy café ride.

10.00am Saturday: intermediate café ride. COMING SOON!

9.00am Sunday: fast ride.

10.00am Sunday: intermediate café ride.

All rides now start at Broadribbs Cycles. 

Club ride calendar

The club blog

We only had one blog posted in October - "My Bikes" - which we hoped might have encouraged a few of you to tell us what you've got in your garage. We'd really like to try and keep the blogs going throughout the winter months as judging by all the Facebook comments they've all been well received and enjoyed. 

Now the race/TT season is over we'd love to read about some of your experiences and maybe help and advice for others.The blog is not only a great way to inspire and encourage others, but your chance to have your say on any cycle related subject.

Read the club blogs

So please keep the stories, topics, events, rides, opinions and general comments coming. A good photo is always welcome as well. is waiting to hear from you

Banbury Star CC social evenings

The next social night will be on Thursday 2nd November, but this time it will be Ten Pin Bowling as described above. We'll return to the White Horse pub on Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm to which all members are invited.

Annual dinner and prize giving

Our club's annual dinner and prize giving will be held on Friday 15th December and a change of venue from previous years with the 2017 event being held at Voujon restaurant on South Bar Street in Banbury, meeting at 7pm for a 7.30pm dinner.

The cost will be £20 per person, payable in advance, for what will be a set Indian-themed multi-course dinner. The restaurant can also cater for anyone who prefers something non-Indian or vegetarian - we just need to tell them as early as possible.

It's essential to book your spot now as this event will sell out quickly. The club's bank account is 46009578 and the sort code is 05-02-16 for a money transfer.

Velodrome visit

Due to popular demand we will be going back to Derby velodrome in early 2018. 

Keith Barcock has offered to organise the trip which will cater for up to 30 riders and is suitable for novices as well as the more experienced. It will be on a weekday so get your sicknote excuses ready! We promise not to tell your teacher/boss.

The visit will be a two hour coached session and comprises a series of exercises designed to give you the full velodrome experience and yes, you will be able to get to the top of the banking within a few minutes!

More details and the date will be available next month.

Upcoming events

Club Ten Pin Bowling night Thursday 2nd November

Race Squad Race Craft session 2pm Saturday 4th November

Race Squad Turbo Training 6pm Wednesday 8th November 

Second Mountain Bike ride Saturday 11th November

Social night White Horse 7.30pm Thursday 7th December 

Annual dinner and prize giving: Friday 15th December

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

Club rides calendar
Racing calendar

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