Banbury Star Cyclists' Club

December 2017 newsletter

December is here and it's the time of the year when you'd normally expect cycling activities to drop off somewhat. However, not a bit of it with Star members, as we continue to see increasing numbers on our weekend rides, despite the weather. Add to this the Race Squad's activities, the Wednesday Wobblers and the new mountain bike section and you can see the club continues to thrive in all conditions.

News on all these activities, plus other club issues and news can be found in this newsletter - read on.

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

Anyone who has been on a club ride during November cannot have failed to notice the record-breaking numbers of members who have been turning up in what was sometimes atrocious weather. We've continued to attract new members each and every month, things usually die down at this time of the year but 2017 continues to surpass all expectations.

So with this in mind the club has made some changes to our weekend rides that will benefit all members, please see below for more details.

January is also just around the corner which means membership renewals for most of us. I sincerely hope we have delivered on what you wanted from Banbury Star during 2017 and you continue to play your part in the rebuilding of this great club. We've got exciting plans for the new year which will see even more growth, sometimes in areas the club hasn't really capitalised upon.

I'm sure most of you are sick of me sending out reminders for the annual dinner and awards evening which is in a couple of weeks time, we really want as many members to come along and help celebrate what has been an amazing year in the history of our club it doesn't matter if you've only just joined the club or don't race. You have until tomorrow to reserve your space as we have to confirm numbers to the restaurant.

Finally, Nicki and I would like to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and hope Santa brings you lots of new and shiny cycling goodies, the club will be riding right the way through the festive season so you've got the ideal excuse to spend a few hours out on the road and temporarily escape those distant relatives who've massively overstayed your welcome to come and visit for a day or two.

Annual dinner and prize giving - 15th Dec

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.

You have until Saturday 2nd December to pay online - the club's bank account is 46009578 and the sort code is 05-02-16 for a transfer.


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

Paul Jones, Stephen Kennard, Oli Betteridge and Glyn Curtis.

The renewal method in 2018 for existing members to rejoin 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. Please don't renew your 2018 membership until Jan 1st.

Join here

New club rides

To anyone coming along on recent rides, it’s apparent that the club’s continued growth (we have doubled in size since the AGM to 175 members) has put a lot of pressure on the club rides, the ride leaders and cafes we stop at.

The large groups have become almost unmanageable on the road which poses a significant risk to complying with the duty of care requirements placed on the club and even with advance notice we are often swamping the cafes who just cannot cope with a large influx of hungry and thirsty riders and not to mention the secure, off-road storage of 25+ bikes. We’ve also had to stop using some of our favourite stops due to the large groups.

So it’s clear something had to change and change quite quickly as all indications suggest the membership will continue to grow in 2018. With this in mind, a lot of work has recently taken place behind the scenes to ensure the improvements we must implement are feasible, practicable and non-disruptive.

Paul recently invited a group of members to help the club by becoming ride leaders and was greatly warmed by the positive response he received. We then held a meeting of both existing and future ride leaders to discuss the next steps, what options we have in terms of our rides and where the club will be heading. Here’s the plan:

– the creation of a new Intermediate Ride each Saturday which will start on Dec 2nd. It will leave Broadribb Cycles at 10am for 35 miles at 15-16mph, taking in a coffee stop along the way. The goal of this new ride is to take the pressure off the Gentle Café Ride which does attract a lot of Intermediate calibre riders, allowing it to revert to its original intention whereby it’s more suited to new or less-experienced riders.

– the creation of a second Intermediate Ride each Sunday starting from 11th March at 9am. The reason for its introduction is to act as more of a bridge to the Fast Ride as the existing 10am Intermediate Ride is insufficient because of both pace and distance. The new ride will follow the route of that day’s Fast Ride but at 15-16mph and departing a couple of minutes afterwards. This allows riders to start with the Fast Ride if they want to experience a faster pace and then drop back to meet the Intermediate Ride.

- after a successful trial, we will split each club ride into smaller groups of approximately ten riders, leaving a few minute apart.

A by-product of starting the new rides at the same time as an existing ride is to allow a broader spread of members to meet and gives a target towards personal progression.

Group riding etiquette

Following on from last months comments regarding group riding the link below to Roadcycling UK's essential guide to hand signals is worth a look - particularly for new members.

Guide to hand signals

Also below is a link to an excellent short Global Cycling Network video on how to ride smart, either solo or more importantly in a group. 

Ten Pin Bowling report and scores

Last month's Thursday social night was a change from our normal format with a visit to the MFA Bowl in the centre of Banbury. Twenty two members turned up for a great night of bowling, which the majority would certainly like to repeat during the winter months. Ably organised by John Tustian, we had four reserved lanes with everyone having two games, plus some light refreshments. John won the first series of games, whilst late comer Ian Maconnachie won the second, taking over from Marc Hulman who had to leave early. Ian, with a top score of 178, earned him and Marc the overall win on 266 points with John in second place on 247. We then had Darrel Foulk, Lee Heron and Simon Bull all on 236 points.

2018 Time Trial Season Preview

We're now deep into the winter months and hopefully your TT bike is safely tucked away until the better weather returns. It won't be long until our first 2018 event is upon - the much-feared Hardriders 23 mile slog involving Sunrising Hill.

We've proposed to CTT and the relevant police authorities a calendar of events for 2018 that will require an additional marshal each evening compared to previous years because of the number of riders we are expecting. At the time of writing the calendar is provisional whilst we wait for the official seal of approval. We have secured the services of everyone's favourite timekeeper, Mr Keri Williams, once more but he will be excused duties for a couple of weeks when he disappears off to his summer retreat and we will need volunteers to deputise in his absence. Rumour has it he is also going to actually dig out the lycra and show the rest of us a clean pair of freshly-shaven legs on a few TTs too!

Marshals for the TTs haven't yet been assigned, that joyous task will happen in January/February but the old trick of delaying rejoining the club in the hope your name is missed off the list isn't going to excuse you from duties if you've TT'd in the last couple of years!

Click the link below for the calendar and then go and give your TT bike a gentle pat and let it know it will soon be called into service once more.

2018 TT calendar

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.

Winter cycling

Are you and your bike ready for winter? The link below takes you to British Cycling's winter cycling guide with lots of tips and information for both on and off the bike.  

Winter cycling guide

Cafe of the month


This feature is beginning to be more like Pub of the Mouth, but this is yet another great venue found by John Tustian which is able to offer us a great coffee and cake deal for £4. On our recent first visit we were warmly welcomed with jugs of coffee and a varied cake selection awaiting.

This place has an interesting history, details of which can be found on their website by clicking on the link below.

The George Inn

Race Squad news

The club's Race Squad is now in full swing with winter training activities already well underway. There are no restrictions to joining in the fun and pain, it's open to all members, just confirm your interest to Mark Boyles via the link below.

A regular fixture is now the Wednesday night turbo training session. Held at Wroxton Sports Club it runs from 6.30 to 7.30pm., but please arrive 15 minutes early to set up. You'll need, bike, turbo plus skewer, towel, drink and £3 for room hire. 

Please note:  Further details and updates should be sought via the club's Facebook page.

Race squad presentation
email Mark

Youth Section news

Another month gone and closer still to the opening of our Rising Stars youth section.

The focus of the Rising Stars team last month has been finding a home for the regular training sessions. Negotiations have been going very well with the favoured hosts. We are waiting for the final approval and confirmation of costs from their committee and we can take this forward to the BSCC main committee for consideration and approval. The proposed venue provides great scope for a variety of cycling activities and will provide a good degree of creature comforts for participants and their waiting parents! We hope to confirm the location in the next newsletter.

Dates for the diary;

We will be asking club members to bring their children along to a trial training session on the 17th February with the club targeting Saturday 21st April for the public opening of BSCC Rising Stars.

We really do still want to hear from parents if they have children that are interested in joining our regular training sessions and competitions. This will go a long way in helping us gauge possible numbers. We also welcome volunteers who would like to take part as coaches, first aiders or helpers on the day.

Do please contact Lee Heron via the link below if your children would be interested and if you'd like to become involved with the Rising Stars.

email Lee

Mountain biking

The club's second mountain bike ride took place on 11th November, again ably led by Steve Goddard on his brand new bike. Joining in the fun this time, also on fairly new bikes, were Mike Gillett and Andy Neale. Overnight rain made the ride a little tough and muddy in places, but everyone survived with big grins on their faces. At the time of writing we're looking at 9th December for the next ride, which will be a bit shorter and planned around ground conditions. 

As always,keep your eye on the club's Facebook page and website for further details nearer the time.

Dear Father Christmas......

Aston Martin and Banbury Star? Sadly not the announcement of a new sponsorship deal for the club, or 10% off the price of the stunning new Vantage for members but news of new territory for the local car maker who have recently branched out into boats, submarines and property development.

Based on a Stork frame featuring top-end components and a custom paint job the Aston Martin bike epitomises everything that the luxury car maker puts into its spectacular cars.

One small thing missing from the article is the price......a cool £15k (plus pedals!).


Aston Martin bike

2018 Tour de France

With the first 9 stages of next year's Grand Tour taking place in northern France it presents a great opportunity to see several of the stages without travelling too far. For the first time in many years, with the exception of just 15 kilometres in Spain, the tour takes place totally within France itself. Full details of the route and all the stages can be found via the link below.

TdF route and stage details

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

Disc brakes for road bikes

Anyone with an interest in bike technology will know it was only a matter of time before disc brakes would be allowed in road race competition. Whilst the UCI are still considering their overall use, British Cycling recently announced that from 1st. January 2018 they will be allowed in all levels of domestic competition in road and closed circuit races. Fitting them to your existing bike is not really possible, so it's a good excuse for a new bike as a Christmas treat. 

British Cycling announcement

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. Tomorrow!

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've certainly had a variety of cycle related subjects on our website blog page, with last month's blog being a fine example. In a great blog, her second, Lydia Watts explains how she's encountered gender inequality in the cycling world. She also gives an honest account of how cycling has improved her confidence, time management and academic studies. Well worth a read.

Read the club blogs

We'd love to hear from more members with their cycle related stories, so don't be shy is waiting to hear from you.

Banbury Star CC social evenings

The next social night will be on Thursday 7th December, back at the White Horse pub at 7.30pm to which all members are invited.

After that we're into 2018 with our first social night on Thursday 4th January.

The Wednesday Wobble

For members not aware, the Wednesday Wobble is an informal mid-week morning ride held during the winter months. Originated by John Tustian and Bill Ord and aptly named by Geoff Hewett, it's a favourite with some of our retired members, but all members are very welcome to join in. As usual the rides start from Broadribb's at 10am, but do check the club Facebook page for further details or cancellations.

Velodrome visit

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

The date has been set for Friday 9th March and will be less than £30. If you are interested in going please visit the club's Facebook group where you will find the event is already in the calendar and confirm your attendance. It will be necessary to pay the full amount during January.

Upcoming events

Social night White Horse at 7.30pm Thursday 7th December

Race Squad Turbo Training 6.30 to 7.30pm every Wednesday  

Next club Mountain Bike ride Saturday 9th December

Annual dinner and prize giving: Friday 15th December

Annual General Meeting: Tuesday 30th January

Derby velodrome: Friday 9th March

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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Banbury Star Cyclists' Club