Banbury Star Cyclists' Club

July 2020 newsletter

In this month's newsletter:

Presidential ponderings

Time trial resumption

Oxfordshire Supply Runs

Club rides restarting

BSCC Doctor Bike 

New members

Monday night Chain Gangs

Meet the Committee

Club kit - latest information

Forthcoming 2020 club events 

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

Newsletter archive

Presidential ponderings

The worst of the Coronavirus pandemic is now long behind us which means the recent changes in Government legislation and rulings by the bodies our club affiliates to we can shortly return to club life. We've been very lucky as individuals to have been able to continue our cycling and taking advantage of great weather and traffic-free roads and now we can all look forward to the resumption of club rides, time trials, races, social nights etc.

I'm sure you'll all understand our events cannot be run in the way they were before being shut down in mid-March, we've naturally had to adapt by introducing various changes that are aimed at managing the risk that is still there and I ask each and everyone of you to read what we have published and contribute to not transmitting the virus onwards - we don't want to contribute to a second spike.

Club volunteering is at the very core of Banbury Star and it goes a long way to understanding why our club is so successful. Without volunteers we simply would not be able to operate. When I called for members to come forward to help with the prescription delivery scheme and then the Doctor Bike sessions I never realised just how many of you would offer your services. 25% of the membership have been involved so far and I'm so proud to lead a club that has that level of engagement and community interest. The image of our club has been massively enhanced by what the volunteers have continued to do and my heartfelt thanks go to each and every one of you.

So why am I writing this? It's very simple - we need more ride leaders to come forward, you'll read why in the section below on club rides. The small group of leaders we currently have carry a great burden of responsibility and they need some help. We don't want to have to cancel rides due to a lack of leaders but that situation is now very likely. Whatever time you can spare in leading, even just the occasional ride will help. I know I can rely on you to come forwards once more.

We've been treading water for almost four months - I look forward to seeing more of you in the coming weeks as we get back out on two wheels again with the proper risk mitigation procedures in place which I stress need to be complied with.


Wednesday night TTs to restart 15th July

The wait is nearly over for our first Wednesday night TT of the year which we hope, following a delay by CTT, will now take place on 15th July on the K4/10W course.

Paul Dean, Oli Wright and Keri Williams have already been making plans and finding solutions behind the scenes. There will be changes, some quite significant, so it is important that these are read and understood fully before you turn up to compete. It's more than likely, with other clubs having given up on TTs this year, that we'll see a lot of entries when we restart, so we really don't want people turning up not knowing the new rules and procedures.


The main changes are:

  • Pre-registration for each TT is mandatory
  • All riders will have to pay by contactless means (debit card, ApplePay, GooglePay)
  • The 2020 TT supplement will be carried over to 2021 for those who've paid it
  • No parking at Ludlow Drive
  • No group gatherings at the sign-on, start line or finish
  • No start line pusher, riders do a standing start
  • No spectators at the finish line
  • Finish times will only be posted online

The full set of changes is here, if you enter our time trials it's essential you read and understand them:

Time Trial changes and registration

Oxfordshire Supply Runs

The prescription delivery scheme which commenced back at the end of March is still continuing although the scope of it has changed to reflect the loosening of lockdown restrictions with only Shielded members of the public now receiving deliveries. The scheme in its entirety will conclude on July 31st.

Current stats:

Number of prescriptions delivered: 871 representing over 3000 items

Miles ridden: 3152

Elevation climbed: 11000'

Longest ride: 40 miles

Heaviest prescription: 6kg

And still no punctures!

Resumption of club rides - 4th July

After a hiatus of over three months, we plan on restarting club rides on Saturday 4th July. As you can imagine we've had to make some significant changes to the way we prepare for and run our rides to reflect legislation and British Cycling guidance.

John Tustian and Andy Perry have been very busy making the preparations which are now in place.


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 and at the coffee stop
  • 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

Doctor Bike maintenance scheme

This coming Saturday (4th July) will see the last of our six regular Dr Bike maintenance sessions. In total around 15 club volunteers, led by Brian Reid, will by then have serviced and repaired over 120 bikes in a scheme organised by Cherwell District Council (CDC) in conjunction with the club. Its aim has been to get people back into cycling on safe, road worthy and mechanically sound bikes, which in many cases have not been used or serviced properly for some time.

We've also serviced and repaired donated bikes which will be passed on to key NHS workers by CDC.

The whole scheme has been very rewarding, good fun and like the prescription delivery service has earned the club many new friends. We've seen a varied range of bikes too, from pure road bikes, some 1970s vintage machines through to old wrecks that have sadly seen their last ride some time ago.

CDC are keen to continue running the scheme as the demand is still there so the club will take part in one-off servicing days such as at the Horton Hospital.

2020 Membership renewal details

We'd like to welcome two new members to Banbury Star who've joined in the last month:

Fay Barrington and Darren Kukainis

All rejoining members should have now received their 2020 membership cards. 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.

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 no more cheques or cash will be accepted for membership or payment for club events. 

Please note: The online Membership Form must be completed for all existing members when renewing membership. The joys of GDPR compliance!

Renew Membership

Resumption of Monday Chain Gangs

The third and final relaunch of club events this month will be our popular Monday evening Chain Gangs on July 6th under the tutelage of Tobi Ng who has done some great work in organising them along with producing a guide.

What is a Chain Gang I hear you ask? Well it's a group ride that can run at either a race pace or something more leisurely with the emphasis for both being on riding in a smooth manner, sharing turns on the front and improving skills that can be used in racing or on club rides.


The main changes are:

  • Pre-registration for each ride is mandatory
  • Only club members can ride, no guests
  • Group size limits will be in place
  • Groups will be sorted on ability level
  • Groups will leave at timed intervals
  • Social distancing will be maintained throughout
  • 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
Chain Gang Guide

Meet the committee

Following on from last month's introduction to five of the club's  ten committee members, here's details of the remaining five.

Matt Sleath, Treasurer.  "I got into cycling a fair few years ago after I had completed all the other sports. Having a few years in the sporting wilderness, that’s pies, pastries and penguins, I desperately needed to get fit again, so took up spinning in 2012.

The following year I decided that instead of spending hot summer days in a spin studio, I’d bite the bullet and buy my first road bike for a decade. Through spinning I’d met Star member Steve Rooney, who had a Cannondale for sale. After that I haven’t looked back, only the number of bikes owned has grown substantially.

I join the club in 2016 to continue group riding, following a cycling holiday in Mallorca. Initially just to do a couple of club rides a month, this quickly turned into two rides a week.  A brief foray into crit racing then led to TTs and a more active involvement role in club life - becoming treasurer in 2018.

Family life and an aversion to mudguards now limits my club riding, but I try to race as much as possible. This, coupled with my love of cycling in Mallorca, has had a massively positive impact on my life and I don’t see that changing anytime soon".

Mark Boyles, Race Secretary. "I’ve been a keen cyclist for around 9 years and came across BSCC when I started time trialling to improve my triathlon bike times. A few years later I dropped the running and swimming and focused on two wheels.

Over the past few years I’ve been involved in the promotion of racing, seeing a big increase in club members’ crit and road racing and a record number now racing in open TTs. I’m especially keen to promote female and junior cycling, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing our juniors race in the club colours.

I enjoy leading training sessions on the road, or virtual on Zwift and find leading club rides rewarding.

Favourite times have been riding Lands End to John O’Groats with village friends for charity and spending a day on the cobbled climbs of Flanders, Then in 2019, when members of the club raced in Warwick town centre and young Tobi Ng won the Cat 3 race in front of club members including some juniors.

I’m married to Donna and have two children who love cycling and race for the club. Isabella (12) prefers TTs and Henry (7) Cyclocross and crits".

Lee Heron, Rising Stars leader. "I’ve been cycling for 10 years, starting on a mountain bike. To begin with riding 4 miles nearly killed me.

In 2014 I bought a road bike and embraced the life of a Velophile. My passion for cycling has taken me across France riding some of the most iconic mountains from the Tour De France and have become a frequent visitor to cycling nirvana, aka Mallorca.

I joined Banbury Star in 2017, started with the weekend group rides and soon the midweek TT’s. This provided a focus for my riding, making it more than mile crunching and fitness. Last year I represented the club in 28 Open TT’s around the UK, accumulating over 1000 miles of racing.

In 2018 I helped start the Rising Stars youth cycling initiative.  With support from parents and the club, this has the potential to grow our sport in Banbury and maybe uncover the next Lizzie Deignan or Chris Froome!"

Dave Pittman, Welfare Officer,  "As a 70’s child, bikes were probably the main thing any child wanted. A bike gave you the opportunity to play out with your mates and go anywhere.

Over the years I’ve had many bikes, even Choppers and Grifters. Then the BMX era came and I got a silver Peugeot BMX for Christmas.  I tried racing, but that was short lived after I broke my ankle. My first road bike was a green Puch and I remember racing around and falling off often.

As I entered mid-teens, cycling faded away, and it wasn’t until 2010 that a Cavendish win inspired me to get a bike again. On a Specialized Allez I set out, thinking how easy it was back in the day, spending hours riding, not even out of breath, but after only 3 miles I felt awful.

I joined Star in 2016 and am proud to be part of this historic club and able to contribute what I can. Either though my role as Club Welfare Officer, helping marshal events or by other means. I’ve been involved in the 2014 TDF, the Tour of Britain and many track events in Manchester. I’m also a Commissaire for British Cycling. Volunteering for me is as much a part of cycling as it is riding bringing many rewards". 

Rich Collier, Secretary, "I started cycling after getting bored with being a ‘gym bunny’ in my mid 30’s by signing up for my first sprint triathlon in 2006.

Having not been on a bike for 20 years this came as a bit of a shock to the system, but I quickly caught the bug and stepped up to Olympic distance triathlons for approx. 3 years.

After a hiatus of a few years due to changes in personal circumstances I got back into triathlons in 2015. This began a greater desire to improve on the bike, and as a result I joined Banbury Star in 2017, quickly settling into group social rides, becoming a ride leader, and time trialling on Wednesday evenings.

Things have developed since that time and as well as taking on the role of club secretary, I now take part in regular endurance cycle and triathlon events. This includes 50 and 100 mile TTs, as well as half and full ‘Iron’ distance triathlons".

Club kit - latest information

Some good news! Endura have now restarted production and are taking orders for club kit so if you want to look the part on a club ride this is the ideal time to place an order but you'll have to be quick as the order window will close in about two weeks time.

Full details of club kit are on the club website and remember,. Dave Speck does still hold a small stock of jerseys listed below:

Ladies Short sleeve jersey - Small
Men’s Short sleeve jersey - Large
Men’s short Sleeve jerseys - Medium

Contact Dave Speck
How to order club kit

Monthly social evenings: watch this space

At the time of writing we're still waiting to hear what changes will be implemented at the club's watering hole, The White Horse, to determine if we are able to hold a social night.

For now, there won't be a July social night and we hope to be able to hold one in August.

Forthcoming 2020 club events

Social nights at the White Horse will resume as soon as pubs are allowed to re-open.

Resumption of club rides - Saturday 4th July 

Resumption of club chain gang evenings - Monday  6th July 

Resumption of club time trials - Wednesday 15th July 

Club Social Night - Thursday 6th August (TBC)

Leiden Plaque interclub TT - Monday 31st  August

10 mile Open TT - Saturday 6th September

Annual General Meeting Tuesday 20th October 

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