Banbury Star Cyclists' Club

June 2020 newsletter

In this month's newsletter:

Presidential ponderings

General meeting report

Oxfordshire Supply Runs

BSCC Doctor Bike 


New members

A look back at the Cavalcade Road Races

Film Club and Zwift

Meet the Committee

Club kit - latest information

Possible club 2020 events 

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

Newsletter archive

Presidential ponderings

The second full month of lockdown is now under our belts and it does appear that the resumption of group and competitive riding is just around the proverbial corner with the announcement in the last few days from British Cycling following updated Government guidance. I'm sure you're all keen to get back to club life again, we are after all a cycling club, and as soon as we get the green light then we'll get back to club rides and time trials.

You will have all received via the club's Secretary, Rich Collier, a proposal I have put together regarding a scheme that is operated by Cherwell District Council called Families Active, Sporting Together (FAST). I've been working with CDC on how cycling can be incorporated into the scheme for the residents of Banbury and following the club meeting where several members volunteered their services that we will be having more in-depth discussions with CDC on the specific areas we can work with families in Banbury. The potential for our club is huge, particularly with a re-launched Rising Stars scheme when restrictions are lifted.

I'll sign off by saying thank you to all those who've offered their services to the club during the pandemic, whether you've helped deliver prescriptions, serviced bikes for key workers or put your hand in the air for FAST - our club was already well-regarded by the likes of the Council and British Cycling and our image of being a club that delivers is yet further enhanced.

See you all soon!


BSCC - General Club Meeting

Last Tuesday evening saw the club's first general meeting of the year conducted online via the Zoom meetings platform. Thanks must go to secretary Rich Collier for setting it all up and controlling it in a very orderly manner. A total of 38 members logged in to take part.

After the usual officer reports, the main debate centred around the opportunities and benefits for the club that have now arisen as a result of COVID-19. Prior to the meeting, everyone should have received a message from the president outlining what these were. The meeting agreed we should now progress the proposals with Cherwell DC and British Cycling and a number of members put themselves forward with offers of help. Further details are given in the sections below.

The next meeting will be the AGM on Tuesday October 20.

Oxfordshire Supply Runs

May was an even busier month than April for the club volunteers using their bikes to deliver medical prescriptions to the Shielded and self-isolating members of our community. Paul Terry has kindly donated some thermally insulated boxes from his company Peli BioThermal for prescriptions requiring constant refrigeration which will help now the warmer summer weather has arrived as the scheme will continue into June.

Some stats:

Number of prescriptions delivered: 730 representing over 2600 items

Miles ridden: 2710

Elevation climbed: 90530'

Longest ride: 40 miles

Heaviest prescription: 6kg

The bikes of Paul Terry and Alastair Gilroy fitted with cold boxes

Doctor Bike maintenance scheme

The prescription delivery scheme showed we are a club that can not just achieve but exceed the expectations placed on us and it was of little surprise that we were approached by Cherwell District Council about helping with another community initiative. This one has the goal of giving bikes a safety inspection and service before either being donated to key workers who need a new form of transport or to members of the public wanting to get back into cycling again.

It's called Doctor Bike and is already up and running successfully in other parts of Oxfordshire. We've now done two sessions and they'll continue each Saturday through June and into July. You don't need to be a Tour de France level bike mechanic either so if you're interested please contact Paul Dean.

We've seen some "interesting" bikes so far, from full-on road bikes through to others which are at the tail-end of their lives and couldn't be salvaged even with the talents of the club members.

FAST - Families Active, Sporting Together

The recent club meeting had a discussion topic which centred around the club and its place in the community. We are deservedly well-known for our time trials and racing credential and have a range of club rides that suit almost all ability levels. Finally we have our Women's section and Rising Stars, the junior coaching and racing part of the club.

One area we don't operate in is at the more "social" end of the cycling spectrum particularly for adults and family groups. 

Several areas of Banbury face particular challenges regarding health and life expectancy and Cherwell District Council, working with Active Oxfordshire have a targeted programme that's already in place that makes it easier and accessible for families to enjoy physical activity and sport together. Cycling isn't yet part of the scope of FAST and we are now working with CDC on what we, as a club, can do to help.

Several club members have come forward to offer their services which will include the creation of family-friendly short bike ride routes around Banbury and the outlying villages, guided rides on these routes and after school activities.

This is an exciting scheme which has already been proven to really make a difference to the participants and by adding cycling gives our club many opportunities in attracting new members, in particular children who can then take part in the Rising Star events.

In the coming weeks we will work on the structure of the scheme and determine what specific role we as a club will play and what volunteering opportunities there will be for club members who want to use their skills, talents and fitness to give something back to the community.

2020 Membership renewal details

No new members this month, which is to be expected given the restrictions on group cycling.

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

A look back at the Cavalcade Road Races

Last month we looked back at the first of our annual road races on the current Edge Hill course. Prior to this, races were held between 1970 and 1993 on what was known as the Queensway course. A club committee meeting, held on 17th July 1970, reveals that the club’s first open road race, known as the Cavalcade Road Race, took place on Saturday 12th September 1970 and was organised by Mr G. Walton. It was part of a weekend festival of sport, known as the Banbury Cavalcade of Sport. The start and finish was in Queensway and the 6.1 mile per lap course was via Broughton, then towards Bloxham and returning to Banbury via Wykham Hill. Initially it was an 8 lap race for senior category riders only and the prime (KoM) was at the top of Wykham Hill. Whilst the club received 75 entries, only 40 riders were permitted to start. The HQ was for some time at St Hugh’s Hall and then later moved to Queensway school. A number of local businesses either donated prizes or money and the winner of the first event won £4.

Reading through the minutes it’s clear that certainly the early races drew quite a large number of spectators and entries were always well over subscribed. The race was often started by the Mayor of Banbury or the Chairman of Cherwell DC. From 1981 60 riders were allowed to start and a second race for junior riders was added in 1983. The seniors then did 9 laps and the juniors 6.

For some reason, possibly due to the lack of an organiser, there was no race in 1984, but the 1985 race was obviously a success as the British Cycling Federation Commissaire wrote to say the event “was the best organised in the Thames Valley Division”. In 1991 the race moved from its traditional Saturday start to a Sunday, in an effort to avoid the increasing traffic on this very central course. However, the writing was already on the wall for the course's suitability, with the last race taking place in 1993, which was won by Simon Lilliystone.

This is the only photo we have of the race with an unknown rider and possibly winner crossing the finishing line on Queensway. Does anyone know if the three gentlemen at the finish are in the club kit of the time? Also, the gentleman further down the pavement by the car is believed to be Ron Dobson who died last year.

BSCC - Film club and Zwift

Weekly film club and Zwift sessions have become very popular with some member during the lockdown and will both continue during June. Keep your eyes on Facebook for updates and announcements, with the intention to try and include some films of Retro races..

Meet the committee

With club news a little thin on the ground at the moment, we thought we'd take the opportunity over the next couple of months, to introduce the 10 members that make up the club's committee.

John Tustian, Ride Leader  "Squash was my main sport for 35 years. Unfortunately, knee problems were becoming a constant issue so I was advised to give the game up immediately. A physiotherapist advised me that I needed to build my quads up and recommended I take up cycling, so in the summer of 2014 I bought a road bike, I'd not ridden a road bike since I was 15 years old.

I started to cycle around the countryside every weekend with a friend. A year later, (July 2015), we joined Banbury Star. I must admit I was very nervous at first, I'd never ridden in a group before and didn't think I would be able to keep up, Thankfully the members were very friendly and welcoming, I could not wait for the next weekends club ride. I was hooked.... it's great meeting up with so many different characters at the coffee stops and the local countryside is so beautiful to ride around.

 Mostly, I enjoy club rides, but I do like to go on cycling holidays, they are such great fun. I've ridden in the French Pyrenees; Tuscany, Italy; Lanzarote; Calpe/Moirara, Spain".

Ila Pearson, Women's Representative. "I remember my first club ride back in 2016, I was nervous, but determined to give it a go and just hoped I wouldn’t make a fool of myself or hurt myself by crashing. 

Before joining BSCC, I was a runner and triathlete, my only experience of riding a bike was a means of getting from a swim to a run! It was fair to say my cycling ability was lacking. 

My first real road bike being a Carrera, red, white and blue paint job. I was always really concerned about the saddle being too high, and would position myself close to the floor. 

I still enjoy competing in endurance events such as Ironman triathlons, and marathons, but now with a passion for cycling. I’m learning a lot from the club and despite an aversion of descending and cornering (wet, windy or otherwise!) I have an ever-growing passion for racing, and hill climbs. However, my  repertoire of terribly fruitful language makes me question the latter." 

Roger Gollicker, Press Officer  "I’ve been riding bikes since the early 1950s and have always loved the freedom they give you. Riding to school was the norm and my first school holiday job was delivering groceries on a bike with a big basket at the front. I’ve always liked long distance touring having cycled both Land’s End to John O’Groats and Coast to Coast routes twice, as well as many tours through France. Mountain biking is also a big passion of mine and I recently bought a new mountain e-bike – something I thought as a keen cyclist, I’d never do. I only acquired my first proper modern lightweight road bike about 15 years ago, which together with retirement, sees me riding now more than ever before.

In spite of all the above, Banbury Star is the first cycle club I’ve ever joined. It was a great decision enabling me to make new friends and to take part in club rides and activities."

Paul Dean, President. "I’ve cycled ever since I can remember, whether it was to and from school (parents driving you? not a hope in those days!), using it on my paper round or riding one of the first mountain bikes imported into the UK.

I fondly remember my first Banbury Star club ride back in July 2014 when 6 members gave me what felt like the club’s initiation ceremony up Larkstoke Hill. Undeterred by a previously unattained heart rate and suffering the humility of being dropped for the solo ride of shame back to Banbury I returned for more pain the following week and subsequently immersed myself in club life, enjoying the history of such a proud club with its rich history.

I was highly honoured to be voted as Club President and do my bit to build the club for the future generations of cycling enthusiasts. Any club is only as strong as its membership and committee and Banbury Star is fortunate to have such a great team who are doing so much to help fulfil the potential of this proud club, positioning it as a key part of the Banbury community".

Oli Wright, TT Secretary. "My Dad was my inspiration in to cycling when I was a lad, who raced to quite a good amateur level in the West Midlands. I would watch the Tour with him on TV each July when in those days, it was just a 30 minute highlights show. My parents gave me my first drop bar road bike when I was about ten.  I then learnt to build bikes, something I’ve always done since.  

I rode my first club 10 TT with Corinium Cycles around 1994 posting a time of about 33 minutes and continued riding through my teens. I recall as a teenager watching Chris Boardman smash the pursuit world record in the superman position as well as watching other events like the Milk Tour.

University then followed, and I stopped playing sport, but then found cycling again at the age of 26. I joined Bicester Millennium CC and later becoming Chairman.

I left BMCC a few years later when I moved to Banbury and then joined BSCC.  I started racing again and have since done some track racing as well as TTs.  I became TT Secretary a little while ago, as I wanted to put something back into the club and support people like Keri Williams in particular, but also the many others who help to make the events each Wednesday work so well".  

Club kit - latest information

With Endura currently closed, there's obviously no chance of placing orders at the moment. We are awaiting a supply of children's jerseys, so when we're advised of their planned delivery, we'll let you all know. 

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

Club Rides - a look back to 1952

Whilst nothing has changed regarding the restart of club rides anytime soon, we thought we'd look back a bit into the club's archives. Below is an extract from the club's 1952 handbook which we thought you might find interesting.

Don't forget, the club now has a substantial library of club rides for all three distances, which can be viewed on the website and then downloaded via the link below

Club rides library

Monthly social evenings on hold

Alas the current COVID-19 situation also means our monthly social meetings at the White Horse have had to be postponed until further notice.

Possible 2020 club events

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

Resumption of club time trials - Wednesday 1st July if CTT approve

Leiden Plaque interclub TT - Monday 31st  August

10 mile Open TT - Saturday 6th 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