Annual Report 2013
2013 has been another busy and full year for the Club with much going on across club activities and many members also venturing onto new roads
We thought that 2012 was a very good year for membership growth as we reached 75 by the end of 2012. 2013 has seen the growth of the Club continue and at the moment we have 126 members which is an excellent turnaround given where we were even 2 years ago.
We know that a number joined the Club after the 2012 Sportive and we expect more to join following the successful 2013 Sportive and possibly more in 2014 with the Tour de France being so local.
Word of mouth has also played a part as has our website and the growing amount of riders now wearing the distinctive white, green and black colours on the road.
We know from those who join us that typically they have been “following” us on the website to see what we are doing and we also know that there are many potential members out there who may join us over the next few months. If you are one of those “followers” and are reading this on the website, then do come along and join us for a run on a Sunday.
The geographical spread of members is also altering as we have members from Sandy, Biggleswade and Catworth, and Cambourne can now boast seven members. Buckden remains a St Neots CC outpost with its seven members.
We now have a father/daughter and a father/son in the Club and from having no female members two years ago we now have 12, but where are the mothers?
Welcome to all new members in 2013
The Club, as it grows, faces a number of challenges as the range of ability is wide across the membership group and we need to balance and cater for this as best we can.
From having six in the Market Square on a Sunday morning to having up to 50 is very different.
At the start of this year, thanks to Ruth Stapleton, we started Introductory Rides once a month of about 15 miles in length and pace around 15 mph. This was well received and a number of new riders came along to try and a number have progressed to a longer distance as a result. We are now offering Short routes every Sunday.
We also replaced our Group 1/Group 2 format with a Long/Medium/Short route; basically three distances all following the same route at the start. On some weeks there can be two groups following the medium and long routes. The intention is that the groups should aim to encourage people to progress and build confidence, if that is what they want, to longer and faster rides.
We know that members like and prefer the routes to be confirmed in advance and also enjoy the formality of the Club run , however we are always keen to promote the need for all members to take personal responsibility regarding the route and also if required to be able to get themselves home.
We also published Club Run Etiquette guide for the first time as a help and guide for new members experiencing a group ride for the first time and to remind ourselves about some of the basics that need to be observed to ensure safety on the roads.
• Personal responsibility
o You should be equipped for basic problems
o Suitable gear – are tubs / lightweight race tyres really appropriate/necessary for a club run?
o Know the route so you can return home solo if necessary
• Collective responsibility
o Look out for each other
o Listen to instructions
o Listen to advice
o Point out bad/dangerous riding – it’s in your interest
This again proved popular largely thanks to Joe’s efforts typically on a Tuesday evening.
• Experimented with the format, using a different course
• Continued discussion of more alternative dates
Saturday runs are also proving popular and our thanks to Andy McEvoy for organising and posting the routes. It is an excellent way to build up the winter miles especially if you are not able to get out on the Sunday morning
Finally, the success and enjoyment of our Club Runs is down to those taking part and we would like to thank all those members who have prepared and submitted routes for the Club Runs.
As mentioned above the wearing of Club kit is a great advert for the Club and we know that it gets you noticed on the road. Some people do not know that the Club exists until they see a rider on the road in club kit.
This year we have ordered almost £6,000 of kit and for 2014 the intention is for the Club to hold a stock of kit. This has not been possible before as the club finances could not afford the initial outlay.
We are planning some small alterations to the kit design including replacement of the white pockets on the rear of tops with black ones and fewer white panels on the shorts.
Our Abbotsley course continues to attract members and non-members on a Thursday evening. This year 80 riders including 60 from the Club have taken part and on some nights up to 25 riders were on the road.
As in 2012, the destination of the Handicap Trophy came down to the last night's racing and was secured by Gareth Smith with 182 points. Jon Keefe led for most of the 18 weeks, however he could not prevent the late surge by Gareth to take the trophy.
As we know the “hills” in our part of the world would probably be bumps or easy slopes in other parts, however the Hill Climb on Great Staughton Moor is always keenly contested and this year despite the wind and rain, 12 ventured out.
Richard Ostler, winner for the previous 3 years, was apprehensive about keeping the trophy, and an in-form Joe Finucane set a new course record of 4.13 to take his crown. Richard was pushed into 3rd place by Richard Hancock
This is contested over two circuits of the Abbotsley course and the trophy dates back to 1938. To win it, you need to ride at least to your handicap or better it. This year, in superb weather, 21 riders were at the start and on the day Chris Goodsall set a PB on his first lap to finish with a handicap time of 50.06 with Tom Stead second with a handicap time of 51.04 and Richard Hancock third in 51.08. Congratulations to Chris in his first season with the Club.
This year we recycled one of the many old trophies in the Club for the fastest scratch time on the day and this was taken by the old warrior, Richard Hancock, who saw off the challenge of young Tom Stead to come home with a 51.54.
This season a few of the regular Time Trial riders decided to test themselves away from the Abbotsley course on a Thursday evening and head for the NCRA races at Rockingham.
We are delighted to report that Wayne Tunnah secured his Category 2 licence with some excellent riding and there were several top 10 finishes from Richard Ostler, Tim Pennell and Alasdair Higgins.
Congratulations to Richard Hancock on his 1st place at the Fenland 25 and to Ian Turner and Tom Stead for their 2nd and 3rd places at the Cambridge 10
It is important to acknowledge the effort and commitment of our Timekeepers as without them we could not run the TTs.
Last year Brian Morley handed back his time keeping watch for health reasons and we were delighted that Colin Mullins stepped up to work with John this season.
John Brysden has been a fixture at our TT’s for the past 30 years both as a rider and a time keeper. John sets up and collects all the warning signs that are required to be placed around the course to comply with CTT rules. In addition he is responsible for the construction of the Handicap Rules and he keeps all the records of the times and the handicap points.
John, at only 76, has decided to hand back his time keeping watch to allow him to spend more touring time on his bike in 2014.
We are sure that we will still see John at some of the TT’s. However on behalf of the Club, we would like to thank him for all his years of dedication and commitment to SNCC .
The social side of any bike club is very important and we know that many enjoy their post-ride coffee at the Market Square on a Sunday morning. Some runs now even include a café stop.
Mark Colmer has worked hard again this year to encourage the social side of the club to grow. The New Year's Day Club Run this year was a great success finishing at the Shoe in Offord for refreshments and another is planned for 1st January 2014.
There is a social evening on the first Wednesday of the month to allow members to come along and chat. There was a summer BBQ and we have our Annual Dinner on the 16th of this month.
This has been a busy year for a number of members.
Richard Hancock, Tom Stead and Chris Ritchie all represented GB at the European Sprint Triathlon Championships in Turkey with the guys coming 12th, 5th and 6th in their respective age groups.
Phil Laycock, Tim Pennell and Ruth Stapleton took part in an Ironman in the summer and Ruth took the honours on being first home amongst this intrepid trio.
Steve Pleasance also took on the challenge of an Ironman and survived.
We were well represented at the Dragon Ride in Wales with eight members making the trip and experiencing ascents that would take a month to achieve locally!
Mark Colmer, Tim Pennell, Alistair Henderson and Tim Parish enjoyed the cobbles of the Tour of Flanders back in March and also the excellent Belgian beer.
Trevor Porter took the St Neots colours to the top of Mount Ventoux during August.
We organised another Sportive this year on 6th October. This time we had two routes with the option of 100 or 61 miles. We had 191 entrants (119 in 2012) including a number of riders from 2012.
Once again we were very fortunate with the weather and it remained dry all day. The feedback was excellent with many favourable comments on the route signage and the quality of the food at the feed stations.
Our thanks to all the club members and partners who gave their time before and after the event and whose efforts helped make the event such a success.
Website and Forum
The website is a great asset for the club in letting prospective and existing members know what we are doing, and when.
The website is kept fresh by many of the members submitting articles and photos of their various bike related exploits and trips and all are encouraged to continue doing this.
Our thanks again to our Webmaster, Alec MacAndrew, who ensures that the quality and integrity of the website is maintained.
The Forum is used extensively by the membership base to announce rides / sell items / share stories / discuss mechanical issues / plan events etc and along with Twitter and Facebook we are extending our connections and the profile of the Club.
Club funds are now very healthy helped by the increase in the membership and also the Sportive, which has added around £1700 to the club funds. Thanks to Alistair Henderson, once again, for his careful management of the bank account.
A copy of the Go Ride Secretary’s report is attached below for download.
With the Tour having a stage from Cambridge to London there will certainly be plenty of cycling to watch and we are part of Cambridge Clubs Forum who are planning now how we can be part of this great event.
In addition we have:
• Circuit of the Fens
• Rutland Cicle Classic
• 3 Days of Bedford
• Women’s Tour of Britain Grand Depart at Oundle
• Our own Sportive
• Huntingdonshire Festival of Cycling
As a club we will be hosting our first Open TT for many years on the Abbotsley circuit and we are also hosting an NCRA race at Keysoe. We are seeking members' help and support for both these events.
We are investigating a trip to the velodrome at the Olympic Stadium and as always there are members proposing different trips to different events across the country.
Simon Richardson is researching the history of cycling locally at the time of World War 1 for the 100th anniversary
2013 has been a fabulous year for the club and we look forward to making the club even better in 2014.
You can open or download a copy of the 2013 Go Ride report here