It wasn’t just Banbury Star CC who were celebrating a 125th birthday in 2016, the anniversary was also shared with Cycling Weekly, the UK’s best-selling cycling magazine. The club was previously the subject of an article as part of our 125th celebration and to build on this, Cycling Weekly came along on our Sunday 10am ride yesterday as we will feature in an upcoming four page “Ride With…”.
The forecast for Sunday was changeable and having had two previous rides with CW cancelled due to either ice or torrential rain the scribe’s heart did sink somewhat on hearing yet more rain hammering against the windows at 7am. Surely the weather gods would look more kindly on us?
So 35 hardy souls met at Broadribb Cycles who opened early for us and they soon helped themselves to a box of goodies care of Power Bar who sponsor “Ride With” before a pre-ride briefing was given by Bill Ord who, along with John Tustian, was leading the ride where they had planned a mid-ride stop at The Chandlers Arms in Epwell.
Dave Nash from Cycling Weekly spent lots of time during the ride chatting to the members about club life – he must have an amazing memory to be able to remember everything as well as handle a bike in what were fairly challenging conditions because of mud, puddles, potholes, rain, thorns, water-filled potholes and to top everything off gravel. His photographer Andy was also very busy with the cameras, continually driving ahead of the group to take yet more photos for publication.
The bunch reached The Chandlers Arms intact where a special birthday cake and tea/coffee were waiting for us. Assumpta at the pub is not just a great host but also a keen supporter of Banbury Star, because as well as putting up with us on our club rides she is also going to sponsor our upcoming Road Race so if you are looking for a new place to eat and drink then The Chandlers is well worth trying.
The return leg to Banbury had a split with a longer route via Edge Hill for the mountain goats to demonstrate their prowess whilst those not so keen remained on the top of the escarpment with the two groups rejoining on the Road Race route for the final few miles back to town. The weather was kinder for the ride’s second half with the sun attempting to come out and the rapidly-drying roads lifted the pace a little.
This was the best-attended regular club ride I’ve known of and with kinder weather would have no doubt seen even more members turn up for what was a fantastic advertisement for Banbury Star CC. Bill and John did a great job of keeping so many of us in check, thanks guys!
The magazine will be out in a few weeks time – watch this space for more details.