As winter gives way to spring, the month of March sees the resumption of racing against the clock with the traditional season loosener that’s our Open 23 mile race called Hardriders. Here we find out who took their winter training seriously and who just talked a good Zwift….. It takes place on Sunday 13th and as it’s a full Open event, entries are already closed. Banbury Star is well known for our long heritage of time trialling, with an enviable collection of impressive silver trophies available for our members to win in races which range from in distance from a short 700m hill climb right up to 30 lung-busting miles.
Once the Hardriders sweat has dried on the proverbial brow, our attention turns to Wednesday evenings and the resumption of our popular weekly race, we continue to be the most popular Midlands region club when measured in terms of entrants and it’s not just the preserve of men either as upwards of 25% of the field are women and we also have increased the participation of juniors who have made impressive progress onwards and upwards from our Rising Stars scheme. These kids are quick and not just there to make up the numbers as anyone who witnessed their impressive performances during 2021 will testify. Naomi de Pennington was in stunning form last year and her efforts were well-rewarded with many new course records and an impressive haul of silverware but will she have it so easy this year? In the men’s competition, Luke Norris only had to look at a bike to make it go fast, his consistently-strong performances were recognised by admiring eyes and he’s now been snapped up by a team so who will take over the mantle in 2022? Answers to these questions and more will shortly be revealed as the first race will be on Wednesday 30th and is the traditional 5 mile sprint out at Gaydon.
For 2022 we continue our association with The League International for these Wednesday club events which means TLI membership must be held by all taking part.
There will be one or two other changes this year as we adapt to new rules or the need to adapt to ever-changing road conditions:
- rear lights have been mandatory for the last few seasons and we have also recommended riders also use a front light to improve their visibility to other road users. For 2022 front lights are now mandatory.
- incredibly, the sport’s governing body regarded the wearing of helmets as only optional but common sense has now broken out and they are now mandatory, even for hill climb events.
- as all Covid restrictions have been rescinded, registration for our evening TTs will be optional which allows for entry “on the line”. However those who do pre-register will be given entry priority because we are expecting full fields such is the popularity of our racing. If you do just turn up you may not get a ride.
- we say goodbye to the “Chippy Ten” course. Having experimented with different start times over a range of months, the traffic, in particular HGVs and tractors, poses too great a risk. All is not lost however as we have created the “Kineton Ten” to compensate and we know you’re going to love it!
- social distancing meant we saw the end of the start line “pusher”. No, not some shifty character hanging around in the shadows and offering illegal substances, but the person who held each rider’s bike upright allowing them to clip in to the pedals prior to setting off. After two years of self-supported starts, we’ve officially retired the pusher so you’re all on your own from now on.
- part of the fun of our TTs was the socialising both before and after the race. The rule of six put a stop to this and it will be great to get back to the true normal of leg-pulling, talking up your own prowess, offering poor time excuses and cheering on those finishing after you.