Banbury Star women – it’s all action now

Press officer Roger Gollicker (with more than a little help from Heidi Yates) outlines the growing success and enthusiasm of our women members

This was going to be a news item, but following an email and suggestion by women’s representative Heidi Yates, a blog now seems more appropriate.

The gist of Heidi’s email was – “what a strong women’s membership we have in the club at the moment”. This was not initially her comment or observation, but one made to her when speaking to the organisers, or other participants, of events she’d recently competed in.

Whilst those of us on the inside of the club should already know this, it’s great that our women members are now making a real name for themselves at our weekly time trials and perhaps more importantly on the open circuit. The size of the club’s female membership has been gradually growing over the last few years, helped by the efforts of Ila Pearson and now Heidi.

So, all this got Heidi thinking about how much great work all our BSCC ladies have achieved, not only on the race scene, but in other cycling related activities. She rightly felt, that as women’s representative – this needs to be shouted about. The following is therefore a brief review and round-up of what’s been happening recently.

Katherine, Heidi and Kim were in action last weekend

Whilst overall numbers were initially a little on the low side for our Wednesday night TTs, this didn’t seem to apply to the women, with a good regular turn out of both senior and junior members for events so far, which is very encouraging. Fast times have been set and women have already broken two of the three course records this year. Well done Peggy Simpkins and second claim member, Naomi de Pennington.

Ila and Hayley enjoy a wet Wednesday night TT

On the racing scene, Peggy, along with Poppy Kisley and Hayley Holland, have been representing the club in the Oxfordshire Road Race League. Racing regularly at the MK Bowl, they’ve been doing brilliantly and are currently ranked third in the ORRL.

As I write this, I know that Hayley and Poppy are entered for this weekend’s Warwick Town Centre races. Returning from her collarbone injury, I’m also told that Bella Boyles will hopefully also take part.

Three members, Heidi, her mother Kim Shaw and Fay Barrington, all took home prizes at the recent Diane Cook Memorial 10-mile TT near Coventry. The winner was second claim club member Sian Marsh.

Heidi and Kim were joined by Katherine Daniels at last weekend’s Aerocoach Midlands Women’s Road 15-mile TT. They raced in atrocious weather, with heavy rain and lots of standing water on the course. Despite no prize wins this time, they still set some great times.

As already mentioned, our women are also chalking up other cycling achievements. Katherine Daniels recently took part in the Women’s Cancer, Ride the Night 100km event. Starting at 9pm and following a 100km loop into central London. She finished in just over 4 hours and so far, has raised nearly £600 all in aid of the Cancer charity.

Katherine at the start of the 100km Ride the Night

To add to this, currently Rachel Reeves is tackling the North Coast 500 cycle route in the Scottish Highlands. This is a tough tour, along wild coasts with some big climbs. People normally do this in 7 to 10 days and at the time of writing we think Rachel is probably on day 3 or 4, so hopefully we’ll hear more about it on her return.

Finally, we should not forget that the club now has three women ride leaders: Claire Stratford, Katherine Daniels and Ila Pearson – something that didn’t exist a few years ago.

This is just a small snap shot of what some of our women members have achieved during the last few months and it’s great to see the increasing strength and depth our club now has. I’m sure Heidi and I have missed the exploits of other women members, so do keep us both informed of what you’ve been doing. It’s not all about winning, it’s more about inspiring others to have a go at new adventures and challenges.