Mark Boyles and Matt Sleath, Joint Presidents.
Mark. I’ve been a keen cyclist for around 9 years and came across BSCC when I started time trialling to improve my triathlon bike times. A few years later I dropped the running and swimming and focused on two wheels.
Over the past few years I’ve been involved in the promotion of racing, seeing a big increase in club members’ crit and road racing and a record number now racing in open TTs. I’m especially keen to promote female and junior cycling, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing our juniors race in the club colours.
Favourite times have been riding Lands End to John O’Groats with village friends for charity and spending a day on the cobbled climbs of Flanders, Then in 2019, when members of the club raced in Warwick town centre and young Tobi Ng won the Cat 3 race in front of club members, including some juniors.
Matt. I got into cycling a fair few years ago after I had completed all the other sports. Having a few years in the sporting wilderness, that’s pies, pastries and penguins, I desperately needed to get fit again, so took up spinning in 2012. The following year I decided that instead of spending hot summer days in a spin studio, I’d bite the bullet and buy my first road bike for a decade. Through spinning I’d met a club member, who had a Cannondale for sale. After that I haven’t looked back, only the number of bikes owned has grown substantially.
I join the club in 2016 to continue group riding, following a cycling holiday in Mallorca. Initially just to do a couple of club rides a month, this quickly turned into two rides a week. A brief foray into crit racing then led to TTs and a more active involvement role in club life – becoming treasurer in 2018.
Family life now limits my club riding, but I try to race as much as possible. This, coupled with my love of cycling in Mallorca, has had a massively positive impact on my life and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Andy Perry, Membership Secretary. I was never much of a cyclist in my youth once I got behind the wheel of my first car and probably wouldn’t be cycling now if wasn’t for a previous boss who got all his direct reports into a Sprint Triathlon. Thankfully you could do it as a team so I picked cycling. Once the event was over, I continued casually cycling on my own with no great expectations, but I finally braved the last “come and try” event hosted by BSCC in an August having put the idea off all summer!
Just like everyone else, I was nervous and not wanting to show myself up. Unfortunately, I fell off as I stopped at the meeting point; oh well, a great introduction!
Ever since, I have become more serious about my cycling and prefer the endurance side of things. Cycling from West to East UK in a day with a like minded group of fools being the highlight so far.
For a number of years now I have had the privilege of hosting the Saturday Gentle Café Ride with a great bunch of Ride Leaders with a “no drop ethos”.
Hayley Holland, Communications Secretary. I started cycling back in lockdown and got the bug, although I have only just completed my first proper season of racing in 2023, having been promoted to Cat 3 in the same season. Joining Banbury Star was one of the best things I did, providing a real community to become a part of and thrive within.
Outside of cycling, I am a product manager, with a background in marketing and PR, and am excited to put into practice what I’ve learned to provide some engaging and interesting content for the club.
Ed Anderson, Club Secretary. I’ve cycled for most of my life on a variety of bikes, but started riding more competitively as a triathlete while living in San Diego in the early 2000s. I competed in several half ironman and ironman events including the inaugural 70.3 world championships (as an age-grouper!).
As life gradually got in the way of training at all three sports, I joined Banbury Star in 2021 to focus on improving my riding, and of course I was also lured by the Wednesday evening time trials! I’ve enjoyed all aspects of the club – it has a great atmosphere and I’ve always felt is very welcoming to cyclists of all ages and abilities.
Outside of cycling, my main pastime (and also job!) is research in organic chemistry, although I also enjoy gardening/allotmenting, as well as serving on the committee at Banbury Swimming Club.
Simon Bingham, Welfare Officer. I cycled for fun as a child and young adult, and then began Mountain Bike Racing in my mid 30’s. Slightly Cliché, but in the pub one Friday evening over Christmas 2015, someone suggested that we should ride the length of the UK for charity, and I decided to take up the challenge, alongside my daughter and 11 others. I also took up the challenge of organising the trip and we cycled John-O-Groats to Lands End in September 2016. 989miles in 8 days, which was quite an achievement for 8 or 9 who had not cycled previously.
I was hooked and cycling has become a very important part of my life. I joined Banbury Star in 2017, and quickly became involved in Ride Leading for the club. I am a great believer in putting as much in as I can so as to, hopefully make a difference to others and to support those who put themselves in the front line.
I have taken on the role of welfare officer to offer my time to ensuring that the younger element of the club can take part knowing there is a safe and friendly environment for them to be part of, as they are the future of the sport. The club has an amazing junior section which we should all be proud of.
Aside from Cycling, I enjoy taking part in many other sports which include Regular Badminton and Skiing more recently. I have been involved in Hangliding, Off Road and on Road Motorcycling.
I have recently obtained Relevant Safeguarding and DBS Certificates.
John Tustian, Ride Secretary. 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.
Katherine Daniels, Treasurer.I joined the club in 2017, as I got into the Ride London event and wanted to know the etiquette of cycling in groups and what to look out for.
Since then, I have enjoyed being part of the club, made many friends, and hopefully helped other cyclists enjoy the camaraderie of the club.
You may see me out on the Saturday Gentle Cafe rides as a ride leader. I love being part of the club and try and support it as much as I can.
Heidi Yates, Women’s Representative. I’ve always enjoyed riding my bike from a young age.
I’m a pretty active person and over the years, I have enjoyed taking part in running and triathlon events. However, I have always preferred the cycling element and especially during lockdown, when I joined Banbury Star. I really found the desire to challenge myself and try out different cycling events. I have been, and still do, volunteer as a Breeze Champ for British Cycling and run monthly lady only rides. I hope by taking on the role as women’s representative, I will help to continue with the great work the club already does to develop the women’s side of Banbury Star, by attracting new members and opening it to more diverse communities.
Rhys Martin, TT Secretary. Growing up in the welsh countryside, a bike was vital to get around checking out the local sheep, sorry sights!
My friends and I grew up taking trips to the seaside and exploring old railway lines etc on our mountain bikes and until I learnt to drive it was my only way of getting around.
Post university and needing to lose a few stone, I bought a rode bike on the cycle to work scheme and started to enjoy the feeling of the wind in my hair and the rain on my face. I then made the foray into a carbon bike and started swimming and waddling and completed my first triathlon.
On moving to England and needing to meet some new friends I turned up to an intermediate Sunday ride and promptly found myself way out of my depth, but credit to the group they nursed me home. I have enjoyed sportives and continued my triathlon journey. After watching TTs, I was inspired to expand my bike collection to include a TT bike and try a TT. Needless to say the old adage is true, “If you can’t beat them, time them” and thus after falling off every type of bike and ride I find myself admiring the machines, and the bikes every Wednesday evening on the various courses we use and watching the capable members of our club race and jockey across 10, 20 and longer miles.
Richard Santhouse and Josh Lovell, joint Race Secretary
Richard. I recently joined Banbury Star in September 2021, this is my first official cycling club. I was born and raised in Banbury, for me it’s an honour to ride for the club. I always enjoyed cycling since a young age, but never took it very seriously. In 2017, I was playing football for Hornton FC and suffered a big injury. I was later diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis in my right hip as a long term injury. So cycling is really important to me to maintain a level fitness and strengthen the muscle surrounding my hip. In 2022 I started racing for Banbury Star at local crit races and road races. I was promoted to Cat 3, finishing on 36 points for the season. I’m now Cat 2.
Outside of cycling I have a wonderful family, my wife and daughter are very important to me so a life balance is key.
I’m excited to be working with Josh as the new joint Race Secretary’s, we have plenty of plans for the coming season to help promote racing within the club to all riders. Entering the Oxford Road Race League (ORRL), is a goal we’ve achieved, with some structured training and coaching we now have a very competitive team.
Josh. I’ve been cycling for only 2 years now and a Banbury Star member for a year and half. I’m a time trialist and crit racer at heart.
This year I was promoted to Cat 3 in my first season of racing. I’m a team player, enjoy working with the racing team this year, which has helped me improve overall as competitive racer. Whilst playing football I had a major injury, which resorted to a construction of my Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Therefore cycling has been very important to me, to help strengthen the muscles in my legs, with encouragement from my father who took me on my first ride.
Outside of cycling, I have a lovely girlfriend, who supports and watches me racing.
I’m excited to work with Rich as the new joint Race Secretary’s. We have some greats plans and ideas to help improve the racing at Banbury Star.
Darrel Foulk, Social Secretary. I used to cycle a lot in my younger days, as it was my only means of transport. Living in a village made things a little difficult for getting around, so I used my bike to get to work and also to go and play football and rugby. Passing my driving test, meant the end of peddling everywhere and my old Raleigh racing bike gathered dust in my parent’s garage, until helping some other needing traveller.
It wasn’t until 2012 when I bought myself a new mountain bike to try and get fit, that I started cycling again. I soon realised that the mountain bike was very heavy and hindered my need to go faster. My first road bike was a TREK 1.2 series, which was great to start on. Later in 2012 I became a member of Banbury Star.
I have been on a few cycling holidays to French Pyrenees, which were amazing and a great experience. In general, I mainly participate in club rides, as I like the camaraderie and friendship of these rides I have been a club Ride Leader for a number of years now. I suppose you would sum me up by saying I am a very social person and cyclist and therefore the Social Secretary role should be right up my street.
Tobi Ng, Lead Coach I started getting into road cycling at university around 2018 with the draw of café stops, before which, I was an avid bit mountain biker. One thing led to another until I got my first 2nd Cat in 2019 racing for Banbury Star. Since then, I have raced for Team PB Performance, but have always kept close to the race side of the club, helping where I could to promote racing.
Outside of the club, I run a small bike maintenance/small chain waxing business and am a keen mountaineer. I do also, enjoy the odd crazy challenges: from 200-mile rides to 24-hour races.
The coaching team and I, have a great opportunity this year to turn things around with all areas of coaching for the club. To help everyone to improve their riding. Whether that’s Rising Stars, picking up vital skills; club riders, improving their group riding etiquette or racers, finding ‘free’ speed. There will be something for you.