‘This year has been especially difficult for clubs, but the disruption has forced many to rethink what they do and look for new avenues…. On top of the usual club activities, the four clubs shortlisted here have shown the ingenuity to change, adapt and remain relevant in the lives of their members. Here are the four clubs in with a chance of winning: Newbury Velo, Bynea CC, Ilkestone CC, Wyre Forest CRC’.
Welsh Cycling’s Development Officer Aled Jones recently caught up the some of the club members to find out what the club have been doing through these difficult times.
‘Committee members have been checking on the wellbeing of other older club members and offered support to them. This has helped members staying in touch during these difficult times. Club members were regularly kept up to date regarding Welsh cycling guidelines’ said Club Secretary, Alan Smith, who is also the club’s COVID Officer.
Club media Officer, Mandy Lane, said, ‘Club runs saw increased participation than usual including guest riders who have since joined the club. Members that did not usually participate in the club runs did, and said it was a welcomed support at a difficult time. During this period Bynea CC continued to deliver club runs, other rides including their ‘Silver Surfers’ (midweek rides) when allowed under government guidelines. New routes needed to be created to locally to keep rides locally. New roads and climbs were discovered. Rides were delivered and a sense of working together but apart was evident. Bynea CC social media became the collaborative tool.
More advanced information provided in advance of each club ride e.g. map of route posted on Facebook page, ride leader rode the route the previous day to check for hazards and cafe stop booked in advance and outside tables reserved. Rides conformed to social distancing and hygiene regulations following strict pre-ride briefings.
We introduced ‘innovative’ CTT short distance time trials just before the lock down as an introduction to time trialling. This came to a stop once restrictions were applied.
All activities within the club had stopped due to government guidelines at the time. The club considered an opportunity to come together and focus on something positive. The activity also needed to be in line with the government guidelines at the time. We decided to attempt the ‘Everesting challenge’ on the club’s local hill climb to raise money for the club’s charity Air Ambulance. The support from the club and the community was overwhelming. £500 was collected on the day, bringing the total to £1,561. The event took 15 hours and was a massive success. The location of a well-known climb in a humble welsh village was poetic in nature and incredibly powerful. The event also promoted cycling in the local area and connected the cycling community. The local community came out on to their doorsteps and clapped the individual efforts to the top and back.
In addition to these activities, zoom pain cave (aerobics) and zoom turbo sessions were also delivered.’
Again, congratulations to Bynea CC for being shortlisted for Cycling Weekly’s Club of the year award.