Castle Combe Good Friday Easter Classic – 7th April
Once again, the club will be running the very popular Good Friday Easter Classic at Castle Combe. We are running a full schedule of both girls and boys youth races, Women E/1/2/3, Women 4th Cat. Men E/1/2/3, Men 3rd Cat and Men 4th Cat races throughout the day.
The event is only successful due to the organisational assistance provided by our club members. We therefore request volunteers to assist on the day. Even a few hours helping will help the event run like clockwork.
We are looking for help from set up first thing and throughout the day:
- Crowd Control Barriers
- Gazebo erection
- Setting up PA system
- Signing on station
- Gear Checking station
- Help at signing on
- Help checking gears for the youth category riders – Morning – under the guidance of a BC official
- Helping with judging duties – A Chief Commissaire and a Chief Judge are appointed by BC. Our cameras and video feeds help to back up any queries.
- De-rigging at the end of the day
Volunteers will be kept supplied with hot drinks and copious hot cross buns on the day. If you can spare time to help please contact Andy Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org / 07811156141)
For the racing, entries are filling fast so if you fancy giving racing a try this would be a great opportunity to do so as the circuit is nice and wide and not too technical. There will be club members there who will be more than willing to provide support to you. If you fancy entering here is the link: Castle Combe Good Friday Easter Classic Entries
Castle Combe Summer Series
Continuing with the theme of Castle Combe, the popular Castle Combe Summer Series in back for 2023! The first of nine weeks of Thursday evening racing is on Thursday 4th May. If you fancy entering here is the link to Round 1: Castle Combe Summer Series – Round 1.
The committee have approved a change to how the club kit is managed going forward. We have partnered with club member Steve Richardson and https://www.sportingbilly.com/ as he has a shop in central Chippenham where kit can be bought, collected and tried on. The shop is on the Bath Road Industrial Estate where Bathwick Tyres are located and is next to The Tile Gallery. The store is open 09:00 to 17:00 weekdays and 09:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays. You will be able to order club kit direct from the Sporting Billy web portal via the link Chippenham Wheelers Club Kit Portal by Sporting Billy with orders collectable for free in store. This will be a great service for members providing a single shop window for all club cycling clothing and branded leisure ware. We aim to have a range of cycling jerseys to suit all budgets. Speak to our racing secretary if you require specialist skin suits.
SSC Membership Cards
Just a reminder that if you have not yet picked up your Sports and Social Club membership cards, they are available behind the bar. All you need to do is ask for your card. The card will get you discount at the bar.
SSC Open Day 23rd April 11:00 – 16:00
The Sports and Social Club are holding an open day on the 23rd April. Previously the club has organised for a stand to be there with various activities (such as a WattBike) for the public to take part in. Note that this date is also when our 125km Audax is scheduled so the finish at the club house will be busy.
We would like to have a stand at the Open Day again this year, so we are asking for volunteers to run the stand during the day. If anyone is able to help on the day, then please email email@example.com.
We are looking to arrange our first Skittles Night at the Sports Club since before the pandemic. The previous Skittles Nights were hugely popular, highly competitive, and great fun!
We have someone to organise the skittles competition but need a couple of other people to organise some food on the night and the competition prizes. Please contact Sheni (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are able to help.
Club Dinner and Awards Night
On Saturday 4th February we held our Club Dinner and Awards night. This provided a welcome opportunity for club members to catch up and socialise over a nice meal and a drink or two. During the evening, the club awards were (quickly) handed out to the winners and a raffle was held with some great prizes followed by lots of dancing.
Many thanks to Andy and Jacqui for organising the event. Thanks to Sue for organising the raffle and photo display, Stewart for the quiz and of course Paul for sorting the trophies so diligently as ever. A great night celebrating the club champions from 2022 and the clubs 90th birthday (again).
Christmas seems a distant memory already, we hope you had a good one and were able to enjoy some of the rides we arranged. The new Christmas Eve route out to the Flying Monk Brewery seemed to work well with over 50 of us getting into the festive spirit, what a lovely place that is!
Boxing Day saw the traditional hard ride around the Imber ranges, followed the next day by the more sedate ride to the Old Royal Ship in Luckington for coffee and cakes around the cosy fire.
We struck lucky with moving the Imber Village leisure ride to the New Year’s bank holiday and had glorious weather for a fun, but puncture-filled, ride out to Imber Village where we unexpectedly met a Citroen 2CV classic car rally, but we found our way past them without too much difficulty.
Club Audax Series 2023
The 2023 audax series kicked off in January with 42 riders tackling the 50km ride out to Brinkworth Village Hall. Extensive flooding forced a change of route the day before, trying to find a way to Brinkworth that didn’t require snorkels and flippers! Thankfully Maud Heath’s causeway provided a dry passage home, whilst vehicles were parked below, submerged in the Avon floodwaters.
We had glorious weather for the 75km Audax ride out to Honeystreet Mill Café, who did a fine job serving all 41 of us very efficiently.
A good number of us returned to the Sports Club bar after both rides for an enjoyable drink or two and some post-ride chat.
We still have a few Audax Medals from the last season to present to the winners. We will find a way to get them to you soon……
Fletcher’s Flapjack 100km Audax – 5th March
It was a very cold but thankfully dry day. 122 riders set off on the route. 2 had to abandon – one with a mechanical and one with cramp. 2 others failed to finish meaning we had 118 riders enjoying the super atmosphere upstairs in the Sports Club. It was great to see people from so many local clubs enjoying the food and drink and the Paris-Nice cycle race looking really good on the big TV screen at the finish.
The riders consumed 30kg of baked beans and an astonishing 560 servings of cake and flapjack. We really didn’t have much left at all, confirming our belief that we have reached the sensible maximum of numbers we can accept and feed on the day, after allowing for the usual number of non-starters. What little pre-packed food we had left over was donated to a foodbank.
The best thing of all is that we collected over £300 in donations for our club charity Doorway, way more than we had expected. People clearly wanted to show their appreciation for all the effort we put into giving them a super bike ride.
A massive thank you to everyone who gave up their time to help in any way. The event wouldn’t be possible without so many of our club members helping out so generously. We had some great messages of appreciation flowing into the club inbox after the event.
Leisure Rides update
Midge and Stewart are continuing to organise the weekend leisure rides. Attendance dipped in the cold January weather but is picking up again now. We were glad to see a big turnout for the ride to Pucklechurch, the morning after the Awards Night, having arranged for the usually lovely Old Dairy Café to open especially for us. Unfortunately, on the morning the café had several issues with loss of power, but we hope the different route made up for the lack of coffee. Some of us still managed to enjoy some nice tea and cake and we hope to return another time.
Sign-up and ride cancellation
The Leisure Rides Sub-committee (Sheni, Midge, Stewart, and Andy) recently met to discuss a number of aspects of leisure rides including cancellation policy in the event of bad weather, especially ice.
In future when there is risk of ice or a particularly bad weather forecast, we intend to take an approach of “if in doubt, then cancel” which we will publicise through the website.
The club’s Risk and Ride Cancellation policy continues to apply has been re-endorsed by the Committee.
One of the aspects we agreed was really helpful to us as organisers is the pre-ride registration forms, which most of our members are regularly using to pre-register their attendance at a ride. It has several benefits including:
- The ability to email those who have signed up with any important information about the ride e.g., last minute change of routes or ride cancellation.
- Seeing the numbers of riders expected, so we can notify cafes in advance if we are expecting a big turn-out.
- Having a record of guest riders who sometimes try out a few rides with us, before joining the club.
We would like to ask and encourage all our members to please use the sign-up process if you are planning to join the leisure rides or audaxes at the weekend. If you change your mind e.g. due to bad weather, there is no need to notify us, but a brief email to email@example.com will ensure your name is taken off the list.
Those of you looking for a regular weekly training ride will be pleased to know the Chain gang is back in the calendar. Every Saturday 09:00 from London Road Cemetery gates, following the traditional route. See notes on https://www.chippenhamwheelers.org/club-activities/weekend-rides/ regarding preparation and expectations for the chain gang.
We are planning a number of Challenge Rides for the Spring and Summer. The first of these will be “April Fools go over the Gospel Pass”, unsurprisingly on the 1st April. This is a hilly 100-mile ride starting at Chepstow Castle, with the highlight being the climb up the highest road in Wales.
On the 27th May we have the “White Horses from Marlborough”, a 75-mile route starting in Marlborough and taking us into West Berkshire and north to Wantage and it’s King Alfred’s statue.
The return takes us up to Uffington White Horse. This route includes a lot of roads that will be new to many of us, so should make for a nice change of scenery.
We have several other challenge rides in the planning stages, more on those later.
Night in the Castle Weekend 17-18th June
We have arranged a full weekend of riding over to St. Briavels in the Forest of Dean, to spend a night in an 800 year old castle! This will include a hopefully fun (and not too scary!) night spent in a really unusual setting, including dinner, bed, and breakfast.
We currently have 31 people signed up for a night in the castle, but can potentially still add a further 10-20, depending on availability at the castle. If you would like to join the fun, then please register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. At some point we will need to close the event to further entries as the YHA will require confirmed and final numbers from us.
See this link for more information.
Club Charity for 2023
Following the on-line vote in the Christmas newsletter we are pleased to announce that Doorway attracted the most member votes so has been chosen as our club charity for 2023. Doorway is a Chippenham based charity supporting homeless and marginalised people. We’ll be using some of our events this year to raise funds for Doorway.
Chippenham Wheelers Hardriders Time Trial
It was a cold day to be standing around marshalling, but the event was a success and feedback from the riders, who really appreciated the support on the road, was overwhelmingly positive. A good showing from Paul Winchcombe, Theo Anderson, and Matt Chapple in club colours too – with Chippenham the fastest team of 3 on the day.
Thanks to Susan Andrews, Stuart Anderson, Robbie Richardson, Michael Griffin, Mike Gibbons, and Martin Priestley. And of course, to co-organisers Peter Iffland and Paul Freegard.
The summer series of Wednesday evening time trials recommence on Wednesday 29 March with all details on the club website. In addition on Wednesday 5 April we will be running a Come and Try It (CATI) event where the course will be fully signed and first time “testers” ride for free, oh and of course as a first time tester you will get a Personal Best!
Upcoming events for your diary
See the calendar for details on these events.
- “April Fools go over the Gospel Pass – 1st April.
- Good Friday Easter Classic at Castle Combe – 7th April.
- SSC Open Day – 23rd April.
- “White Horses from Marlborough” – 27th May.
- Night in the Castle Weekend – 17-18th June.