Dear Oxted CC Members,
What a great year 2014 was! Our first full year as a fully functioning, modern cycling club, bringing great enjoyment to a growing number of people. We’re really on the map now!
Best of all has been the spirit of friendliness between everyone and the support given by experienced riders to new
people. Bob Whitlock, in winning the Good Fellowship cup sets a shining example but I’ve been amazed at how
everyone has made great efforts to welcome new people and help where they can. We’ve all made friendships which
I’m sure will last a long, long time.
My aim was and still is to build a club which respects the traditions of ‘the great British cycling club’ but also one that is ahead of the game, setting new standards. That still means a club for all levels and all ages, whether hot shot with gritted teeth or weekend rider with a big smile. What matters most is that we all enjoy the cycling!
We have been hugely blessed with many keen and competent ladies. Cass was flying last year and has just bought
a new TT bike; now there’s commitment! And the awesome Maddy Lee-Smith has now joined OCC, one of the fastest ladies in the South of England. Cycling is a sport where females can excel but it is equally wonderful to have many keen lady leisure riders, coming out in all weathers and improving steadily.
In 2014 our racers led by Chris Balkham were fearless and ‘in the points’. Thanks to Glenn Karpeta we saw a
number of people try their first TT and the warm welcome from East Grinstead CC was a huge boost. We were
hugely prominent and successful in many prestigious Surrey and Kent sportives. And ‘the blues’ were seen in the
Etape and two classic hill climbs. OCC riders have now twice ridden at the Olympic Velodrome.
We ran out first big road race last summer in Lingfield (in some style!) and have been asked to run it again on June 7th (make a note). The owners of the superb HQ have offered us the barn and grounds again.
Our prize giving dinner was a success and I hope we got the prizes right. The Committee will soon be looking again
at the best ways to reward future achievements. The idea is to give back in prizes at the end of the year whatever is left in the bank! Talking of which, standby for this years demand soon. It is going up to £30 for 2015 but what
fantastic value to be a member of the best club in Britain with a Caffe Nero start and finish.
And thanks to Pete Abbott’s tireless organisation, we have twenty riders now going to Majorca for a training camp at the beginning of April.
Serious moment No 1: There was another Oxted CC once, in the 1950’s and it died through lack of effort from the
members. Just riding isn’t enough. A successful club needs a little effort from everyone. It’s unpaid work and the
most important job is leading rides, reliably, consistently, sometimes slower than you’d like. Being helpful and gentle with new riders is VITAL to growing a club. People need to get back after a ride and think ‘that was fun’ not ‘never again’. Please volunteer to be a ride leader!
Serious moment No 2: There are obviously dangers in road cycling; we accept that every time we ride. But we can
minimise the risks by doing commonsense things and our advice is clear at oxtedcc.org/safety. The club will do
everything possible to ensure your safety but we will not compromise on any rule, whether it’s No 1 or No 17!
Time, or lack of it, is a determining factor in fitness. Family and work comes first but a quote that inspired me years ago was ‘Make time now for good health or be forced to later’. I think it is very important to have targets that you stick to. I’m happy with my fitness with 4600 miles ridden this year but Pete Abbott eclipsed that with 7460!
Goodness knows what Austen has done he had a new Garmin for Christmas, the old one probably ran out of zeros!
Let’s have a great 2015!