Chairman’s Newsletter – November 2021

Posted on November 7th, 2021

Hello everyone

The clocks have changed and we have had some weather challenges on a few recent rides, but in general the rides programme continues to go well. Thanks to all of you who joined us at the Challow social evening on 4th October – it was really nice to see everyone face to face and we had some good and positive discussions.The committee has also reviewed this since and the simple summary is that we are cautiously optimistic that we can carry on with the fairly busy rides programme as advertised on the website and we think we have just about enough willing ride leaders to make this work. However, if anyone fancies joining the list of ride leaders and contributing to this success, please do contact me. The more we can spread the load, the better. We do offer full training and mentoring on initial led rides so you will be well supported.

Mince Pie Rides 2021
This is the big news item to bring you at this time – the Mince Pie Rides are back! As most of you will know, it was always our practice every year to hold a series of rides on a Sunday morning in early December to go out and conquer Uffington White Horse Hill. The reward would be home made mulled wine and mince pies served at the top, with the additional benefit of giving some money to the excellent children’s mobility charity Whizz-Kidz. In recent years, an increasing number of the local cycling clubs have joined in and arranged their club rides to coincide with ours so that the car park has been something of a sea of lycra (please assume that is a good thing…). We would typically see 130-150 riders and raise around £500 each year. Clearly, none of this was possible in 2020. However, thanks to some brilliant creative thinking by some of our members this time last year, we came up with the alternative model of the White Horse Cycle Challenge, where we challenged individuals to ride the great Hill any time over a two week period, take a selfie at the top for proof, get extra respect for taking their own mince pie up there and then donate to Whizz-Kids. This was a classic case of an emergency requirement proving to be a great idea – we saw at least 140 riders taking on the challenge, we had considerable engagement via our Facebook Group and, most amazingly, we raised over £3,500 for Whizz-Kids! We clearly captured the imagination of both the local cycling clubs and the general local population. It undoubtedly did us a lot of good in terms of community engagement and general goodwill. So when it came to the committee discussion about what to do this year, the unanimous view was – let’s do both! Therefore, please make a note of the following dates for your diaries:

The White Horse Cycle Challenge: Saturday 27th November – Saturday 11th December.
The Mince Pie Rides: morning of Sunday 12th December.

We have also made a booking for a club lunch at the Fox at Denchworth on 12th. More details to follow on that.

We have already shared the dates with all of the other local clubs and more publicity and details are to follow.

See you on a ride soon.

Best regards
John

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