Chairman’s Newsletter – April 2023 (2nd April)

Posted on April 21st, 2023

Hello everyone

Extraordinary bad weather has been a bit of theme in recent weeks and we have had to cancel a few rides for safety reasons. Hopefully, the torrential rain is now over and the floods will subside just in time for our Tuesday night rides to re-start! A few things to mention:

New Rides Programme
A huge amount of work has been put in by our committee working group, ably assisted by our ride leaders, to get the spring and summer rides programme complete and up on the website. I am delighted to say that it is all there now, through until September. Please note in particular that the Tuesday evening programme (apart from 1*) starts this coming Tuesday. Also note there are a great selection of special rides through the months, as well as a whole new series of weekend off-road rides. These are designed to be at the easier and less technical end of off-road riding and many will be suitable for gravel bikes as well as mountain bikes.We had a Ride Leaders’ meeting last month where we allocated leaders to many of the rides, but can I please ask Ride Leaders who couldn’t make that meeting to check the website listing and sign up for some of the vacant slots?

AGM – Wednesday 10th May
Our Annual General Meeting will be held at Grove Rugby Club on the evening of Wednesday 10th May. More details to follow, but an opportunity to review the last year, look forward to this summer, to vote on our committee for the year and also to give out our club awards of Best Club Person and Best Newcomer.

Committee roles – Safeguarding Officer and Webmaster
In general, our committee membership is fairly stable and we don’t see too much change year on year. However, there are a couple of roles where we could do with some additional support:

1) we are obliged to have the role of Safeguarding Officer on the committee. Jo Little has picked this up alongside her role as Secretary, but as with all clubs and societies this is an area of responsibility which is expanding so if anyone has an interest in helping us out with this then please let me know. More details can be found on the Cycling UK website.

2) for some years now, David Smith has done an excellent job in acting as our Webmaster, maintaining and improving our club website. This website is an extremely valuable resource for us, but it is quite complex and showing its age. For a while now David has felt he would like to step down from this role and so we would very much like to hear from anyone who could take this on. Brief details of the (necessarily quite technical) relevant skills and experience are:

Experience of working within a hosted environment.
Experience with PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.
Experience with MySQL SQL and administration.
Experience with HTML to any level.
Experience with accessing a hosted service through CPanel, this would be useful but not essential as it’s easy to learn.
Most of all, an enquiring mind to be able to work through the existing implementation.

Club 30th Anniversary – Sunday 23rd July
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we celebrated our 25th Anniversary as a club, but amazingly another 5 years have passed and so we can now celebrate the 30th! We are focussing on Sunday 23rd July, with multiple rides all finishing at Uffington Village Hall for refreshments. The centrepiece will be an all day multiple White Horses ride. Again, more details to follow, but another date for the diary.

Club clothing order
For those of you who recently placed an order for club branded clothing, please note that the orders are arriving imminently. You should have received an email from Jon Townsin with your individual order and payment details. Please check your junk mail if you haven’t seen this. We are looking forward to seeing lots of club jerseys out on rides as a result! Many thanks to Jon and Karen T for a lot of work in putting this bulk order together.

Botley Road railway bridge closure
In case you are not already aware, Botley Road under the railway bridge by the railway station in Oxford will be completely closed to motorised traffic for major work from Tuesday 11th April for several months. It is important to note that there will a way through for pedestrians and cyclists but buses including the S9 from Wantage will terminate at Osney Island. Botley Road businesses (including Warlands Cycles) and the Seacourt Park and Ride will remain open. Pros and cons for cycling – it is likely that this restriction will add to congestion on other routes into Oxford, on the other hand if you are a bike commuter on the Botley Road or Cumnor Hill then it could be quite a pleasant few months! Certainly I am planning some Oxford rides to take advantage of this.

Happy cycling!

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