I’ve been cycling for a number of years but one thing that I have never done is been part of a club from day one. Joining a club, finding those who you enjoy riding with and carving a niche within an established body is something that a lot us will recognize, but creating the club that everyone else wants to work within and be a part of, well, that’s a bit more difficult.
Every club that I have been a part of has always had a racing arm though. They were the guys that new members looked up to and aspired to be like, me included. The race team are always the shining light that elevates a club from being a group of chums noodling about on a weekend to something that riders are really proud to be a part of. I don’t want to overstate the importance of racing, but for me it is an integral part of a club’s identity, and this is why I want to do my part and make the racing arm of the club successful.
Unfortunately, my keyboard skills far outweigh my racing skills (and for those of you who have seen my excuses for legs, that will make perfect sense). What I can do though is pull the strands together, help those who are looking for a little advice and make sure that we don’t just end up as a bunch of disparate racers at a crit, wearing the same kit.
Some courses will suit certain riders and we should work as a team to help those guys out – next week, it might be your course. We will have new racers for whom we should give back and help them get the result that matters so much to them.
Listen to all of the pros, it’s not just about winning, it’s about what you can give back to the team and how you support your friends; even when you feel a bit dicey.
We are also super lucky to have Holly on board to act as Head Coach; what she doesn’t know about the local racing scene isn’t worth knowing and with her support, we can be absolutely sure that when we line up on the start, we will be in the best shape possible. There are already some guys in club being coached by her, and they are already starting to look sharp and strong.
It’s great to see so many people starting to put their hands up to race. If we can show unity, then I’m sure it will encourage others as well developing the club and raising our profile, drawing in new members (more members = more FREE cake at the President’s Ride!).
I would strongly encourage all the racers to attend the Racing Skills Day at Hillingdon on Sunday 8 November that the club has organised. Even if you’ve been doing it for years, there may be a little nugget of gold from Holly that will serve to bring everyone together in one place and galvanise the team. Everyone in one place, same song sheet – what better way to start?
I’ll be doing everything I can to help and support throughout our first season’s racing and I hope to see you all at various races, supporting each other and having fun. Join us on Wednesday 9 September to find out more.
Dale aka ‘Winton’, ‘Chopper’
DS – 700cc