I’m nervous about even posting this! Having just read about the club launching the GoRide scheme for riders aged 5-11, and then reading about Adam Dart’s superb 6th place in his first ever road race this morning, this is certainly a great news day for a great Club. Still, here goes…
The Club Night of the Year grows from strength to strength. We promised bigger and better this year, and wow did you make that happen: over 90 of you filled the Meade Hall for a non-stop evening of fun, food and photo opportunities!
After Dick Poole delivered the President’s welcome, the buffet opened and what a terrific selection of hot food. I had warned the Meade Hall that cyclists were a hungry bunch and the chefs didn’t disappoint. Chilli, pizza, hot dogs, burgers, chicken, all sorts of accompaniments, veggie options and all dietary requirements taken care of.
The next highlight was a really engaging talk from special guest and 5x National Champion, Ian Field. Ian told us all about how he got into cycling at school, through the junior and senior ranks, how he chose cyclo cross over road racing and how that brought him success in National and International races. Ian really has led the way in men’s cyclo cross in the UK over the past ten years, inspiring lots of new riders to take up the sport – including a certain Tom Pidcock who asked Ian for advice on a club ride one morning in Yorkshire! Some of you will know Ian from coaching days that he has delivered for us and for the Army recently. It was really great that Ian was so happy to chat to people all evening.
The traditional trophy presentation came next. It was extra pleasing to see competitive and non-competitive trophies awarded, for on-road and off-road riding – a real reflection of how the club is thriving in many areas – something that Ian noted in his talk too. (I think I’ve sent pictures to all trophy winners now, but please drop me an email at [email protected] if not and I’ll send you a hi-res photo – courtesy of Ian Stuart who took all of the formal photos).
I was just about to start the Grand Prize Draw when several people pointed out that the dessert buffet was open. No contest! The build-your-own ice creams were great, but the prizes were even better: a holiday from Spectacular Cycling, vouchers for the Meade Hall, Precise Performance and Silvester Brothers, a signed National Trophy jersey from Ian Field, a helmet from Handsling Bikes, some Oakley shades from Spokes, some socks, some prosecco and a cake kindly donated by Cakemeister, Steve H.
And as if that wasn’t enough already – we were then treated to the world premiere of The Green Shield Tramps! Club member Stuart Jackson and the band got us out of our seats to some foot-stomping and crowd-raising songs – and were cheered to an encore!
This is how Club Nights of the Year should be! Something for everyone. Lots of “non-cycling” friends and family enjoying themselves. Thanks to everyone that came – some of you from a long way away, some of you moving other engagements to get here.