We have decided to produce a review of what the club has been doing this year in time for the AGM. If you are short of bedtime reading it can be downloaded from here or have a read below.
The 2010/11 Annual Review
Welcome to our first annual review. This is the end of the second year of YOGi cycling and none of us ever thought we would have 253 members in 2 years when it all kicked off with a dozen or so regular riders. So where does £10 subscription go? We thought we’d take a moment to look at what the club has done over the past year
Our membership has increased, the rides we put on have increased, the club jerseys are becoming a common site around the whole of the South West. The committee would like to thank everyone that has made the club and club rides what it is, especially all those that regularly volunteer to lead rides, marshal events or make suggestions for the future.
With so many members and such a young club these are exciting times and the coming year is looking busy already. As you read through the review you will notice a common thread – we need more people to volunteer some time. If there is something you would like to see a ride, an event, a social, even just route selection and leading regular rides we would love you to volunteer to take it on! Those that already volunteer are quite stretched and without your help the club will not be able to evolve.
Mostly the club has achieved thousands, probably tens of thousands, of miles of riding by a huge diversity of riders. Perhaps the most notable achievements are those rides and moments unrecorded here when the sun shines or the rain hammers down, when we feel alive and ready to take on the world or struggle to get to the end. As a committee we are very proud to be able to give people the means to share all these small moments in good company and hope that next year continues to build on the success of this year.
In April 2010 we had 119 members of the club, in April 2011 this had grown to 253. We made over 100% growth in our second-year almost certainly due to the increased number of rides, the events we have been able to promote, the value of £10 subscription and the continuing ethos of friendliness.
We now have a very full weekly calendar of rides for both road and off-road cyclists at differing speeds and ability levels as well as winter “riding” on our turbo trainers.
Saturday Steady ride – The mainstay of the club and the ride it all started from. 50-70 miles at about 15mph exploring different areas of Dartmoor, Cornwall and South Hams every week. Always a cafe stop! We get about 30 people out on the ride every week.
Saturday Leisure Ride – The most successful new ride of the year and now firmly fixed in the diary. About 35 miles at 12mph with optional extensions. As with the steady ride, there is always a cafe stop. About 30 people every week ride the leisure ride.
Saturday Fast ride – a new ride we are trying for those with too much pent-up energy from the week. Same route as the steady ride but at 16-17mph and no cafe stop. 6 hardy souls set out on the first run of this.
Sunday Steady ride – more informal ride than Saturday, covering similar distances at similar speeds for those that can’t make Saturday.
Tuesday Evening Fast ride – 20-30 mile ride at about 18mph
Tuesday evening slower ride – If there is enough interest a slower ride goes on the same route but at about 16mph
“Wednesday 12” – Does what is says, Wednesday evening 12mph average, about 20-25 miles.
Thursday evening – For a trial period a 16mph ride, route being decided on the day by those that turn up
Saturday Fun rides – held once a month for beginners.
Tuesday evening fast ride – Fast and furious technical 3-4 hour ride
Tuesday evening slower ride
Thursday adventure ride – Up onto the moors for a 10mile ride, technical but not full-on. Apparently it’s been known for people to have a beer afterwards.
“Wayne’s World” Saturday ride – Technical ride, usually up on the Moor, for about 3 hours
Early Bee Sunday ride – technical fairly fast cross-country ride
With the funding from Sport England we were able to run turbo-training sessions through the winter. Whilst the original intention was to run one session a week this became 2 1-hour sessions on a Wednesday evening due to the popularity. With 2 sessions we had between 15-20 people training each week. Lipson School very kindly let us store the turbo-trainers and gave us a discounted rate on the use of the sports hall.
The sessions were run by Kim Wiltshire who put down a good programme concentrating on endurance work before Christmas and speed work after Christmas and we had a good number of volunteers to lead sessions and shout at riders. We will almost certainly be running the sessions again in the coming winter.
Skills and meetings
We’ve been able train a number of people in basic First Aid skills and 5 people have started training at British Cycling coaches.
The one-day Emergency First Aid course was organised through Kernow Training in Plymouth and had the advantage of being run by Pat Dollard, a club member and keen cyclist. The event was advertised on the club website and 15 members were able to attend. With every minor slip and spill since there have no shortage of riders clamouring to put their skills to good use. To have 15 people attend the course and a few members with pre-existing First Aid qualifications we are able to have First-Aiders on almost every ride.
In the few instances where first aid has been called for on club rides we have been able to react in a fuss-free positive way to stabilise the situation until professional help has arrived. For a couple of members the course has enabled them to react to emergency situations outside the club.
The training of five members as British Cycling Qualified coaches started with a selection procedure overseen by committee members. There were too many applicants for the available places and we were able to select one female member, a mountain biking specific member, a member involved in both sides of the sport and two road cyclists.
The process has been more prolonged and detailed than we at first appreciated. Coaches are required to go through a multi-stage process that involves an initial basic course spread over 2 weekends with training time in-between and a more specific weekend course. British Cycling are only able to run a small number of courses each year and it has taken a full year for the coaches to complete the Level 2 introductory course. This enables them to coach in a traffic free environment and has meant the club has been able to run 3 well attended basic skills courses. Demand for these courses was high and we plan to run further similar sessions in the coming year.
The delay in training the coaches means that they are not yet able to coach on the open road and this has led to some disappointment from a small number of club members who expected to be able to access more focused race or ride coaching by now. Within the coming year we expect to have completed training of the coaches past level 2 and onto level 3 coaching.
We have also had two open meetings over the year, both well attended at the Compton Inn. The first discussed the possibility of opening the club up to new riders and those wanting a shorter distance or more leisurely pace. Jackie Church stepped up to organise these and the success of the leisure rides have been instrumental in the clubs diversity of riders and increasing membership. Without someone prepared to put in the time required to organise these they would never have taken off.
The second meeting discussed the other end of the spectrum and the direction the club would like to go in forming racing teams. Whilst there was some interest at this meeting the YOGi racing area has still to be fully developed and we are still looking for volunteers to take a leading role in this area. Some members already race and of particular note are the club juniors who have started enthusiastically racing this year. We hope that in the coming year members who race regularly can take on the challenge of running the racing side of the club.
Events and Social
Because most of us are usually to out of breath to hold a proper conversation we have had a number of good social events through the year.
The AGM set the scene for the coming year with bright sunshine and a number of rides coming together for lunch, a pint and prizes awards to riders who had excelled and contributed to the first year of the club.
Lynda McTier organised a fantastic Christmas dinner complete with secret santa and raffle prizes with a large number of the club battling the ice to enjoy a fine evening. Over the summer we had a beach BBQ and our two open meetings broke up to become good social gatherings at the Compton.
Less leisurely but equally as social were the club “social” rides and events. We had a second outing to the velodrome at Newport, this time with a coach load of people ready to show Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton whose who. The Dartmoor Classic and the Tour Ride saw many members enjoy heat and rain to cover Devon, north and south, east and west.
We also had our club Time Trial and Hill Climbs organised by Mike Deacon and for many members their first experience of racing.
In the mountain biking groups of club riders have been up to the welsh trial centres and we were able to field 4 team in the Plymouth M.A.D. races with Andy Powell and team winning.
Sorry if we have missed anything off, it is hard to keep track of everything club riders are doing however if you have done an event we are always keen to post reports or reviews on the website.
Having grown so quickly we have become involved with a number of other organisations on a local, regional and national basis:
Sport England – Have been able to financially support us with the purchase of equipment and training.
British Cycling – We have good relationships with the various parts of British Cycling. 5 members are being trained as British Cycling Coaches, one member is training as a race commissaire and we have attended various regional race organisation meetings. More importantly we are in regular formal and informal contact with the regional representatives of BC.
1SW – This is a region wide project that is building off-road cycling trails for beginners and intermediate cyclists. One trail centre will shortly be being built in the Plym Valley complete with a visitor centre and over 20km of green, blue and red off-road cycling trail. There was a good turn out of members at an open meeting to discuss the project in the winter and one member is sitting on the management committee for the project.
Races and other clubs – Of course we are not the only club in the area and not the only club hosting events. Some members have become active on the local racing scene and many more members have given their time to marshal at events.
The next year
We never expected the club to grow so quickly and have been amazed by the enthusiasm of cyclists around Plymouth to join our rides. Many members already volunteer time to run the club or specific events with the only reward the enthusiasm of those that turn up and enjoy the riding we do. Many members ask us to run more rides and more events which we would like to do but those of us already volunteering are quite stretched and we need more members to volunteer some time to take on some organisation. If there is an event you would like to see the club run or a type of ride you think there is demand for but we don’t currently run please come forward. Though it sounds horrible clichéd the effort of putting the time in is worth it.
We’ll have the AGM rides coming up in a couple of weeks closely followed by a pub quiz and the Dartmoor Classic in quick succession. Once the school holidays are over we have the first club British Cycling approved road race and the club time trial and hill climb. It’s almost the middle of the year and the winter turbo sessions and Christmas dinner will be around before long.