Blog

Updated SC Guidance

In light of recent Government announcements, Scottish Cycling have updated their advice for us. You can read the full details here, but the key points for us are:

  • We’re allowed to exercise outdoors more than once a day!
  • Ride solo, or only with members of your own household.
  • Stay at least two meters apart from any other road user, including pedestrians (which is a huge challenge on mixed use paths).
  • Ride from your home – driving somewhere with your bike is still not allowed.
  • Ride (relatively) close to home; local loops are fine, but avoid the epic rides for the time being. You could, I suppose, ride the Kinharrachie – Ythanbank – Methlick – Tarves loop five times but, without the option to stop at the Murly or Formartines for refreshment, that’ll eventually get rather dull.
  • Ride responsibly! Meaning, be self reliant and don’t take unnecessary risks.

Events & Club Activities

All BC / SC sanctioned events remain suspended until (at least) June 30th. Similarly, all YCC activities also remain suspended until June 30th, including the club run and Confined TT.

Even if everything miraculously returns to a pre-Covid normal on July 1st, the remainder of the 2020 season will inevitably be re-organised into a highly compressed schedule and the active events are likely to be over subscribed.

In the meantime, there are few YCC meet-ups being organised in Zwift. You don’t need the latest smart trainer to participate; it’s possible to participate with a standard turbo trainer. But while virtually riding alongside other club members’ virtual avatars is fine, the real value comes if you also run the Discord app on your phone. Hearing real voices in a group conversation can be a real boost! A note of caution though… When the virtual gradient kicks up and everyone in the group is working hard, the Discord audio can sound a little, well, dodgy. You have been warned!

A virtual AGM

As there won’t be any tediously lengthy PowerPoint marathon for you to endure at this year’s cancelled AGM, you’ll have to scroll through this instead!

2019 In Review

Any review of 2019 would have to start with the astonishing success of the Confined TT series. Raced on the new B9000 route, with a couple of excursions to the 15 mile route from Kinharrachie, the Tuesday evening confined races saw record attendance. It was fantastic to see the races so well contested, especially the ladies race. The Youth race might have been a two-horse race from the beginning, but remained a nail-biter until the last couple of races.

Two confined related hopes for 2020:

  • That we can actually have a confined series at all
  • That everyone shows up again

There was a plan to run the series on more routes for 2020, including a return to Ardlethen and an outing to Lochters. But all of those plans are currently on ice until COVID-19 has passed; we’ll need to see what’s left of the season when everyone is allowed out to play again.

Also worth talking about (again) were the other Ythan hosted events in 2019. A successful road race, a couple of open TTs, the Lumpy Python audax, of course, the inimitable Ellon Crit all add up to Ythan punching considerably above our weight. Long may that continue!

Despite the corona virus knocking the stuffing out of the 2020 calendar, it is great to see some new Ythan event organisers stepping up. Here’s hoping we get to see enough of the scheduled events happening for them to see their efforts pay off! Sadly, we’ve already had to cancel the Lumpy Python and the latest guidance from BC means that the Confined TTs won’t start until July.

Membership

It’s been good to see the Club’s membership get back over the 100 mark, reaching 108. Still, there are over 30 memberships which expired at the end of 2019 and haven’t been renewed; which takes us straight to the “why?” question.

The bottom line seems to be that anyone relatively new to cycling thinks we’re too racey; while the racers think we’re not racey enough. I don’t see either of those views as valid, but it’s not remotely clear how we might square that circle. Any suggestions welcome!

Club Kit

There are two points to raise about Club Kit at this time…

  1. We will continue to use Champion Systems to supply Club kit, despite the byzantine ordering process. However, our current Club Kit Coordinator is withdrawing from the post, so we need someone else to step in to his shoes and ensure we all have tidy new kit for when we’re allowed to ride in groups again! If you might be interested in supporting the club in this capacity, please let me know.
  2. If you’re in the market for something slightly faster that the regular club-cut jerseys, Alan has set everything up with NoPinz so you too can have the fastest skinsuit around – in Ythan colours! That’s bound to make it even faster.

Get yours here.

Money

The club’s accounts for 2019 have been prepared and audited. A publicly available web page isn’t the best place to publish the numbers, but suffice to say that we’re still in the black. Overall, Ythan’s events generated a small surplus, despite the Ellon Crit running at a small loss. That’s largely because of the donation to the Rotary and the entry fee for the Pedal Car Race. It’d be nice to break even in 2020, especially as it now looks like we won’t have any buffer from the early season events.

Looking forward to 2020’s financials, we’ve already spent significantly on a refresh of the Club’s confined TT trophies (which look fabulous) and can look forward to further spend on a refresh of hi-viz gear for marshals, thanks to new BC rules requiring head-to-toe day-glo coverage. The hard part is going to be persuading anyone to wear it…

The Club Run

Engagement with the Club’s Sunday Social ride has somewhat dropped off in 2019, something widely attributed to a lack of pre-planned & published routes. As always, any club member can suggest a route in advance for the Sunday run.

It’s been suggested that routes are planned & shared via Strava, which is the nearest thing the Club has to a universal online platform… Everyone is reminded that popular routes are on this site already!

Quines & Loons

It’s been great to see a reinvigorated QL in 2019, so thanks are due to the Club’s coaches for making that happen. The pay-off is clear at events like the Haddo Dirt Crit, the famous Ellon Crit and in the healthy competition for first place in Confined TT Youth category!

Voting & stuff…

It wouldn’t be a proper AGM without having decisions to make and things to vote on. The key thing, I think, is the appointment of club officers and approval of the audited accounts. The only way we’re going to be able to vote on anything as a club is online and a suitable means of collecting and counting those votes will shortly be available soon.

In the meantime, if there is anyone who would like to contribute to the running of the club, feel free to nominate yourself (or someone else) as Quartermaster, Chairman, Secretary… I think Yvonne’s role as Treasurer is safe, but maybe she can’t bank on that? (see what I did there?). Crap jokes aside, let me know of any interest in these roles and we’ll organise the voting accordingly.

An Update From BC

British Cycling extends suspension on sanctioned cycling activities to 30 June

Many of you will have already seen our statement from earlier today, where we confirmed that the suspension of all sanctioned cycling activity has been extended until 30 June, and in light of this, I wanted to reach out to you all personally.

These exceptional times have required us to take exceptional action, but I am certain that the character of our membership is up to the challenge. Therefore I am asking you today to join in me in three tasks:

Firstly, we must all do what we can to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone on a bike. That means all organised club activity must stop – from group rides to coaching sessions. It also means that whenever we go out on our bikes, we must remember our duty to ride responsibly. Following Government advice, right now we should only ride on our own, or with people we live with, and always keep two metres apart.

Secondly, we must do all we can to help those around us – and I have been inspired in recent days by stories about bike shops, clubs or just individuals who have put cycling to the service of their communities.

Thirdly, we must join together so that cycling can emerge from this with strength. Whether you’re a rider, club official, coach, event organiser, ride leader or a business owner, you’ll have felt the effect of the last few weeks. We are well aware of the challenges that our sport was facing before this situation took hold, and I know that – while the world as a whole is now facing a new challenge – the worries that we had before will have been added to, rather than replaced by, the Coronavirus outbreak.

Now, more than ever, I’d like to reiterate our commitment to you, as the people who ensure our sport continues to function. We’ll face the challenges head on, and together.

With that in mind, I’m sure you’ll understand that extending our suspension was simply the only course of action we could take to ensure that cycling plays its part in the nationwide effort to mitigate both the spread of the virus and the burden on our stretched emergency and public services.

At the moment, I can’t give an end date to this situation. All I can do is reassure you that between now and that day in the future when some form of normality returns, British Cycling will be working with Scottish and Welsh Cycling on your behalf to ensure that our sport can still thrive.

Following Government guidance, our staff are working remotely, but are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the continuing situation. Our most recent guidance is also available here. The team at Scottish Cycling are available to support and can be contacted here.

Those of you who run businesses in cycling will likely have seen the Chancellor’s announcements on economic aid. I want to reassure you we are working now with the respective home countries Government to interpret this for our sport and we will get more information to you.

In a matter of days we created the British Cycling Race Series in partnership with Zwift and we hope to announce further ways for you to stay involved in the coming weeks. If you’re looking for ideas to keep your kids entertained remember our HSBC UK Ready Set Ride series of activities.

None of us have experienced this before, and none of us have all of the answers at the moment. I would encourage all members of our community to share not only concerns, but best practice, messages of hope and encouragement over these coming weeks.

However, what I can say is that even this crisis will pass. I look forward to celebrating with all of you when it does and the first rider pins on a race number, the first HSBC UK Breeze ride sets off and the first BMX gate crashes down.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Harrington, CEO