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Saturday 27th April

As a race organiser the last thing on your mind is having to cancel an event after all the work and preparation,Bickerstaffe Road Raceshowever I spent most of Friday monitoring the progress of Storm Hannah which was moving towards the North West on race day….as a result spent most of the evening answering riders concerns as to whether or not to travel to the event…

Dawn broke to lashing rain and gale force winds as I drove towards the course at 6 am, a quick drive around the circuit, apart from some standing water no trees had been brought down, so I thought good to go and started to erect the advance race warnings signs,no easy task in the wind.

Back at HQ riders started arriving along with my back room helpers Dave and Irene (signing on) and Pete and Wendy in charge of catering..

Followed by Neg motorcycles, officials, medics and others all of whom are required to allow the race and riders a safe passage, not forgetting lead cars this year as usual Eddie O’BRIEN (1) and Aaron Green (2),with James HOLLOWAY as passenger..and Ken Beck (3)

Bickerstaffe Road RacesMarshalling duties and briefing over, all at the ready with a red flag, radio and a hi viz jacket our hardy club volunteers we’re raring to go (or not as the case may be) no fun standing on a corner in the rain and wind to do their bit for the club.

37 riders were mustered in the car park for the briefing in the Men’s race including our club riders Martin BAILEY and big Tom WILLIAMS riding for the first time in a road race and on his birthday doubt thinking of other less painful activities to celebrate the day.

A no show on the day was club Junior Tom SPARKES  all that training gone to waste! During the race over 12 laps (39 miles) both gave a good account of themselves, but on this occasion not in the winning break, eventually won by Phil Jones..

Bickerstaffe Road Races

Next up the Women’s Handicap race over the same distance  at 11.30 am, the weather not improving with Storm Hannah camped over us, however, 23 hardy women wanted to race and the first group set off with a 2 minute start on the Scratch Group which included our very own Maddy Scott who’s currently in a rich vein of form having had recent success on the road in Malta and set a personal best in the recent club 10,unfortunately not her day as she retired from the race suffering with cold and wet conditions. The race was won with a solo effort from Sarah Hardy,a superb ride on the day.

Bickerstaffe Road RacesThen prize presentations were held inside the HQ which was crowded to say the least…

Club member and sponsor Andy Grice was in attendance and even managed a few laps in the lead car.

I’m extremely grateful to our sponsors Andy, MeCycle, Secret Training and the Velo cafe for their generosity.

Finally a huge thank you to our hard working club members who gave up their free time to assist with the event to ensure it’s success, without you it wouldn’t happen. Next year I’ll try pick a better day with the weather.

Hats off to Geoff CATON for riding out solo to give the riders a shout.

El Prez