Dear LHC member,

The weather’s good, Covid-19 is getting to be less of a threat and the season has started. This time last year we were busy cancelling and delaying events, but there is a much clearer way forward this year and the event promoters are all looking forward to your entries. The London & Home Counties Group is just starting its 2021 promotions with the National VTTA Championship 15m on a new Newbury  based course and the organiser (Glen Knight) reports over 160 riders, with all details just about to be available on the CTT website .

Our next event, the Don Byham Ten, is also under the guidance of Glen. This is the first of two Tenson the F11 course, on Sunday 16th May. Entries as normal, via the CTT website, any details from Glen on me@glenknight.co.uk.  The full list of 2021 promotions is as follows

 

Sun  11th April     VTTA Championship 15  Men/Women/Tandems    H15/3    £14        Glen Knight & Rachael Elliott

Sun  16th May      Don Byham Ten   Men/Women/Tandems F11/10  £14        Glen Knight & Rachael Elliott

Thurs 17th June   Mid Week Ten Longwick circuit                                 HCC178  £13       Geoff Perry

Sun  18th July       Ten        (150 riders)                                                 F11/10  £14        David Guy

Wed  18th Aug     Mid Week Ten Longwick circuit                                 HCC178 £13       Geoff Perry

Sun  19th Sept      Rocco 25                                                                  H25/2   £14         Wolfgang Emmerich

 

Please note that this list includes two major changes. The Organiser of the June mid-week Ten is now Geoff Perry, who also organises the August mid-week Ten. The Rocco 25 in September now has a 7.30am start and is on the H25/2 (the so-called ski slope at Marlow). HQ for the Rocco will be the Marlow Community centre, Liston Hall.

 

Of course all of these events require marshals and officials as well as riders, so perhaps all of you could consider making yourself available for marshalling duties at any event. The L & HC is very grateful to the Newbury Velo who are supplying virtually all of the marshals and officials for the first two of these group promotions. I am happy to pass on any volunteers to the respective organisers.

 

The group, with Katja Rietdorf ( helped by Rachael Elliott) at the helm, organised an online prize-giving event ten days ago to acknowledge those riders who managed to win awards for their efforts during the somewhat restricted 2020 season. Guest speaker was John Shubert, who recently got the RRA 100 mile record to under three hours to add to other long distance achievements in recent years. The event was “attended” by about thirty L & HC members, including most of the prize winners, who had already received their actual engraved awards by post. No-one thinks that this is a true replacement for a ”physical” prize winners’  lunch so we’re still hoping that we will be able to hold such an event at some time during the 2021/22 off-season.

 

At a national level, the cut-off date for 2021 membership is in theory now past, but to save me having to alter our membership records twice perhaps those who have up to now forgotten to renew their membership could do so ASAP. The membership is £20 per annum, either through the VTTA website or direct to the group (cheques to V.T.T.A LONDON & HOME COUNTIES GROUP) or directly to our bank account as above, number 73251837 s/c 20-45-45.

 

Also nationally, the VTTA has now started meetings of the newly created National Forum, which provides a direct communication link between the groups such as the London & Home Counties and the National Executive Committee. Previously this communication was restricted to the AGM and any motions proposed at that meeting by the groups. The first meeting of the Forum was held online last month, with conversation centering on the automation of “standards” awards through the National database. This will hugely reduce the work of the national and group recorders, and make the awarding of “standards” medals very much easier. Some of the costs (for the upgrades to the national IT system) will be covered by a donation from the groups, and some from central VTTA funds. The meetings are chaired by the new national President, Tony Farrell.

 

Although the agenda has yet to be published for the next Forum meeting it seems likely that one of the main topics will be the recently proposed name change of the organisation from Veterans Time Trial Association to Masters Time Trial Association. I have asked previously for members’ opinions on this extremely important topic and I thank those few who have responded but it is important for me to represent the views of the L & HC membership at these meetings so your views are important. Please let me know (telephone, email or letter welcomed) if you have a view, for or against, the proposal.

 

Whilst not directly involving the VTTA, the L & HC (which is affiliated to the CTT London West District) has been contributing to a project set up in conjunction with the LW District committee regarding the slow but substantial lessening of entry numbers in Open events over the past decade or so. This of course has resulted in less Open events being promoted and LW is anxious to reverse this cycle. The main points of the discussions have been the relatively few female and junior new participants; the numerical dominance of 40-60 year old males; the popularity of Dual Carriageway “fast” courses; whether a District level season long competition would help and some other minor variations of these factors.  As with the VTTA name change, I would appreciate your views if you have any. Any decline in time trialling affects us all so please contribute if you have any views.

 

Anyway, I finish by wishing you all well, and hope those of you still turning the occasional pedal in anger a successful season – particularly those riding the 15m Championship this weekend.

 

John Hoskins

Secretary L & HC VTTA