Dave Birch reports on a busy Sunday morning in Naseby:
South East Midlands District Cycling Time Trials, of which I am the secretary, were invited, in February 2019, to host the National Circuit Championships in 2021.
I have organised many open time trials and road races but the opportunity to run a national championship had never arisen before and I thought this might be an appropriate swan song to my race organising career. I didn’t face too much opposition from the district committee when I volunteered for it.
The current Naseby course makes for a challenging ten miler, so two laps would make it doubly challenging and three laps even more so – in fact, spot on for the National Circuit Champs. It wasn’t until this year that I began to fret about it all. The only sensible place for the finish was up the minor road from Naseby to Sibbertoft, and the only way for finishers to get back to the HQ was up through Naseby on the race route, and there would be over 150 riders – what if there were lots of cars parked in the village, and lots of oncoming vehicles?
I often ride parts of the course and I can’t remember there not being horses there. Horses and bike racers just don’t go together.
I called in to Mini Meadows Farm Park a couple of Saturdays back to warn them of the event and was horrified at the number of cars, and Sundays are their busiest days – and they open at 10am – while our riders are on the road.
I calculated the number of marshals and helpers I would need – forty plus and I was determined not to make too big a call on WVCC members. A call went out to all clubs and racing teams in South East Midlands – the response wasn’t overwhelming.
On Saturday night I had a phone call from Cycling Time Trials – the postcode I’d given on the event start sheet for the HQ was incorrect – riders who came early, following their satnavs, were directed to a farm up a long track on the wrong side of Naseby.
So what happened on the day?
No one complained about being misdirected – clearly social media had done its stuff.
There were no parked cars on Newlands – the race route through Naseby village – my evening of door knocking had paid off.
There were no reports of horses on the course – my messages to the local equestrian community had been heeded.
Mini Meadows Farm Park caused no hold ups at all – and I can’t understand why!
There was lots of traffic through Naseby as the A508 was closed, but it caused minimal inconvenience.
I had all the helpers I needed, and from eight different clubs and they all did a wonderful job.
The riders loved the course and event organisation.
Thank you to everyone that helped with the event, and I must make a special mention of Stewart Smith from CTT who gave me tremendous support – well worth all that levy money we give them!
I shall never forget the day – it was brilliant.
Michael Burke (24th in the men’s road bike category with 01:23:59) and Dom Switzer (10th Male Junior 01:23:16) were in action for WVCC. See the link below for all the results.