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Tony and I spent a few pleasant hours on New Years' Day catching up
with the racing scene by going out to savour the Southborough & District
Wheelers New Years Day 10. Very few events are promoted this early in
the season - and dependant upon weather the entry can be varied. Many
riders enter hoping the temperature will be favourable and clearly decide on
the day whether to ride or not. The event has been in the calendar since
1975 but the fields in the last few years have been gently building which is
very encouraging. 2015 was no exception with 92 riders on the start card,
not just local Kent riders, some coming from Essex, London, Surrey/Sussex
etc. The event has experienced every type of weather during its 39 year
history from sun, rain, fog, wind, snow, in fact the event was cancelled on
one occasion in the 1990's when heavy snow fell just hours before the event
started. Tony and I were scheduled to be timekeepers but the organiser
telephoned us to say the event was cancelled before we left home - of the
60 odd riders just 2 actually turned up to ride and were quite upset - one
actually complaining that he would have to go home and ride the turbo to
compensate for his lack of miles !! For 2015 the riders were blessed with
a dry day, with a rising wind hampering the later starters.


The event is like a magnet for local cyclists and this year the
headquarters was filled to bursting with riders, their helpers and on-lookers
keen to catch up on the latest news and gossip and to enjoy the atmosphere.


In the early years of the promotion competitors occasionally dressed
in festive outfits which clearly hampered their progress but it was all part
of the fun. Things have become a little more serious for the fast 'boys'
these days subsequently the competition can be a bit keen with times to
suit. Obviously most riders are interested to test out how their training
has faired during the pre-Christmas weeks, though I am not sure if it is a
true gauge, may well depend on how many mince pies have been devoured.






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