About last night
Our committee meeting at Blackburn
This isn't an airing of dirty laundry! Last night we addressed (eventually!) the 300kg gorilla in the room - the Friday night DISC slot.
Nicko's initial suggestion was one that most of us were pleased with; retain Saturday's racing as-is. Grab the Friday slot at DISC and use it for club training and once a month racing - something special, a niche that people would come to race like the SSS or Hawthorn's Sunday Roast. Maybe do more Friday night races over winter? Most of us nodded in rigourous agreement with this.
Then Nicko had to go, family stuff, and we got bogged down a little. To cut a long story short, almost everyone at the meeting was not going to move on Saturday's racing staying as-is. The Saturday program at Blackburn is what makes the club special, it has broad appeal and is suitable for everyone, if Tom Leaper, Barry Woods, Stu Vaughan and Steve Martin can race on Saturday alongside the F grade novices and keep coming back then we have something very special indeed. To steal the words of one of the people pushing to change that to Friday at DISC instead of Saturday at Blackburn, consistency IS important and the Saturday races benefit from being consistent.
So, at the end, nothing was really achieved and no firm decision was made (nothing new at a BBN committee meeting!) except that the Saturday program will continue as planned this summer - The guys pushing for the Friday change have gone away to cook up another plan. If they're smart (and they are and I mean no disrespect to them. We're friends and we all want the best for the club) they'll realise the importance of Saturday's racing and NOT TAMPER WITH IT. When I started the Summer Sprint Series we were very careful to compliment, not compete with, Saturday's racing, which is core to the identity and ideals of the club.
One of the things our racing on Saturday does really well is provide a venue for riders of just about every level to compete in a welcoming family environment. Sure, some riders will out-grow it and will want and need to move to higher level races but that's a normal thing and I think a sign of the success of the race program and a win for the club if and when it happens - we shouldn't fight that, we should be proud of it. We're awfully proud of Richard England, who came up through our program and now races professionally, we don't expect to see him very often but he does show up sometimes and race with us and he remembers where he came from, as does Tom and the other elite guys who race with us and have a lot of fun doing it. That's what club cycling is all about and that's how it should be.