October 2021 intro ride

Newcomers are warmly invited to join us on our next Introductory Ride.


Sunday 3 October 2021

Where and when does it start?

The car park of the Black Horse, Bristol Rd South, Northfield, B31 2QT. We’ll set off at 09:15, and we’ll meet ten or fifteen minutes before that to say hello and chat about the ride.

Where’s it going?

This month’s Intro Ride is going to The View café in Wootton Wawen. Here’s a map of the route we plan to follow, which you can download to a GPS device:

We’ll cover roughly 52 kilometres (32 miles), mostly on quiet lanes. We’ll stop for refreshments towards the end of the route.

Will it be hard?

You should be fine if you can already ride for an hour or two at an average of roughly 16-20kph (10-12mph). We’ll stick together and go at the pace of the slowest rider. We’ll ride for a total of about three hours, with a break in the middle and maybe a breather at the top of one or two hills.

Who can join in?

Our Intro Rides are mainly for people new to club cycling and not yet confident about doing one of the main club runs. They’re ideal if you already cycle and fancy getting a bit more involved, or if you’re returning after a break. They provide a chance to get to know the club and decide whether it’s for you. If you’re very new to cycling, it’s probably best to do a few independent rides first, and join an Intro Ride once you’re comfortable riding for 90 minutes or so. Under-16s need an adult with them.

How do I join the ride?

At the moment, because of COVID restrictions, Intro Rides are limited to eight people, including the leader(s). Everyone needs to be signed up in advance. To put your name down, either mail clubruns@beaconrcc.org.uk or answer the post on our message board.

Do I need a fancy bike?

No. For an Intro Ride, the main thing is that your bike is comfortable and reliable. Of course, it must also be legal, which basically means having two working brakes. For safety reasons, we don’t allow use of tri-bars on group rides.

Do I need special cycling gear?

No. Proper cycling clothing is generally more comfortable, especially for people riding far and/or fast. But Intro Rides aren’t like that. It’s good to avoid things that flap about and you certainly don’t want anything that chafes. But things like sweatshirts, close-fitting jogging trousers and trainers are fine. Two or three thin layers are usually a good idea, especially in autumn, when it’s often chilly early and warm later. With lightweight clothes you can stuff in a pocket or bag, you can add or subtract layers as conditions change.

What should I bring?

Bring a bottle of water and maybe something like an energy bar. You’ll also need a little money for refreshments. If there’s a chance of rain, have a lightweight waterproof in your pocket or bag. Most club cyclists carry a mobile phone and a credit/debit card in case of emergency.

Anything else I need to know?

Yes, you need to read our Club Run Guidelines. Also, while we’ll always do our best to help, it’s important to recognise a rescue service isn’t part of the deal. So have a think about how you’d manage if you were miles from home with a bike that won’t go. Could you phone home for a lift, for example?

Winter 2021 training for adult riders at Birmingham Wheels Park

Starting on 23 September, Adrian Ravenscroft is running Academy sessions for kids at Birmingham Wheels Park’s 400m banked oval track on Thursday evenings. These will be organised together with Nick and Luke Selibas of KarbonaUK, and Ade wants to open use of the track up to adult riders following the Academy sessions. The structure of the training will vary from week to week. It would be good if you could sign up on Eventbrite so that we can keep an eye on numbers; places are free; max 20 riders per session. Please see the link below for more details and to book your place.

75th Anniversary Dinner and Prize Presentation

In the closing weeks of each year, we get together to recognise the achievements of our members during the season just ended. The Annual Dinner is the centrepiece of our social calendar, when we celebrate everything our club stands for. And this year’s dinner is going to be a particularly special occasion.

On 10 November 2021, Beacon RCC will be 75 years old. This year’s Dinner will therefore be held on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of our formation: Saturday 13 November. Here are some of the special features we’ve got planned:

Q&A session with TV commentator and author Ned Boulting
Ned is a hugely entertaining speaker, with a wealth of anecdotes drawn from decades of close involvement with the biggest races and the biggest stars in the world of cycling.

A great new venue
Kings Norton Golf Club has a spacious function room and a cosy bar, in a leafy setting on the edge of town, close to the Alcester Road (A435) and the M42.

A look back at highlights of our first 75 years
Picture displays, a souvenir booklet and the chance to learn about, hear from and raise a toast to some great champions and wonderful characters from the past.

After-awards music and dancing

The traditional end to the evening is back, led by our very own cycling DJ Vince!
(Not your thing? Don’t worry, there’ll be quiet areas where you can chat.)

So, come on everybody, let’s have a really big turnout and make this an occasion to remember! We’ve all been cooped up for a very long time, and you’re only 75 once! A three-course meal, an evening of great entertainment, plus music and dancing – all for £35, or £65 for a pair of tickets. You can’t say fairer than that, now can you?

Everyone is welcome: current, former and prospective Beacon members and friends of the club, plus their partners, family and guests. Whether you’re a newbie or an old hand, a racer or a pootler, you’re an important member of the Beacon family, and the Dinner is meant for you.

The evening starts with a welcome drink in the bar (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), followed by dinner and toasts, leading up to Ned’s Q&A session. After that, Ned will be presenting prizes to achievers in every field of cycling we’re involved with. To round off the evening, DJ Vince will deliver a set that’s guaranteed to get your feet moving.

Although the Dinner’s structure is formal, the atmosphere is very relaxed. There’s a quiz, party poppers and rocket balloons, plus jokes and banter aplenty. Even in the coldest winter, a warm glow is guaranteed!

Beacon Academy 2021 events

NB: Club activities are resuming from 29 March. Please click here for all COVID-19 updates.

The Beacon Cycling Academy, the club’s youth coaching section, will be putting on some coaching and racing sessions at Holders Lane, Calthorpe Park, Queensbridge Playing Fields and in Saltley this year. Please see below for the events scheduled to date. Aside from the Beacon RCC Track Championships, the racing events are open to members and non-members alike.

Calthorpe Park/Holders Lane coaching sessions:

1 Monday 12 April 13:00-15:00 or 15:15-17:15 (Calthorpe Park; entry page 13:00-15:00 or 15:15-17:15)
2 Tuesday 13 April 13:00-14:00 or 14:00-15:00 (ride starting from Calthorpe Park; entry page)
3 Tuesday 20 April 16:30-18:00 (Calthorpe Park; entry page)
4 Tuesday 27 April 16:30-18:00 (NB: Due to an issue with the original venue, we’ve had to move this to Holders Lane; entry page)
5 Tuesday 4 May 16:30-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)
6 Tuesday 11 May 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)
7 Tuesday 18 May 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)
8 Tuesday 25 May 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page) NB: Cancelled due to illness
9 Tuesday 1 June 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)
10 Tuesday 8 June 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)
11 Tuesday 15 June 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)
12 Tuesday 29 June 17:00-18:00 (Holders Lane; entry page)

Queensbridge Playing Fields grass track sessions:

1 Tuesday 22 June 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
Tuesday 6 July 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
3 Tuesday 20 July 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
4 Tuesday 27 July 17:00-18:00 (entry page)

5km off-road challenge ride:

Tuesday 31 August 16:30, 17:00, 17:30, 18:00 and 18:30 (entry page)

Birmingham Wheels Park coaching sessions:

1 Thursday 23 September 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
2 Thursday 30 September 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
3 Thursday 7 October 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
4 Thursday 14 October 17:00-18:00 (entry page)
Thursday 21 October 17:00-18:00 (entry page)

During 2021, the Academy will be offering some coaching sessions at various venues in south Birmingham. Keep your eye on the Facebook feed for details of any additional sessions. These sessions take place in a traffic-free environment and are led by qualified coaches who introduce riders to skills used in different forms of cycle sport and include some racing, with the emphasis very much on fun. Most sessions are free, but if you’d like to join the club then membership costs £10 for the year. If weather conditions are bad, please check the Facebook page for cancellations.

Beacon Academy Go-Ride sessions are aimed at young people who can already ride a bicycle and have sufficient co-ordination to stay safe in a group. Riders should wear a helmet at all times, have a well maintained bicycle, a drink and bring appropriate clothing and gloves.

BSCA Regional Grass Track Championships, Queensbridge School

Saturday 10 July 11:00-17:30 (entry page) (info for riders)

We’re hosting the 2021 British Schools Cycling Association Regional Grass Track Championships.

Club Track Championships, Halesowen:

Saturday 26 June 13:00-17:00, with a pre-event coaching session starting at 12:00 (entry page)

We hope to be able to run a full programme of junior races at this year’s Beacon RCC Track Championships, held at the outdoor track in Halesowen, as well as a pre-event coaching session. The Track Championships are open to Beacon members only.

For more information, see the Academy’s webpage and Facebook page.

COVID-19 updates

Update: 19 July 2021

While most legal restrictions have now been lifted in England, with COVID-19 case numbers high and rising, we will be retaining the sign-on system for club runs, with the ride size at the discretion of the leader. We will be following updated guidance from British Cycling for organised events such as Academy coaching, and we strongly encourage use of masks in venues, including on audax routes.

Update: 7 June 2021

We’re pleased to be able to announce that the Elenydd permanent audax is now available to enter again.

Update: 17 May 2021

Updated British Cycling guidance confirms that the group size limit for organised activities is now lifted. Cafés are now allowed to serve indoors, but with a limit of six people or two households. We’re therefore going to limit club runs with an indoor café stop to eight riders, with the priviso that the leader splits the group into two for the café, and those with outdoor café stops and non-stop rides to 12 riders. However, club run leaders can decide on a lower limit for their ride should they wish.

Update: 12 April 2021

We’ve now adjusted the ride size limit to eight for club runs without stops. It remains at six for standard club runs with outdoor café stops. Please see this post on the message board for full details.

Update: 28 March 2021

British Cycling has confirmed that organised club activities can resume from tomorrow. British Cycling affiliated club rides can take place in groups of up to 15, but this is a limit rather than a target, and we’ve decided to restrict our club runs to a maximum of six riders each for now. Please see this post on the club message board for details of how club runs will work from next weekend. Six is also the maximum size of informal (i.e. not club organised) group rides.

The British Cycling guidance means that we can restart Beacon Academy events.

Cycling Times Trials has issued a similar confirmation, so we will also be resuming club time trials.

Update: 9 March 2021

Updated British Cycling guidance confirms that we should be able to resume club activities from 29 March (subject to definitive guidance from government the week before), but that in the meantime we should continue to cycle alone, with a household/support bubble or one other person, and remain local.

Update: 23 February 2021

Government guidance on easing the national lockdown issued on 22 February suggests that organised sport should return from 29 March, subject to several tests being met by then.

Cycling Time Trials has confirmed that this would mean time trials could resume. We have cancelled our first two club TTs of the year, which were planned for March, but hope to be able to start the season with the event on 3 April.

While we await updated advice from British Cycling, we should also be able to resume club runs from the start of April – initially with the previous limit of six riders and without café stops.

We’re hoping that the Begwyns, Books and Stones audax scheduled for 17 April can go ahead, but this also depends on guidance from the Welsh government.

Update: 5 January 2021

Updated British Cycling guidance confirms that the new national lockdown means that all club activity should be suspended. The new restrictions allow people to cycle, providing that they do so alone, with a household/support bubble or one other person, and remain local.

Update: 30 December 2020

With Birmingham and much of the surrounding area moving into Tier 4 from 31 December, we are suspending club runs until further notice. The government guidance allows for unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or with one other person if you maintain social distancing, and also for organised outdoor sports for under-18s.

Update: 3 December 2020

Updated British Cycling guidance confirms that club runs can now resume, subject to some restrictions detailed in the guidance.

Update: 30 November 2020

Having studied government guidance for Tier 3 and Tier 2 that will apply once national restrictions end on 2 December, we are resuming club runs from Sunday 6 December. As in the autumn, riders will need to sign up on the message board in advance, and club runs will be limited to six participants each. Café stops are not permitted at present. Please see this post on the message board for full details.

Update: 4 November 2020

Updated British Cycling guidance confirms that, for four weeks from 5 November, people should only ride alone, with others from their household/support bubble, or with one person from another household.

Update: 3 November 2020

British Cycling is asking for small-group rides and coaching for young people to be exempt from the new national lockdown rules that will come in on Thursday, but in the absence of such a decision, we are suspending club runs again for the time being. We have also been advised that the Beacon Academy coaching planned for Wednesday should not go ahead, and have issued refunds to all who had paid for places.

Update: 28 October 2020

We are now in a position to be able to restart some Beacon Academy events, commencing 4 November.

Update: 14 October 2020

Following an update to the restrictions applying in Birmingham and elsewhere that means that people living in areas at the high COVID alert level can no longer meet with other households in indoor hospitality venues, we have issued updated club run rules. We are encouraging non-stop Beacon Burst rides, but if there is a café stop, outdoor seating must be available.

Update: 15 September 2020

Having consulted the frequently asked questions published by Birmingham City Council and with British Cycling West Midlands officials, the committee is satisfied that the new local restrictions allow for club runs to continue, subject to the sign-up system and limited group sizes that we already have in place. We would, however, ask all members intending to participate in club runs to read our updated instructions here.

Update: 11 September 2020

Members of the Beacon committee are studying guidance on the Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull local restrictions that will come into force on 15 September. We are awaiting updated advice from British Cycling, including on the implications for club runs, before making a further announcement.

Update: 11 August 2020

Unfortunately, the organiser of our Autumn Rivers, From Clee to Heaven and Beacon Burns audaxes, which were scheduled for 3 October, has had to cancel due to access issues at the Belbroughton event HQ posed by COVID-19. Any entries that have already been made will be refunded in the next few days. Please watch this space for news on possible stripped-back audax events, and remember that the Montgomery Madness permanent audax remains open for entries.

Update: 23 July 2020

British Cycling has announced that there will be a further easing of restrictions on sanctioned club activity and events from 1 August, allowing some racing to start. The maximum size of a club run will remain at six riders.

Update: 8 July 2020

At a virtual meeting on 7 July, the Beacon RCC committee agreed to initiate a phased return of organised club activities, following updated advice from the relevant governing bodies. This decision will be continuously reviewed and activities will be suspended again if we judge activities to be unsafe or if advice from government and from cycling’s governing bodies changes. The initial plan is as follows:

  • Club TTs will resume on Wednesday 15 July. A list of events is available here. To make this possible and to ensure rider safety, a number of adjustments to usual practice will be made, including: payment should be made by PayPal here (no cash will be accepted); riders and marshals should observe social distancing at all times; there will be no push-offs at the start; results will be posted online following the event but not announced in person at the finish.
  • We aim to re-start club runs on 19 July, with a new system limiting group sizes to a maximum of six, which is explained here.
  • We will aim to restart Beacon Academy coaching in August, with new dates to be advertised here shortly. Numbers will be strictly limited, with a new online sign-up system in operation. Academy racing events are cancelled for the rest of the season.

Club members are reminded to renew their subscriptions before participating in any club activities, if they have not already done so.

Update: 26 June 2020

Cycling Time Trials has further extended its suspension of club events by a week, until 12 July, pending greater clarity about applicable government guidelines.

Update: 8 June 2020

Cycling Time Trials has extended its suspension of club events until 5 July, but anticipates that it may be possible to allow events to take place after the issuance of updated government guidelines in early July.

Update: 3 June 2020

Reflecting updated government guidelines that people in England can now meet up in a group of six providing that two-metre distancing is maintained, Cycling UK has updated its guidance, noting that the guidelines “appear to confirm that up to six people can now cycle together in a socially distanced group, though cycling in a group is not specifically mentioned in the guidance”. As a club, we are not re-starting any official club runs yet, due to the potential of larger groups turning up and the lack of open cafés.

Update: 27 May 2020

British Cycling has provided an update on its suspension of sanctioned cycling activity. The suspension of club activity is extended to 4 July, the suspension of regional racing and of non-competitive events such as sportives to 1 August, and the suspension of national racing to 1 September.

Update: 12 May 2020

British Cycling has issued an update to its FAQs document, noting that from 13 May, people in England can now exercise outside more than once a day, that exercise with one person from a different household is now permitted, but that cyclists doing so still need to maintain a two-metre distance from anyone from outside their household.

Update: 16 April 2020

British Cycling has issued an update to its FAQs document.

Update: 31 March 2020

Cycling Time Trials has extended its suspension of events until 30 June, which means the cancellation of the 2020 Sigma Sports Classic Series. Our Little Mountain Time Trial was to be part of this series, but was already cancelled.

Update: 23 March 2020

Updated government guidelines, initially in force for three weeks, specify that people can undertake one form of outdoor exercise a day, including cycling, but that “even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household”.

British Cycling has extended its suspension of all activity that it sanctions until 30 June. The announcement notes that “riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health, provided that guidance on social distancing is followed. British Cycling would urge all cyclists to only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home and that are well within your ability level – this is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself”. An accompanying FAQ document is available here.

Update: 20 March 2020

Cycling UK has published a further explanation of the advice to cancel all group rides.

Update: 17 March 2020

Based on government advice, British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials have now announced the suspension of all sanctioned activities. Audax UK has suspended recognition of all audax rides, including permanent and DIY events. Cycling UK is advising the cancellation of all group rides and activities. Further advice, including on cycling alone, is available from Cycling UK here.

Update: 16 March 2020

Following this afternoon’s government advice that we should all avoid non-essential travel and social contact, and after consulting our event organisers, the Beacon RCC committee has decided that we have no other option than to suspend all club activities with immediate effect.

This means that:

  • All club runs are cancelled until further notice;
  • The club time trial season, which was due to start this Saturday, will not begin until government advice changes;
  • This year’s Little Mountain Time Trial, scheduled for 26 April, is cancelled;
  • If it cannot go ahead as planned, the Janet Kelly Memorial Open 10 TT, currently scheduled for 11 July, will be moved to the autumn if possible;
  • All Beacon Academy events are cancelled until further notice;
  • The Kidderminster Killer audax is cancelled and other audax events are postponed until October, situation permitting.

We have taken this decision in an attempt to avoid incidents that may require emergency services, and because, for all that we love cycling, our organised events are non-essential in the great scheme of things.

The club website will be updated in the coming days to reflect these developments.

We hope you understand our decision and the reasoning behind it.

2022 Sunrise & Snowdrop Express audaxes

The Beacon RCC February audaxes are an institution on the Audax UK calendar, usually attracting 260 entries each year. The routes use quiet country roads through rural Worcestershire to Evesham and Upton. After a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing these events back for 2022 and they’re now open for entry. The two audaxes will take place on Saturday 26 February. We hope to see you there!

Subs renewal

Subscription renewals are due on 1st January each year. If you are an existing member of the club and need to renew your membership  please transfer the relevant amount to the club’s bank account (including your name as the reference) or set up a standing order via Internet Banking.

Full membership £15
Family membership £25
Junior membership £10

Alternatively to renew via secure card payment please proceed to the Beacon RCC Club Profile page on the British Cycling web site then select the “Join our Club” tab.  If you are a British Cycling member or if you registered with British Cycling when joining Beacon RCC, login to your British Cycling account in order to retrieve your contact details stored by British Cycling. If you are not a member of or registered with British Cycling you will need to enter some personal details for the Club’s membership records and this information will be passed to the Club by British Cycling and processed and stored in accordance with our Data Protection and Privacy Policy. Registering on the British Cycling web site will mean that you will not need to enter these details again in future should you wish to renew your membership via British Cycling. Please note that British Cycling charge £1 per transaction to cover card processing charges.

Many thanks and happy new year from the Beacon.

Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Persons joining the Club, renewing membership or entering events promoted by the Club consent to the club collecting, storing and using personal data as described in the Club’s Data Protection and Privacy Policy.