Cycling Club Awards Dinner

Cycling Clubs up and down the land tend to herald the end of the season with a big dinner and trophy presentation. sometimes they have a guest speaker. The BSCC club dinner is a big family get together with club members and assorted wives, husbands, children and other. the club has a fairly hefty trophy cabinet with awards for all sorts of events and disciplines. Last year I won the Hillclimb trophy and the Hardrider Cup, the year before I bagged the Hillclimb trophy, which was a surprise at the time. This year i was in the running for quite a few more, as were Graham and Steve.

mid 1950s i think

The club trophies are impressive and way beyond your usual common-or-garden, marble-plinthed cobbler’s offering. they are serious bits of silverware, some of them nearly a hundred years old. The Hillclimb trophy dates from 1924. The base has been extended over time, with new plinths added in order to accommodate the lists of names. One of the trophies i didn’t realise i was going to win is the ‘Sam Justin Cup’, or ‘Special Flake Cup’. The first name on the trophy dates to 1912. I find this staggering. it’s 99 years old. this brings home the significance of cycling within Bristol, as a part of the community, and the importance of the club as a constant in the lives of people over a long period of time. maybe, if i don’t overegg it, there’s a connection with some of the sentiments i expressed yesterday about time and space. in a similar vein, i’ve often said that when it comes to lovely old cyling frames, like a hetchins or a raleigh, we are only ever custodians, the ownership is temporary, but the frame lives on and passes through different hands, and makes people happy.  the club is permanent, but the cast of cyclists chops and changes, each one getting a sense of the red of gold and adding something to the club.

The Special Cup. I'm not sure when this picture was taken, but judging by the single row of names, it's possibly in the late 30s or early 40s.
Outstanding Contribution (won this year by Dave Braidley for organising the Road Race)
an early bacchanalian club dinner
The Trophy Table; hillclimb trophy middle left, special cup top row, middle, right hand side
things were more formal back in the day

i managed to take home 7 trophies in the end, which is a lot of trophies. Graham took 2 trophies for his audax feats and riding PBP, and Steve took a cup and a shield home for the road race and cyclo-cross. It’s the high point of team douchebag. our table was groaning under the weight of the silverware by the end, and i felt a little bit sheepish.

a lot of silverware
a lot of swag

one of the reasons i won so many is that a couple of the club luminaries weren’t riding this year, most noticeably Dave Keene, which meant i picked up a lot of the flatland time trial awards that i perhaps wouldn’t normally. however, having said that, i’ve had a good season and put in some really quick times, so perhaps i may have grabbed a few anyway. i am now the custodian of these for a whole year, it’s a privilege and an honour.

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