14/05/20 Message from Club Chairman Matt Ryan

Hello,

I hope you; your family and friends are all coping with the on-going lockdown and the effects these are having on all our day-to-day lives. As I write this, we are 50 days into the greatest social upheaval since the second World War. Demands are being made of all of us, liberties have been ceded and for some no doubt, the ultimate sacrifice has been made. It is important we keep a perspective of what we do and how we do things.

As cyclists, we are very fortunate to be able to continue what we love doing, albeit with some constraints. Consider cricketers, tennis players, swimmers, footballers…. the list goes on. They have had to stop completely the sport they cherish. A fair few will have turned to their trusty old bike tucked away at the back of the garage and will have rediscovered the thrill of speed, the wind in the face and the sun on their back.

Speaking to friends in the NHS who are working at the frontline and the overall message is how grateful they are for the amazing public support they have been receiving. This continuing appreciation and respect are a key aspect which fires their resolve to turn into work each day, to put themselves and their families at risk, to save the lives of others. The virus doesn’t discriminate, and even with the best PPE, staff are still getting infected and some becoming seriously ill. As the Chairman of Rhos-on-Sea CC, I am really proud and, in some ways, humbled, by the manner in which our members have been adhering to the rules relating to cycling. I know only too well the frustration you will be feeling at not being able to ride with your friends. To not be able to ride too far from home and to keep your riding local. The recent disparity between England and Wales guidance will only compound frustrations and may cause people to question the relevance and validity of the continuing measures. However, now more than ever, we need to keep our discipline and not let our hearts rule our heads. Lives are still at stake, the virus is still here and we need to do and be seen doing, the socially responsible thing.

Posting long rides on Strava, riding with mates, ignoring the guidance, will only cause others to question why they should continue making sacrifices if others aren’t. For those working in the NHS, this is especially relevant. Why should these people continue risking their lives, if we can’t make be mindful and be prepared to make some small changes to ours? By now, every member in the Club (all 100+ of you), should have received a call from one of the Committee members to check in on you, to see if you’re OK, in need of anything and so on. The response back has been overwhelming and reinforces the notion I have long held, that the Club and the people in it are all like extended members of family. In any family, you look out for each other, help each other and are there for each other, for the good times and the bad.

I am really proud of the self-sacrificing committee members who have helped in helping others. We have been having our regular meetings using video conferencing and the enthusiasm by the team is something to see. Food shopping for our vulnerable members, food parcels for those experiencing hardship, medicine collection and drop-off for those who can’t do it themselves. I am also really proud of the amazing club members who have been supporting the NHS, through fund-raising, giving donations and making PPE for frontline staff. Also organizing virtual events, delivering flowers and cards to those who have been poorly and so on. It really is an incredible mix of people we have and everyone wearing a club jersey should do so with pride, and with their head held high.

It’s unfortunate that we have had to postpone our racing and time trialling this year, as I know the people involved in organising it have gone to great lengths to get it all in place. However, when we finally get back to a “new” normality, taking part and supporting these events with be even more rewarding. As a Club, you will be really pleased to know that our help and support goes beyond just those in our membership. We are all part of a greater community and it’s important to play our part in the improvement of people’s lives and wellbeing. We have recently donated £500 to Welsh Air Trust to help them continue their vitally important work and will be donating a further £500 to a local Food Bank to help those we can’t call up and check in on. The money used for these is money belonging to all of us in the Club and so you too should be proud of the help you have given others.

If any of you need help with something or just fancy a chat, please feel free to drop me a line on matt_ryan74@hotmail.com and I will get back to you. Thank you for being a part of the best cycling family in the UK.

Matt Ryan, Chairman