Hopefully, many of you will be aware that the Northern Gateway Sports Park is opening this week in Colchester. It is a 76-acre site providing both indoor and outdoor sport and leisure activities.

With a 1-mile floodlit Cycling Track, Bike Hire, Learn to Ride Cycle Programmes, Pump Track the new facility is a safe space for both leisure cycling, training and competitive action. The track will have cycling provisions for people with disabilities and for those with special needs.

The facility provides Colchester Rovers with new opportunities to cycle together and become a new activity hub for the club. This is a real chance for us to be able to get all members together to ride socially, train and compete on a regular basis.

The club management team have been working up a programme of activity at the centre which is open to all ages and abilities within the club. The following proposals have been agreed with CNG and bookings are in progress.

Monthly Club Night – including Circuit Time

We plan to have a new Rovers club night at the CNG facility. The club will meet at the facility on the 3rd Friday of every month from 1900 hrs. The club night will include 1.5 hours of track time which will be open for all ages including youth riders. It’s a chance for our members to meet up and ride with other friends in the club on a regular basis. It also gives us the chance to welcome new members along to meet and ride with us.

Although not formally coached we expect these evenings to be ridden in groups for the benefit of all.

From July, overlapping with the track time (from 20:00) will be a room booking in the Northern Gateway centre where we can look to meet formally or informally as a club. We can discuss club activity, meet socially, invite guests along, have a maintenance workshop, have some chats about training, nutrition, physio, a bike fit session, club kit fittings etc. The ideas are up to you, tell us what you’d be interested to use this time for and we as a Club Management Team will do our best to make it happen.

Our current booking will run until the end of 2021 we will then make a decision on how to go forward in 2022.

OUR PLAN IS FOR THIS MONTHLY CLUB NIGHT TO BE FREE FOR ALL CLUB MEMBERS. 

Weekly Club Ride Session.

The Rovers have partnered with our friends at VCR to offer a weekly club ride session on the CNG Circuit. The collaboration with VCR is desirable to make these sessions sustainable in the longer term. Initially, we have made a block booking for 12 weeks starting from 6th May, each Thursday evening from 19:00 to 20:30.

The booking will be shared on a proportionate basis (60% CRCC / 40% VCR), places will be limited subject to the track capacity which is 60 Riders (subject to final confirmation), meaning that our maximum allowance will be 36 Riders each week. Initially due to Covid-19 restrictions rider numbers will be significantly lower.

Riders will be able to choose their preferred riding group (A – Advanced, B- Intermediate, C – Social) and we will try to honour the preference. Groups will be pre-allocated and will be a mix of VCR & CRCC. The initial batch of sessions will be for riders aged 16+, at some point we hope to be able to invite our stronger youth riders to some of these sessions.

We will try to ensure that everybody gets an equal opportunity to participate and due to the limited numbers at least initially, it may not be possible for everybody to join every week.

These sessions will essentially be club ride sessions and will be open to ALL Members of ALL Abilities – we will provide more details in a separate post.  There will be no formal on the night coaching. But riders will be expected to ride in groups.

The participating cost will be £5 per session which will be payable in advance.

More Details to come soon.

Saturday Morning Youth Training Sessions

The one real benefit that CNG offers Colchester Rovers is the ability to provide somewhere that is traffic-free for our youth riders to be coached safely.

Although a big commitment, our coaching team are keen to try and build the youth section within the club and it is for this reason the cycling club has committed to a 13-week booking at the CNG to hire the road circuit for 2 hours every Saturday morning between 09:00 and 11:00.

This booking will run from the 1st of May through to and including 24 July 2021.

At this point, we will then review the success of these sessions and work out how we proceed over the summer and autumn.

Tom Starmer will be updating Youth members with our plans in the next few days.

CNG Membership Discount

We understand from the CNG that there is the potential for our Rovers members to obtain a worthwhile discount on membership at the Northern Gateway Facility. This membership would include access to all public track hire sessions at the cycle facility. As soon as we have confirmation of the arrangement I will pass out the details to all club members.

Circuit Racing Series

The club is currently in detailed discussions with a partner regarding a potential series of circuit races at CNG later in the year.

 

The opportunities for Rovers to run sessions at the CNG are in place. If demand is high enough we are prepared to organise/book other sessions for the benefit of club members. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments box below. Please support the opportunities that the club has provided.   

I personally would like to thank Tom Starmer and Greg Andrews for their help during the concentrated period of discussions regarding club activity at the CNG.