Last month, despite the ongoing restrictions, a determined group of Old Boys managed to complete the 3rd Annual SAOBA Cycle Ride. Whilst the group could not meet in person, and thanks to technology they were able to join virtually using the newly formed SAOBA Strava Group!
Congratulations to this years SAOBA champion cyclist, Mike Collins, (class of 1980) a clear and deserving winner. Mike cycled 54 miles in the timed 3hr at an average speed of 17.95mph. His elevation gain was a huge 1149m, so he was in the running for King of the Mountains as well. Well done Mike Collins! We were sorry to hear that Ian Taylor, our 2019 SAOBA champion and 2019 King of the Mountains had been struck down by Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago. But he made a great recovery – enough to ride again (despite medical advice!) and with his brother Peter Taylor he was in the running for KOTM again. The stats show that Ian climbed 1,244 metres but was just beaten by his brother Peter (class of 1981) who wins this years SAOBA KOTM with an elevation gain of 1245m. Congratulations to Peter Taylor, SAOBA King of the Mountains 2020. Sibling rivalry is strong, so next year will be interesting! Our other seven riders all performed well. Dominic Leach (1981), Adrian Lewis (1984), Tony Dixon (1980), Daniel Dixon (2009), Mike O’ Kell (1980) and Simon Harrop (1980). Thank you everyone for participating.
If you would like to join this group and connect with your fellow SAOBA Cycle enthusiasts, it’s called the SAOB cycle club. You can find it on Strava by searching for SAOB in the clubs section. Click join and you’re in.
Our Hon Secretary, Tony Dixon, has been leading by example during lockdown, with an incredible new initiative that helps, mind, body, and the environment…Litter Picking!
On 20th September, Tony spearheaded a marathon 12 hr, 9 mile, litterpick across Warrington, organising a relay litterpick of 6 teams. It gathered 62 bags and broke a few local records. It was reported in “Warrington Worldwide”.
Litterpicking is a way of taking purposeful outdoor exercise while exploring a locality – and at the same time, picking up litter with a grabber!
Simple but effective, it can be done solo, in pairs or as part of a larger co-ordinated team. Litterpickers are people who volunteers to serve the local community by improving their local environment.
Anyone who can manage moderate intensity exercise can do this, similar to gardening. The setting can be rural, urban, trail or parkland. It can be incredibly mindful. Volunteers feel empowered and positive after a session, particularly as part of a team. How many activities have you done where passers by have stopped to say “thank you”?
It is usually done walking but for longer trails there has been some success with cycle litterpicking using a trailer. Various levels of equipment are used including duo trolleys to pick and separate litter from recyclables.
Safety (traffic, water etc) is a major concern and public group picks have to be Risk Assessed. Tony’s group follows Keep Britain Tidy guidance, and as a KBT #Litterheroes Ambassador also uses their free PL insurance and educational updates. KBT supports a national network of groups.
The groups are easy to find, on Facebook : Clean Up My Community – Warrington Latchford Litter Network And similar Facebook Community pages for newer local Litter networks Lymm Litter NetworkOrford Litter Network and others are in the pipeline; Fairfield and Howley, Whitecross, Bewsey.
There are a number of local litterpicking groups which have started up across Warrington this year. This autumn we have distributed free low cost grabbers to the public – the first event was in Westy. This has tied in with launching the Facebook local “litter network” pages in key areas of town. Tony’s Tuesday team started in 2019 and has continued most weeks since, now approaching their 1000th litter bag of 2020, despite all the restrictions and time lost in lockdown.
Once we are out of lockdown, any of you will be welcome to join for a trial session!
Despite the new UK second lockdown we plan to safely and legally hold our third annual SAOBA cycle ride later this month.
This is all about participation. Because of the current Covid-19 lockdown we are restricted to using a “virtual” SAOBA ride this year. This will be completely legal, as we will not gather in any group. Everyone who participates will ride either solo or paired.
Most participants will be doing geographically separate distanced rides. We will be miles apart and will not physically see each other. But we will all be connected to the event using the Strava phone app.
Please do participate if you can safely do so, wherever you happen to be. The safest way is riding solo (paired cycling is legal and acceptable too). Unfortunately we cannot all meet and socialise this year, but it is important to remember that we are still “all in this together” and we intend to continue our annual bike ride legally and safely.
This will be a simple 3 hour timed bike ride, where you use Strava to record your route and stats. You can choose your own local route, wherever you happen to be, anywhere in the world. When is it? Saturday November 21st, we suggest starting at around 10am for best UK daylight. Please note that with this format your start time is flexible. You can adjust your own start time or even use Sunday 22nd instead if you prefer, depending on personal factors, local weather etc. Route. You choose! You will need to plan your self chosen route for an enjoyable 3 hour timed ride. Suggested start time is 10am (as above). Hi-vis clothing and lights are recommended. Be safe and be seen. All riders must return to their original start point towards the end of their ride to complete their “circular“ route. (to minimise altitude/wind effects).
StravaPlease download the free Strava app (if you have not already done so) and familiarise yourself with recording your rides. Please plan your route so that your Strava “moving time” will be a little over 3 hours. Your route must return you to your start point towards the end.
Please will you also take a couple of selfies during the ride and attach these to your Strava ride. Some of the selfies might be used on our SAOBA website later on. www.saoba.org Stops for food or mechanical issues are not a problem. Strava will distinguish your moving time from your total elapsed time. So it is OK to stop to refuel or take your 2 photos. Please check Strava is still running as you embark.
All riders must do a 3hr “moving time” ride to complete their ride (excluding breaks, and verified by the Strava moving time).
The Strava ride data format will include a route map, your two ride photos, start and finish time, elapsed time, moving time, distance, average speed and elevation gain. We will rank riders by comparing distance, average speed, and elevation gain data.
We will award our new SAOBA 2020-2021 Cycling Champion with a trophy after lockdown. Conditions of entry Open to former pupils of St Ambrose College. Must be aged over 21 years at entry. No ebikes or artificial propulsive power please! Each rider is individually responsible for their own safety, and all participants enter at their own risk. The Hon Secretary’s decision is final. Registration To enter, please email to Hon Secretary Tony Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, address, DOB, mobile no and the year you left St Ambrose College. The closing date for entries is 18/11/2020. If there are any questions please email me back, as above.
Thank you for your attention and I hope that you can take part this year.
Stay safe and happy cycling!
SAOBA Hon Secretary ***Feel free to forward this to other past pupils of St Ambrose.
Roll of Honour – Former SAOBA Cycling Champions
2018 – 2019 – Mike O’Kell 2019 – 2020 – Ian Taylor
In a year full of uncertainty, we are pleased to report that The Annual St Ambrose Old Boys Association Golf Day was held recently at the Mere Golf Club.
The rule of 6 was applied to the letter, as 6 SAOBA Golf Day stalwarts took to the tee, to honour and celebrate the life of the late George Tsiantar, whilst maintaining this prestigious event.
Dave Wilkinson successfully defended his title from 2019 with an outstanding score of 40 pts – Mere was a great course to play in very accommodating weather. Mike Budd, a future captain of the Mere Club was an excellent host in challenging circumstances.
Participants even welcomed a brief cameo appearance from Scott McTominay, the very talented Manchester United and Scotland midfielder who joined them briefly on the 17th green.
The Leading Scores were:
1st Dave Wilkinson 40pts
2nd Mike Budd 36pts
3rd Noel Devery 32pts
4th Peter Riley 28pts
5th Tony Harper 26pts
6th Mark Gallimore 18pts
A fantastic effort from all involved. This year has been like no other, and whilst events remain indefinitely postponed, we look forward to being together again in the future.
It is with great sadness that we advise that George Tsiantar has died. George who attended the school from 1968 to 1977 was a regular attendee at the Annual Dinner and a great friend to many people. He will be sorely missed.
George was an outstanding host of the annual Old Boys Golf Trip to the South of France and was a well known, popular and much loved Old Boy.
He leaves his wife Suzanne and their three boys. Details of any funeral arrangements will be announced over the next few days. We have received the below information regarding funeral arrangements:
George’s funeral is limited to such a small number that we cannot invite even close family and friends that we would wish to. We will definitely have an inclusive memorial mass and a big celebration of George’s life at Kersal RFC next year, when the Covid restrictions are lifted.
The funeral will be at St. Vincent’s RC Church, at 12 noon on Wednesday 5th August, followed by a cremation for immediate family only.
The Stamford Arms is prepared for 80 people to be there, outside and 30 inside, safe and according to the guidelines on social distancing, from 12 noon with copies of the Order of Service and a glass of champagne or any drink they prefer.
We will start at 11.55am from George’s mum’s flat on Bentinck Rd, from Parkfield Rd, down to the church and after the service we will follow George past the Stamford Arms on the way to the crematorium. I hope this gives anyone who wants to, an opportunity to pay their respects to George.