Leading by example

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! 

SAOBA Annual Cycle Ride

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). 

DataAll riders are to email their Strava data for this ride to my email as below by 9am on Monday 23rd of November
a-m-dixon@msn. com

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. 
To enter, please email to Hon Secretary Tony Dixon at 
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! 

Tony Dixon

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