It’s now just a little over 2 months before the Tour of the Hills (TOTH) which takes place on Sunday 6 August, at Shere Village Hall. Entries have started to come in, and so far seem to be doing better than last year, though it is very early days. As this is the club’s main event of the year, and our principal income source, it’s important for all of us that the event goes well.
Entry for TOTH is via the Audax website at:
There are two main ways you can help:
- Volunteering for one of the roles on the day
- Assisting with publicity for the event
Please take a moment to read on and consider how you can help the club make the event a success.
Volunteers – Your club needs you!
TOTH cannot function without a small army of volunteers in the hall, and out on the course. Each year, we have had a fantastic response from club members who have taken on these roles, and our volunteers have also had a great time in the process.
There are 6 separate checkpoints around the course, and we need marshals at each one of these. Their job is to check the riders in and out, stamping their Audax cards and – most importantly – handing out jelly babies, water top-ups and encouragement.
This year we are also looking for someone to coordinate the marshals, so a volunteer for this task would be much appreciated. We have a well-drilled system for the checkpoint stations (and all the necessary equipment) so the requirements for this job are already well set out. And John Murdoch, who has taken on this role for a number of years, has kindly offered to mentor and advise the new recruit.
Catering and in-hall support
Jill Ridyard is once again masterminding the catering in the village hall on the day, and will need some help both with preparing the food and drink in advance, and serving on the day. The catering is one of the main attractions of the event, and Jill will once again be managing the helpers by recruiting two shifts (morning and afternoon) to ease the burden on anyone who steps forward.
There are also a few other jobs in the hall itself, including a volunteer to deal with on-the-day entries and checking in riders when they return to the hall at the end of the ride.
Please let me or Jill know if you would be available to assist on any of the above roles.
We have already sent out emails to last year’s entrants and around 30 cycle clubs throughout the South-East to let them know details of the event, and the Audax magazine and website also provide valuable publicity. But these mailshots can be rather hit-and-miss, and it would be really helpful if club members could use their own contacts and local knowledge to ensure that we bring TOTH to the attention of potential entrants.
For WSCC members who ride with other clubs and cycle groups, a personal recommendation can speak far louder than an unsolicited email. So please feel free to sell TOTH to your cycle contacts in other clubs, and/or publicise the event on social media.
We have produced a stock of TOTH business cards and posters and we now need to work on how to get these in front of our target audience.
For the posters, the idea is to have these displayed in cycle-friendly environments such as the cafés and bike shops where we know that cyclists congregate in increasing numbers at this time of year. If you have ideas about good locations, please let me know so that we can get these into the field. For example, the cyclist’s “caravan” coffee/cake outlet at Tanhouse farm in Newdigate already has a large A4 TOTH poster pinned to it just where riders queue for their drinks.
The business cards can also be left at the same locations, and can also be handed to likely-looking groups of cyclists we encounter at coffee stops or out on the road. We know for sure that this has been an effective way to encourage entrants.
If you would like some TOTH business cards, and/or a printed poster, please let me know and I will endeavour to get them to you.
Thanks, in anticipation of your support!