2020 has been a disastrous year for cycling. With cancelled events and group riding halted, it’s fair to say that Chard Wheelers are looking for 2021 to be a much more fruitful year.

Despite all the down times, there have been parts of 2020 when restrictions were lifted and club members could do what they love.

Steve Noyce said: “After being furloughed in March, I made the most of my time forced on me.

“I cycled every day on my own with the intention to road race, time trial, and do the local Cyclo-cross league, but as time went on I found the only thing I could do was the odd local time trial.

“But after coming off my bike out training and breaking three ribs, this definitely put the mockers on all my plans!

“Since then I’ve helping my sister set up her new venture hub cycle shop in Dinnington Docks.”

Wiebke Rietz said: “Five Chard Wheelers were able to ride the National Hill Climb Championships in Streatley this year.

“Rex Facey, longstanding member of the club and former Hill Climb Champion, came agonisingly close to winning his age group, missing the winning time by one 400th of a second.

“Also taking part were Mike Egan, Ollie Pennington and Daniel Eastment.”

Brandon Ellis, the club’s British Cycling (BC) representative added: “From the racing perspective, everything is still very much up in the air for next year at the moment, until Covid starts to be resolved.

“BC are hoping to start racing again on April 1.”

Club president Paul Barratt said: “It’s been a sad year for cycling, as it has been for most sports, but with the promise of a vaccine next year we can be hopeful for a return to rides and races in due course.”

Alistair Salter, the club’s youth coach, commented: “Youth development centres are up and running again across the South West.

“My son Will raced at Bournemouth track, won the two opening races at Odd Down following lockdown, and put in a 22-minute, 10-mile TT at Castle Combe.”

The wheels will start turning again soon at 1st Chard Wheelers; see the club website here for more details.