Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers have cancelled their Open 50 mile time trial scheduled for Sunday 14th August. A late addition to the racing calendar, the BJW 50 had received just 21 entries by the closing date of Tuesday 2nd August. Requiring over half that number to marshal and run the event the Jubilee decided to pull the plug. The demise of the BJW 50 continues the growing trend away from long distance time trialling. A quick look through the 1996 RTTC handbook shows ten 50's listed in the "P" South District, contrast that with just four 20 years later in 2016 (3 after the BJW cancellation) .
Nothing new there of course, long distance events have been in decline since before 1996 for a variety of reasons, not least, simply the loss of courses due to changing traffic conditions. Club events are also suffering, particularly in the south west of the region, with the Poole Wheelers routinely cancelling their Wednesday night races and CC Weymouth, Bournemouth Arrow & Bournemouth Jubilee struggling to attract more than a dozen or so to their midweek events. Apathy or geography? Further east & north the entries are better, the Andover Wheelers and the New Forest CC regularly get 30 plus fields, a wider catchment area no doubt swelling the numbers. Even further East, ...a3crg are turning people away from their Wednesday night events, the 80 strong fields include riders from all over the district, no apathy here, the reason....speed. These days riders want fast, dual carriageway courses and if they can be back at the HQ in 20 minutes, even better.