I know someone who turned up for a club ride. I'll not mention his name or the DA involved. No one asked him how fast he usually rides or how far, although most (not all) of those there said hello to him and introduced themselves.
The ride was going well, although he was finding it a good workout to keep in the middle of the group, until he punctured. No one stopped to help, asked him if he was OK, had a repair outfit or pump, knew where he was, had a map or anything they just rode on.
Needless to say he didn't go back and left the CTC.
While there are many good DAs out there there are some hopeless ones and if you are unlucky enough to live in 'their' area you are stuck.
Anything relating to the clubs associated with Cycling UK
barry wrote: The exciting thing about informal groups is the lack of formality, no committees etc. and they can offer rides not normally put on by the old DA's i.e. women only rides, morning rides, beginner rides the possibilities are endless.
But an informal group cannot actually set up independently of another Group. An informal Group has to have a "Parent Group" which was a registered Member Group, complying with all the Group Policies and Rules. The Handbok for Groups says this:
“Informal groups” operate under the umbrella of a Member Group, and are established by individual members to carry out certain activities. They will tend to be small groups who would struggle to find sufficient members to be viable as a member group. They are not required to comply with the bureaucratic responsibilities of the member group, so they will not need to have a committee structure, cannot have a bank account, and do not need to have an AGM, or produce end of year reports.
An informal group can have an AGM or other meetings and appoint informal officers however the outcome(s) or decisions of which must be ratified by the parent member group at the Member Group AGM or by the elected committee of the member group respectively. The member group must register all volunteers of its informal groups".
So it is not really so simple to start an Informal Group. It is easy for an existing small group which is part of the old DA system to become an informal group. (Two more of the old Sections in Manchester became Informal Groups this year (in addition to the two who did this in 2007).
Also note that if an informal group wants its organisers protected by the CTC Organiser's Liability Insurance it must register them through a Registered Member Group. That Member Group is also expected to sort of keep a eye on the activities of the Informal Group, to make sure they are being carried out properly. (See the bit about decisions being ratified at the parent member group AGM). At least an informal group is now allowed to have a website (in 2007 that wasn't allowed) but still cannot have a bank account.