'New' Groups

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Ralph Smith

new groups

Postby Ralph Smith » 23 Oct 2008, 8:57pm

I live in Bromsgrove Worc's my nearest group is Kidderminster 9 miles not far if one is a lot more able and maybe youger (I'm 60+) I see a number of solo cyclists in the lanes but most seem loners. I don't mind riding on my own but miss riding in a groupe, the local club, like most clubs don't offer anything for the slower less able riders.
I have suggested a contact group, a collection of riders who can be contacted by phone etc, for though of us who don't ride on a regular day or time. If anyone knows someone who would enjoy some company please let me know

glueman
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Postby glueman » 24 Oct 2008, 9:14am

As riders grow older they tend to move out of the city or town that's the normal hub of cycling activity and live in the kind of places those groups ride out to. That and more leisure time is why the lanes are full of lost souls looking for like minds to ride with but seeing only ships in the night, er...afternoon.

I reckon with the right motivator some of our larger villages could give city groups a run for their money numbers wise, but with security and age come independence and a desire for things just as we like them (on a plate).

Bikebits
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Postby Bikebits » 6 Nov 2008, 11:57pm

Hi,
I've not read every post so apologise from the start. I think that members should just do the maths.

We are a nation of 60 million; there were 63 DAs with perhaps 200 Sections and quite a few undeclared rides on the side. CTC has 60,000 members with a reasonable geographical spread. The vast majority of members don't participate in DA or Section rides.

The majority of CTC Members and the majority of the UK population live more than 15 miles from the start of a DA ride. CTC fails to meet the diversity that is British society, women are still referred to as "ladies" and there's hardly a BME presence! Many major centres of population don't have a single CTC group. Venerable CTC may be, but that's hardly enough to see the Club forward within modern society.

Some DAs behave as if they owned the turf, but also CTC has franchised them as if they do. Are we meeting member needs, the answer has to be NO!

How does CTC change to meet the challenge? Member Groups is the only way to go, CTC has to recognise diversity in people's aspirations and societal backgrounds, the homogeneity of the 1950 has gone, the formulas are different. Any grouping has a point at which it has grown to its limit as a social dynamic, DAs were never likely to foster and support the level of participation needed.

If there can’t be a CTC group for every circa 30,000 population then CTC cannot be the comprehensive organisation that most members would I think want it to be.

This is a change that should have taken place 20 years ago. It is up to the broad membership to make it work by getting out there and contacting new participants in many and varied settings.

Karen Sutton
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Location: Greater Manchester

Postby Karen Sutton » 7 Nov 2008, 10:42am

Bikebits, You speak like someone who knows quite a bit about the workings of CTC. Are you a Councillor, or a Member Group official?

I am Membership Registrar for South Manchester CTC. I'm currently also Treasurer of Manchester & District CTC but will relinquish that post tomorrow at the AGM in Manchester.

So,
We know that a small percentage of CTC members ride with CTC Groups. Is that because:

a) They only joined CTC for the third party insurance or to support the work of CTC and are not interested in riding with a group?

Or
b) There is no Group near them?

Or:
c) They don't know that Local Groups exist?

It is up to members to start new groups in their locality if there isn't one. CTC National Office can provide resources and support, but cannot physically start a Member Group.

More publicity is needed to let new members know that Local Groups exist. Then if there are CTC members in an area without a Group they will know that starting a group is possible.

At our AGM a few weeks ago we discussed exactly this point. When you join CTC all you get is a membership card. Yes there is a list of Group contacts in the magazine but I really think more could be done to make members aware of Local Groups. Otherwise we rely on members trawling the depths of the website to find information.A few years ago I was involved in developing information leaflets:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Go_Biki ... agroup.pdf

It was suggested that these leaflets be sent out to new members with their membership card. This has never happened. A few leaflets were sent to each group Secretary, but then it was buried in the website. There is a companion leaflet to this for ride leaders:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Go_Biki ... rguide.pdf

As Membershp Registrar for a CTC Member Group I will be obtaining copies of the Guide for Riding with a group to send out to new CTC members in our area. As we cover an area which currently has 1400 CTC members that's quite a few, but I don't think this sort of publicity is particularly widespread.

Our local National Councillor has said he will raise this issue at National Council to see if the information new members receive can be improved.

The root of the matter is that CTC has changed a lot since the 1950's, when there were many more CTC Groups. There were many more cyclists then because far fewer people had cars. People extended their transport to their leisure time, so cycling was extremely popular.
Now that cyclists are faced with such high levels of traffic and our rights on the road could so easily be taken away CTC is focussing additionally on those matters rather than the original grass roots of the club which saw cycling as a leisure activity. But with a membership of 60,000 there must be enough members to facilitate a reasonable number of Groups, without expecting it laid out on a plate by the already overstretched staff at CTC National Office.

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Simon L6
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Postby Simon L6 » 7 Nov 2008, 1:06pm

part of the problem, historically, is that local groups (principally DAs) have received diddlysquit from the National Office, and that today's offering is only marginally off diddlysquit. Hence the motion to the last AGM, defeated by the Chair's casting vote......

The lesson we've learnt in the SW London DA is that if you want something you have to do it for yourself.

barry

Postby barry » 7 Nov 2008, 1:32pm

We all know that very few members go on club rides, many DA's or member groups are run by groups of friends who have been riding for many years and do not welcome new members or new ides.
I believe the new structure will it easier for new groups to form.
I think that CTC has to realise that for many members the all day Sunday ride is not what people want, given the demands on family time etc.
There is a need for groups to provide short rides at an easy pace.
I know that quite a few groups already do this.
If any member wants to form a new group, I would suggest first of all contacting your local member group if you have one, if not contact your local councillor, you will find we are only to happy to help out, for instance at present I am in the process of helping East Kent re launch itself.
Last edited by barry on 7 Nov 2008, 6:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Si
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Postby Si » 7 Nov 2008, 1:43pm

It is up to members to start new groups in their locality if there isn't one. CTC National Office can provide resources and support, but cannot physically start a Member Group.


I think that this is a key point. There have been one or two remarks by people who are dissapointed that there is not a group in their area. But if we think it through it becomes obvious that the CTC cannot just start up a group where ever it wants. Groups must be started by local people - the CTC can't just bus in a committee, buy them houses to live in, find them jobs, and thus allow them to start up a group for the locals :wink:

However, what the CTC can do is support new groups and give them help in getting off the ground, and in recruitting members.

What they can also do is support existing groups and try to help them not vanish like a number have.....of course, how they do this is another question.

E.C.Ryder
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Postby E.C.Ryder » 7 Nov 2008, 5:00pm

I suppose I must be one of the `old guard` of the CTC, as I`ve been on and off a Section Secretary oops sorry member group as we are now, for many moons. I`m just wondering what you guys out there think this new CTC structure will do to help those that ride out with their groups every Sunday?
All it`s done for me is more paperwork before and after our AGM, plus finding more volunteers to fill the extra post the CTC wants us to have.

barry

Postby barry » 7 Nov 2008, 6:53pm

E.C.Ryder wrote:I suppose I must be one of the `old guard` of the CTC, as I`ve been on and off a Section Secretary oops sorry member group as we are now, for many moons. I`m just wondering what you guys out there think this new CTC structure will do to help those that ride out with their groups every Sunday?
All it`s done for me is more paperwork before and after our AGM, plus finding more volunteers to fill the extra post the CTC wants us to have.


The new structure will have very little impact on groups all ready up and running, however it will enable groups of members to form themselves into new Member Groups or informal groups attached to an existing group. 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.

I have been attending local group AGM's in the SE and the new structure seems to be settling down without to many problems.

Oxfordshire has a new women’s group which is flourishing. South Hampshire has a very successful group for those riders wanting a leisurely day.

You do not have to appoint a welfare officer.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 7 Nov 2008, 6:56pm

barry wrote:You do not have to appoint a welfare officer.


:shock: What is the world coming to :?:

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Simon L6
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Postby Simon L6 » 8 Nov 2008, 6:27am

I think the welfare thing has been misunderstood. Think of it as making the kind of concern that a club has for its members made regular. We have welfare as an agenda item at our DA committee meetings.

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Cunobelin
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Postby Cunobelin » 8 Nov 2008, 7:16am

Just to put a different slant on this.....

I am a member of a pofessional n
body, I enjoy the "forum life", the information and the reassurance of membership benefits.... I also use the services such as legal advice and discounts.

I do not however attend meetings or wish to take part in these "group" activities.

The same with the CTC.

Secondly I am a cyclist - I do not want to belong to a trikes group when I am on the Catrike, a Rohloff group on the Thorn, a men's group because i am male, or an over 50's group because of my age...


Perhaps we need to undertake some form of qualitative research as to why people have joined and what they want.

We could also get useful information as to whether their perceptions have changed.

A project for a Student?

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 8 Nov 2008, 8:19am

Simon L6 wrote:I think the welfare thing has been misunderstood.


I hope that is not the case - Jimmy the Hand pointed us to the 'welfare officer' guidelines which are in a PDF document on the CTC desktop.

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Simon L6
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Postby Simon L6 » 8 Nov 2008, 10:15am

Traditionally cycling clubs have supported colleagues and club members who may not have family and need support and advice at difficult times during their lives. We recognise someone taking the welfare role within the club may already be carrying out this role. This is a more informal aspect of the welfare role, and may be carried out informally and sometimes subconsciously by other members of the club.

...........which starts by making the point. Clubs look after their members.

The DDA requires 'service providers' to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate members who have some form of impairment - a requirement that the CTC takes seriously. Given the average age on most CTC group rides, impairment is something that most groups will have to come to terms with. My experience is that reasonable provision is part and parcel of the culture of cycling clubs. How this is dealt with in procedural terms matters little. What's important is that it is dealt with.

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meic
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Postby meic » 11 Dec 2008, 7:43pm

Barry said that many groups do not welcome new riders.
I would just like to say that is not the case in Swansea. New riders are eagerly welcomed into our very friendly little group. In fact this is so much so that new riders may not realise that one of the existing group of friends only joined last week!

The point about whole day rides is worth attention.
On our all day rides, everyone wants to go out all day, so we are hardly going to opt for only doing half a day for the benefit of someone who isnt there, which of course means they will never be there.
So it would be up to someone who wanted a half day ride to organise it, rather than someone who wants to ride all day. If they did organise it and it didnt clash with the day ride then many of us would come to that aswell.

I have tried to establish groups of different types and soon discovered that there is a big difference between people who say they would attend a type of event and the number that actually materialise.
So I would caution against interfering with a setup which is working for even a small number of people as this is possibly going to result in losing the riders that do come with no gains.

Swansea now has a Welfare Officer with some confusion, very few people could see any difference between what he will now do and what he had always done because he is a nice guy.
Yma o Hyd