The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Simon L6 » 13 Sep 2009, 8:57pm

ellis rowell wrote:
I too think that we may see some groups cease to exist. The group itself may still exist as an independent group (in effect forming their own club), this is nothing new. Breakaway groups have always happened, chiefly through younger members wanting to take part in racing and then affiliated to the NCU or BC. I think that the scene is different this time round, it's more likely to be the older members who will break away from oppressive bureaucracy. Especially those who are anti these new-fangled typing machines made possible by Alan Turing when they were kids.
Are you just speculating, Ellis, or do you have grounds for thinking this?

glueman
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby glueman » 14 Sep 2009, 10:48am

Simon L6 wrote:
ellis rowell wrote:
I too think that we may see some groups cease to exist. The group itself may still exist as an independent group (in effect forming their own club), this is nothing new. Breakaway groups have always happened, chiefly through younger members wanting to take part in racing and then affiliated to the NCU or BC. I think that the scene is different this time round, it's more likely to be the older members who will break away from oppressive bureaucracy. Especially those who are anti these new-fangled typing machines made possible by Alan Turing when they were kids.
Are you just speculating, Ellis, or do you have grounds for thinking this?

No, Alan Turing is definitely to blame.

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ellis rowell
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby ellis rowell » 15 Sep 2009, 10:54pm

Simon L6 wrote:Are you just speculating, Ellis, or do you have grounds for thinking this?


I can only say speculating, at this time, but with the knowledge that there are certain splinter groups even within our own group (the former Cambridge D.A.). The Sunday rides are now splintered with some going out in the morning to the coffee stop then home, some to the coffee stop then on to lunch, some going straight home after lunch whilst a few go to the arranged tea place to meet up with the afternoon run. Our rides secretary has the unenviable job of guessing how many to book for (which is the minimum number we pay for). The result is that the Group are subsidising those members who do not bother to come to tea. There is a minimum number which is viable as far as our caterers are concerned, if we do not get enough members attending the teas may have to be dropped. This will mean even more fragmentation of the Group. We also have a Tuesday Senior Cyclists' Group (with lunch at a pub), a Thursday Group (with lunch at a pub which is usually well attended) and a Saturday Morning ride for new members and prospective members.

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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Simon L6 » 16 Sep 2009, 9:39am

Woah! there, Ellis. Wait a second. The more rides a DA runs the merrier. Forget the 'subsidy' thing - the more options you give new members the more chance you have of building the DA. Surely the clever thing to do is to get a list of all tne e-mail addresses in the DA from National Office and mail a rides list, or a little bit of a blurb with a link to the website, and advertise all of these rides.

As for booking for tea - why? Why not go somewhere that doesn't require a booking?

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Si
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Si » 16 Sep 2009, 9:45am

Having various people turn up for different parts of the ride (with some even driving to the lunch stop then driving home) is something that is common in our group. I don't think that it is anything to do with the way that the CTC/DAs/MGs are structured or operate, no, in our case it's more to do with how people fit cycling into ever more busy lives (and those that drive to the stops tend to be those not up to riding any more but like to stay in touch with friends).

I think that our set up is a little different to yours, Ellis, as we don't book specific numbers. We just warn them that there will be a bunch of cyclists turning up around lunch time and they seem happy for the trade. Although traditionally our lunch Sunday stops have been a buy drinks and bring your own sardies affair, this is now on the decline as fewer pubs/cafes want people eating their own sardies so we have to buy on arrival more often. Still, the caterers don't seem to mind not having firm bookings - especially in these troubled times when they have fewer customers.

We also tend to get a moderately different crowd on the Saturday runs to the other ones. Again, this is down to the business of modern life - many find that they can't devote a whole day to a ride so the Saturday morning is the one that they choose. We don't see this as a problem or as splintering, rather with see it as the club being even more successful because it's catering for more people with diverging needs.

As for "oppressive bureaucracy" well, I'm not a chairman or sec' so can't comment on how bad it is from first hand experience, but I'm a committee member and the committee meetings that I attend don't suggest that anyone is being swamped in bureaucracy. The odd thing has to be sorted, as ever has been the way, and there is always a grumble to be had about something (wouldn't be a proper committee if there wasn't :D ) but nothing that has caused us to consider breaking away. I'd be interested, thus, to know why those groups that have dropped MG status and become affiliates have chosen to do so?


edit: D'oh, I see Simon got in before me to say the same thing in rather fewer words, but as I've typed all this I'm not going to delete it!

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Gareth Rees » 16 Sep 2009, 3:31pm

CTC Cambridge does list all its rides on its website http://ctc-cambridge.org.uk/ and on the printed runs lists. I don't think the number of different rides (five or more a week in summer) is evidence of discontent. It's because people have different abilities, schedules, and commitments to work and family, so they need different times and distances of rides. Maybe it's a feature of modern life that people can't commit to a club to the extent that they could 20 or 30 years ago?

(I don't think that the riders who skip tea are being subsidised, because the secretary knows who they are, and factors that into his estimate for how many to make the booking for.)

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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Simon L6 » 16 Sep 2009, 4:27pm

Gareth Rees wrote:CTC Cambridge does list all its rides on its website http://ctc-cambridge.org.uk/ and on the printed runs lists. I don't think the number of different rides (five or more a week in summer) is evidence of discontent. It's because people have different abilities, schedules, and commitments to work and family, so they need different times and distances of rides. Maybe it's a feature of modern life that people can't commit to a club to the extent that they could 20 or 30 years ago?

(I don't think that the riders who skip tea are being subsidised, because the secretary knows who they are, and factors that into his estimate for how many to make the booking for.)
I think that's absolutely the case. I started riding at night because I had no time to ride at the weekend.

As a matter of interest does Cambridge e-mail its rides list, or news, out to the wider membership? (When I get around to doing it) ours goes out to about 1100 addresses.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Gareth Rees » 16 Sep 2009, 4:43pm

Simon L6 wrote:As a matter of interest does Cambridge e-mail its rides list, or news, out to the wider membership?


No, I don't think it does. There's an e-mail list http://groups.google.com/group/ctc-cambridge but that only goes to people who take the trouble to sign up to it.

I'll suggest this to the secretary. Is there some documentation on how to e-mail the local membership? Is this a service the CTC provides, or does it hand out the list of addresses?

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ellis rowell
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby ellis rowell » 16 Sep 2009, 7:59pm

Gareth, your idea is certainly good, but unfortunately because of the way the CTC has registered for Data protection it is not possible. It could be different but would need for the CTC to re-register stating that branch officers had access to the data. I had no problem when I registered for data protection back in 1986. You only have to state who you will divulge information to.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Sep 2009, 8:44pm

I can't help but think there must be something in this about computers and the Cyclists Turing Club. Probably not very funny, so I won't bother. Oh blow, I've gone and done it anyway :oops:

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ellis rowell
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby ellis rowell » 16 Sep 2009, 9:30pm

thirdcrank wrote:I can't help but think there must be something in this about computers and the Cyclists Turing Club. Probably not very funny, so I won't bother. Oh blow, I've gone and done it anyway :oops:


Very good thirdcrank, I hadn't thought of that one. For those that haven't seen the joke, it's not a typographical error.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Karen Sutton » 16 Sep 2009, 9:48pm

As Simon has mentioned, Groups are increasingly suffering fragmentation during rides as people fit the cycling into other parts of their life. Some people going home directly after lunch could hardly be called a splinter group brought on by the Member Group changes, surely? This has nothing to do with beaurocracy or administration. We have people joining and leaving our rides at all different times of the day. It just adds interest and we joke about how many different riders have been with us through the day. :)

I'll join in the off topic debate on booking refreshment stops for rides however. With regard to booking meals,in our our Group the ride leader asks around at the morning coffee stop how many are having lunch with us. The leader will have called the pub/cafe previously to book on a guesstimate, letting them know they will call with a definite number and estimated arrival time during the morning of the ride. Then at the coffee stop he/she will call the establishment to give this information.

If anyone is going to meet us at lunchtime without riding with us in the morning they know that they have to let the ride leader know in advance so they can be booked in. If they don't they go hungry! We don't tend to have to book morning coffee/afternoon tea stops as we have three rides on Sunday, almost always going to different refreshment stops. The midweek rides are different as groups diverge on a booked lunch venue, with groups of riders coming from different areas but all meeting for lunch.

By the way, we don't have committee meetings. We have the AGM. Then we have 3 "runs list meetings" each year, when the programme is drawn up and subsequently loaded onto the website. Then if there is something important to discuss which needs more people than just the Group officials, we call a meeting at the club room night.

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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Simon L6 » 17 Sep 2009, 12:48am

ellis rowell wrote:Gareth, your idea is certainly good, but unfortunately because of the way the CTC has registered for Data protection it is not possible. It could be different but would need for the CTC to re-register stating that branch officers had access to the data. I had no problem when I registered for data protection back in 1986. You only have to state who you will divulge information to.
You're wrong, Ellis. Our DA gets membership data including e-mail addresses from the National Office.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby George Riches » 17 Sep 2009, 9:19am

If you are going to send a bulk emailing to everyone in CTC in your area, I'd advise you to clearly include in the messages how a person can remove their address from the mailing list.

People get very shirty about what they think is Spam; they might report it and their spam filtering service might then start classifying all the emails which look similar as Spam and divert them away into the "dunce's corner" where all the supposed Spam goes, rather than into the Inbox.

Also ensure that no-one can find the other addresses on the mailing list by just examining one message (putting everyone as BC rather than TO or CC is an easy way to prevent the problem).

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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Simon L6 » 17 Sep 2009, 10:12am

George Riches wrote:If you are going to send a bulk emailing to everyone in CTC in your area, I'd advise you to clearly include in the messages how a person can remove their address from the mailing list.
I've been doing it for three years without a problem - and I've used blind copies from the word go.

What's striking is the large number of responses saying 'thankyou for getting in touch'. Perhaps they think it's part of the service they pay for. Which it is.