Is the BC masquerading as a general cycling club

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Philip Benstead
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Is the BC masquerading as a general cycling club

Postby Philip Benstead » 31 Aug 2011, 10:52pm

Is the British cycling masquerading as a general cycling club?

Is the British cycling masquerading as a general cycling club when in fact it is a racing club?

Their recreational rides appear to be shambolic, with too many inexperience cyclist together with very few experience riders in the group to pass on tips.

However, BC have collect large sums of money from the HMG in funds to get medal in 2012 they use some of the money to make out they are into participating cycling.

Is CTC getting It wrong with Bike Club unfunded with a few paid staff member trying to do a impossible job to get people riding.

Do we need more experience cyclist from District Association opps Members Groups to get thing moving.

Alternatively, does CTC Head Quarter’s opps National Office does not trust the volunteers (us), in this as in many other aspect of running the CTC.

CTC (is) was a independent membership organization?

despite the record membership is CTC becoming a government qango, and are we on a slippery slope

But do the local groups care?

Here in Greater London area, we have a mix, we some groups who have mix programme of rides well supported, but are not interest in activities out side of ride they leave it to the London Cycling Campaign.

While their other groups who have ride with only three or four regular riders.

The trouble as I see it is that we have into an ever-decreasing circle of decline in the local groups.

The format provided by some group does not fit into day’s life style, too many rides go on for too long, I am not saying it the speed, but the length in terms of time.

Many groups are run by very mature males who only have cycling in their life.

Some groups may lack the empathy to relate to new riders, and with the new rider may lack confidence in the banter of the club run this leads to perceived feeling of cliquishness

We need a wider circle of leaders in terms of outlook, to engender bonding and create esprit de core in groups that are embracing of newcomers and not stand offish.
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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Joined: 18 Feb 2007, 10:18pm
Location: Peterborough

Re: Is the BC masquerading as a general cycling club

Postby JT » 2 Sep 2011, 11:39am

Sky Rides are far from shambolic and I'd be interested to know on what you're basing this observation?

Disclosure: I'm the secretary of a CTC club, BC member and a qualified Sky Ride Leader.

Sky Ride Leaders receive a full day's training from British Cycling so that all their ride leaders are consistent in their actions. A further day's training is available to cover route planning. Each ride has a minimum of two Ride Leaders and then a ratio of an extra Ride Leader for every 8 participants. Ride Leaders are CRB-checked and hold a current first aid qualification. Routes are fully risk-assessed and this is available (online) to all the Ride Leaders assigned to a ride.

Ride Leaders are contracted to British Cycling and are paid £45 per ride (£30 for Assistant Ride Leaders). They also receive (free) a branded jersey and rain jacket for use on the rides (they have "Leader" in large lettering on the back) and a first aid kit. Oh and a year's free BC membership. In comparison, for running a CTC club and leading CTC rides I get precisely feck all.

Most of the money driving this programme comes from their partnership with Sky, not from the government. British Cycling's goal is to get more people cycling and hence more members (they have a recreational level membership package broadly similiar to CTC's) and Sky's goal is to get more people cycling and "to soften their image".

In all my dealings with both organisations, CTC do not compare favourably at all. British Cycling are way more professional and appear to be run in a much more corporate-like way. I fear the CTC's move to a charity will only widen this gulf.

What British Cycling don't currently have is a club/group structure for people who progress from the Sky Ride events. The next step for them in the BC structure is a local racing club and like many CTC groups, most of these clubs lack either the will or the bodies to promote cycling at this level. Should BC introduce something at this level (and it could be a virtual club with an online community and a small number of local organisers) then CTC would miss out on a lot of potential members.

Big T
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Location: Nottingham

Re: Is the BC masquerading as a general cycling club

Postby Big T » 6 Sep 2011, 1:59pm

I'm a member of a BC club and whilst I agree that most clubs don't cater for the type of absolute beginner that is likely to go to a Sky Ride, some do.

Wes started a beginners ride about 2 years ago and we're now getting 20+ riders out every Saturday. We do a 25 mile ride at 12 mph average, with a cafe stop halfway around. We've atttracted a lot of new members through this and some have gone on to particpate in our other, faster rides.

Local CTC group do cater for this type of rider, but their runs tend to be all-day, and not everyone can spare the time to go out all day. Our ride meets at 10.00 and we're back by 12.30ish, leaving the afternoon free for other actiities.
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Karen Sutton
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:18pm
Location: Greater Manchester

Re: Is the BC masquerading as a general cycling club

Postby Karen Sutton » 10 Sep 2011, 8:19pm

Our CTC Group does half day rides. I think those that don't offer something like this may find their days are numbered in the not too distant future.