What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

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TerryJones
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What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby TerryJones » 28 Jul 2015, 11:12am

Member Groups are an asset to the CTC, but most members don't ride with a group. What should be done to increase participation? Why do members choose not to participate?
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

I'd be interested to know why you think MGs are an asset to CTC

Local feedback, and the massive growth in CTC affiliated clubs seems to point toward MGs not being that effective .... the oft quoted "£40+ quid to ride my bike" is probably an indicator?

Rob

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Psamathe » 28 Jul 2015, 12:09pm

(Although no longer a member of the CTC), I don't quite see where the MGs fit in with the new direction the CTC seems to be pursuing. They seem to be becoming less of a club and more of an advocacy/campaign group using finances sought for large (government) sources. So in what way do MGs help the NO's aims for getting the £millions from government for their big ticket campaigns.

Ian

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admin
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby admin » 29 Jul 2015, 7:50pm

If you want more participation in Member Groups: push the positive aspects of belonging to and riding with a cycling club. Things like conversations about cycling-related issues, technical knowledge, the amazing knowledge of CTC members about the best pubs and tea rooms for miles around, challenges like Audax rides, foreign tours, or the DATC. These things can have a strong appeal for keen cyclists.

Try to view the whole thing from an outsider's point of view. Joining a local group involves meeting a bunch of strangers all in one go. Non-cycling social events might be easier for those who aren't sure whether they can ride fast enough, or far enough. Perhaps run very short beginner rides, perhaps ten miles or less, as non-members have no idea how far they can ride on a bike. Even a "short" ride can sound almost impossible to someone who hasn't ridden more than a few miles before. My first ever ride with CTC was when I was a late-teens member of the Southampton University Cycle Touring Club. Our club generally rode for 20 to 30 miles maximum, but the local CTC group took us 60 miles which was a shock. We didn't join them again.

Sadly the vast majority of the population think that cycling is a dangerous activity, that requires specialist training, high-viz clothing, and head protection. As such, going on a day-long bike ride can seem a similar challenge to sky diving. However much you tell them that statistically it's safe, people will worry.

If you want more people riding bicycles: provide some safe, pleasant places where ordinary people are happy to ride bicycles. Support Space 4 Cycling, and CTC as a national charity. If done properly you can make it so the majority of people will use bicycles for transport on a regular basis, and riding a bicycle can become as commonplace as driving a car is in the UK. You probably won't get new CTC members this way, though.

PH
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby PH » 29 Jul 2015, 8:55pm

TerryJones wrote: Why do members choose not to participate?


robgul wrote: the oft quoted "£40+ quid to ride my bike" is probably an indicator?


Good answer but probably to a different question.

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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 30 Jul 2015, 8:52am

PH wrote:
TerryJones wrote: Why do members choose not to participate?


robgul wrote: the oft quoted "£40+ quid to ride my bike" is probably an indicator?


Good answer but probably to a different question.


I think it IS an answer to the question .... I would venture to suggest that a significant proportion, if not the majority, of people wanting to cycle with a group (and share all the experiences etc described in admin's post) are not very interested in all the campaigning stuff (or the so called "member benefit discounts") and therefore not willing to part with the money for full membership - when they can join a cycling club (CTC affiliated or not) for a lot less.

Informal research amongst the longer-established and the crop of very recent new affiliated clubs does infer that is the case.

BTW - I renewed my membership this week (at the old codger rate) just for the insurance ..... and to be able to vote at an upcoming CTC meeting . ...

Rob

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby PH » 30 Jul 2015, 12:18pm

Sorry but one of us has misunderstood.
I think Terry is asking why members don't participate, the answer can't be the membership fee, they've already paid it.
If he's asking why non members don't join and participate, it could well be the membership fee putting some off.

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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 30 Jul 2015, 12:23pm

PH wrote:Sorry but one of us has misunderstood.
I think Terry is asking why members don't participate, the answer can't be the membership fee, they've already paid it.
If he's asking why non members don't join and participate, it could well be the membership fee putting some off.


That's true on the existing members - perhaps it's that a lot of the paid-up members don't actually ride very much, if at all?

Not a definitive piece of research but I know of a handful of people locally that are long-term CTC members AND have regular payments to Sustrans but can't remember the last time they rode a bike??

Rob

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gaz
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby gaz » 30 Jul 2015, 10:31pm

TerryJones wrote:Member Groups are an asset to the CTC, but most members don't ride with a group.

Every member is an asset to the CTC. Members that don't ride with a group are the majority.

TerryJones wrote:What should be done to increase participation?

Why should anything be done to increase participation? Joining for a reason other than riding with a group is no less valid a choice.

TerryJones wrote:Why do members choose not to participate?

Because the majority didn't join CTC to take part in club rides.

You might just as well ask why do members choose not to become RtR reps?
It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Ron » 10 Sep 2015, 1:33pm

admin wrote:Sadly the vast majority of the population think that cycling is a dangerous activity, that requires specialist training, high-viz clothing, and head protection. As such, going on a day-long bike ride can seem a similar challenge to sky diving.

Is that not the image portrayed by local MGs?
It is IME :( .

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby al_yrpal » 10 Sep 2015, 4:39pm

Whats needed is something to get members there just once and hopefully some will like it and turn up regularly. So, once every 8 weeks people who have never come on a ride should get an email inviting them on a special ride - a choice of a short one and a longer more testing one. There should perhaps be a leader and two regular riders in each group, no more than 8 strong so every new rider gets a chance to meet regulars. These rides shouldnt be intimidating, they should be welcoming. Some people might feel quite shy or intimidated by an established group but feel more comfortable in a new group composed of first timers. Even a ladies only one perhaps occasionally to get things started. A few group photographs of the people they can look forward to riding with and some anecdotes in the email or letter would be good.

Al
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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 10 Sep 2015, 5:00pm

al_yrpal wrote:Whats needed is something to get members there just once and hopefully some will like it and turn up regularly. So, once every 8 weeks people who have never come on a ride should get an email inviting them on a special ride - a choice of a short one and a longer more testing one. There should perhaps be a leader and two regular riders in each group, no more than 8 strong so every new rider gets a chance to meet regulars. These rides shouldnt be intimidating, they should be welcoming. Some people might feel quite shy or intimidated by an established group but feel more comfortable in a new group composed of first timers. Even a ladies only one perhaps occasionally to get things started. A few group photographs of the people they can look forward to riding with and some anecdotes in the email or letter would be good.

Al


Your concept has been tried by CTC Heart of England (now in the hands of the receiver or whatever happens to dissolved groups! q.v. other posts on this board) - over a period in excess of two years we emailed the catchment (c 1,100 names) quite frequently to tell them about the monthly Intro Rides - designed to be just that for a group ride - pretty gentle etc. Almost zilch response - a few came out once - a very few (I think 3) have become regular riders.

The new Heart of England Cycling Club (to succeed CTC HoE) was launched on 1 September and already has an influx of new members that are not CTC members - and some that are, obviously including the CTC HoE regulars. Time will tell in terms of club growth but it looks good so far.

Rob

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby al_yrpal » 10 Sep 2015, 5:55pm

Rob, thats disappointing. Perhaps it just goes to prove that if people want to ride with a group they will seek one out themselves. Around here, a great place for cycling, I see lots of different groups, some are village groups, some are triathlon Stradageeks, some are visiting groups and visiting events and some just informal groups of friends. There is a lot of group cycling going on outside the aegis of the CTC.

Al
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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 10 Sep 2015, 6:19pm

al_yrpal wrote:Rob, thats disappointing. Perhaps it just goes to prove that if people want to ride with a group they will seek one out themselves. Around here, a great place for cycling, I see lots of different groups, some are village groups, some are triathlon Stradageeks, some are visiting groups and visiting events and some just informal groups of friends. There is a lot of group cycling going on outside the aegis of the CTC.

Al


Exactly - that's what we've found and is the path (well, road) we intend to pedal down with the new Heart of England Cycling Club

As an aside : in a village about 8 miles from here (Stratford-upon-Avon) a chap who had just retired got a piece in the two local freesheets suggesting a weekday meet up to cycle on Thursdays .... that was in February and he now has a regular group of about 20 people, men and women, with about 12 on most rides. Another aspect of this is clever - they meet at a pub, ride 20 - 25 miles back to the pub for a (very cheap) lunch of sandwiches and chips - then ride another 20 0 25 miles in the afternoon. Riders can mix and match one or other or both rides ... or just go for lunch. Simples.

I'm looking at starting a similar group here in SuA, on Mondays.

Rob

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby PH » 10 Sep 2015, 9:07pm

al_yrpal wrote:There is a lot of group cycling going on outside the aegis of the CTC.
Al


I've had the pleasure of riding with 5 Member Groups, including HoE from the Meriden Weekend. All of them have been different, but all of them have very distinctively been touring rides. By that I mean it's been about where you go and how you get there rather than how far or how fast. There's a lot of clubs within a 10 mile radius of my home, some very family friendly, some very sporty, but none of them other than the CTC offer the sort of cycling I most enjoy. That this isn't the most popular sort of cycling is something I think we have to accept, but I believe it would be more popular if better promoted and understood. When promoting it to new members the short 3 ride trial before forking out £40+ does make it hard and NO need to address this before it's too late, or more groups will be leaving to do their own thing and IMO CTC will be weaker for it.
It's good to hear that HoE CC has made such a promising start, long may it continue. My experience of clubs (Of all sorts, not just cycling) is that however big the membership, it's just a handful of people putting the effort in to keep them going. I've seen clubs change as this handful of people have changed, which could of course fine for those involved, but a loss for those looking for what was originally offered.