What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

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loch eck steve
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby loch eck steve » 9 Oct 2015, 5:49pm

PH wrote:
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.

Nicely put , I'd gladly go along to a ctc group if there was one local to me :( Perks of living in the sticks I suppose ! And the stunning scenery more then make up for it :D

Ron
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Ron » 11 Oct 2015, 12:05pm

TerryJones wrote: but most members don't ride with a group. What should be done to increase participation? Why do members choose not to participate?

Dare I say, I think you are taking a rather narrow view, most members don't get involved in campaigning, what should be done, why do members choose not to participate?

Ron
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Ron » 11 Oct 2015, 12:08pm

Psamathe wrote: with the new direction the CTC seems to be pursuing. They seem to be becoming more of an advocacy/campaign group using finances sought for large (government) sources.

Really?

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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 11 Oct 2015, 12:46pm

Going back to the original question posed in the thread title it may perhaps be answered by first asking a supplementary question:

"Why do people join CTC?"

My reasons were twofold - one going back to my youth when I joined because it was "a club that encouraged and supported cycle touring" ... then for the past 15 years or so (with a substantial gap from my youth!) "to be able ride with friends that were members of a CTC Section then Member Group ... " (although that status has now changed again to a CTC Affiliated club) - the value to me is only the friendship and TP insurance.

Why did you join (and continue to renew if you have)?

Rob

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Mick F
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2015, 12:54pm

TerryJones wrote:Why do members choose not to participate?
Because I like riding alone.
Maybe I'm not the only one who likes riding alone?
Mick F. Cornwall

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gaz
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby gaz » 11 Oct 2015, 1:29pm

robgul wrote:Why did you join (and continue to renew if you have)?

I started riding with a CTC section in October '86 following an ad in the local freebie newspaper. On the first ride I was introduced to the existence of other sections, a DA , national membership and third party insurance. By December I'd put my cheque in the post to sign up. I joined to ride with the Club.

I drifted away from club riding around 2001, briefly returning for occasional family rides, I still attend about one ride a year.

I continue to maintain my CTC membership, for the third party insurance, the campaigning and the forum (and my annual ride :wink: ). Of course I have public liability cover with my home insurance and I don't need to be a member to post here; but I don't feel that I've stayed just for the campaigning.

Most recently I have begun to see CTC doing more work to promote cycling in the wider community, to people who do not necessarily think of themselves as cyclists. That's an added reason why I am happy to continue supporting CTC through my membership subscriptions.
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Psamathe » 11 Oct 2015, 1:32pm

Mick F wrote:
TerryJones wrote:Why do members choose not to participate?
Because I like riding alone.
Maybe I'm not the only one who likes riding alone?

Likewise. Thought about joining a group but I then reflect on what I enjoy about cycling and it's going where I want, when I want at the speed I want, for the distance I want, etc.

Each to their own. I think the main thing is to get more people cycling rather than getting more people to join group rides. It may be that for some, a group ride is a good way to start, but I suspect that for many, solo (or maybe just two people) rides are what they might end-up doing. But either way is fine if people are out on their bikes.

The majority of cyclists I see on the road are solo, a few pairs and groups are very rare (and relatively small in numbers).

Ian

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby TonyR » 11 Oct 2015, 1:45pm

Personally I think it is because the rides tend to be focussed on the hard core riders and not about getting people into riding. When my dad was getting into cycling after his stroke he phoned up the local CTC at my suggestion and was offered the choice of the 80 mile or 120 mile ride. For my local DA the short ride is 40 miles. It was suggested at yesterday's CTC Conference that we should introduce 25 mile rides but for many coming back that is an unrealistically long distance.

So what I think we need is more events of just getting back on the bike on the roads and maybe a mile or two at most to get people started and 5 and 10 mile rides as their next step. I also think its asking a lot of dedication to give up most of Sunday to go on a ride - our local ones are 80 miles all day or 40 miles afternoon. I occasionally go on the afternoon one but it still takes a lot out of my weekend compared with going out for a couple of hours on my own. So some 25 mile rides on Sunday morning so its short and you get it out of the way would be much better than a long afternoon one that eats up most of the day. Just my $0.02

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Psamathe » 11 Oct 2015, 1:54pm

TonyR wrote:Personally I think it is because the rides tend to be focussed on the hard core riders and not about getting people into riding. When my dad was getting into cycling after his stroke he phoned up the local CTC at my suggestion and was offered the choice of the 80 mile or 120 mile ride. For my local DA the short ride is 40 miles. It was suggested at yesterday's CTC Conference that we should introduce 25 mile rides but for many coming back that is an unrealistically long distance.

So what I think we need is more events of just getting back on the bike on the roads and maybe a mile or two at most to get people started and 5 and 10 mile rides as their next step. I also think its asking a lot of dedication to give up most of Sunday to go on a ride - our local ones are 80 miles all day or 40 miles afternoon. I occasionally go on the afternoon one but it still takes a lot out of my weekend compared with going out for a couple of hours on my own. So some 25 mile rides on Sunday morning so its short and you get it out of the way would be much better than a long afternoon one that eats up most of the day. Just my $0.02

I would agree and disagree. I comes down to what the CTC Group Rides are for. If to allow members to enjoy themselves with their CTC friends doing the sort of ride they want to do then fine, but shorter rides are not going to be what the members probably want. If the purpose of the rides is to get people into riding then I agree. However the short rides for getting people into riding would probably also need some sort of advertising so enough people came along on a regular basis, etc. - something the CTC group I used to go to (meetings, not rides) was not doing.

There is no reason why a CTC Group could not do both, but people need to put in the work to get new people to come along ... which means they would not be going out on the rides they would really like to be doing ... which may not suit the local groups (or at least the members who make up the local group).

Ian

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby TonyR » 11 Oct 2015, 2:01pm

Psamathe wrote:I would agree and disagree. I comes down to what the CTC Group Rides are for. If to allow members to enjoy themselves with their CTC friends doing the sort of ride they want to do then fine, but shorter rides are not going to be what the members probably want. If the purpose of the rides is to get people into riding then I agree. However the short rides for getting people into riding would probably also need some sort of advertising so enough people came along on a regular basis, etc. - something the CTC group I used to go to (meetings, not rides) was not doing.

There is no reason why a CTC Group could not do both, but people need to put in the work to get new people to come along ... which means they would not be going out on the rides they would really like to be doing ... which may not suit the local groups (or at least the members who make up the local group).


But are the Group Rides what the members want? Round my way its a very very small hard core that go on the Group rides when compared to the number of members locally, they are mostly older retired members with plenty of time and the numbers are falling. Its quite rare to see young members come along for a Group Ride. I suspect Group Rides will die in the next decade as us oldies pass on without having inspired the next generation.

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Psamathe » 11 Oct 2015, 3:56pm

TonyR wrote:
Psamathe wrote:I would agree and disagree. I comes down to what the CTC Group Rides are for. If to allow members to enjoy themselves with their CTC friends doing the sort of ride they want to do then fine, but shorter rides are not going to be what the members probably want. If the purpose of the rides is to get people into riding then I agree. However the short rides for getting people into riding would probably also need some sort of advertising so enough people came along on a regular basis, etc. - something the CTC group I used to go to (meetings, not rides) was not doing.

There is no reason why a CTC Group could not do both, but people need to put in the work to get new people to come along ... which means they would not be going out on the rides they would really like to be doing ... which may not suit the local groups (or at least the members who make up the local group).


But are the Group Rides what the members want? Round my way its a very very small hard core that go on the Group rides when compared to the number of members locally, they are mostly older retired members with plenty of time and the numbers are falling. Its quite rare to see young members come along for a Group Ride. I suspect Group Rides will die in the next decade as us oldies pass on without having inspired the next generation.

Re: But are the Group Rides what the members want? - I've no idea. I didn't do any group rides.

But, re: beginner distances: I've just looked back at my logs to the days (around 2 years ago) when I started riding and my rides then were between 5 and 12 miles. And I remember "dreaming" of the day when I might get fit enough to cycle into the local town (10 miles away), do my shopping and cycle back. So I think you are definitely right about even 25 mile rides being way too much for beginners. And for a lot, if they went on such a ride I doubt it would encourage them to take it up.

I do wonder if pushing group rides as an activity is the way to encourage many to take-up cycling. A group getting familiar with the roads and getting a bit fitter I can see.

Ian

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 6 Nov 2015, 6:38pm

robgul wrote:
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

What do you think HofE CC is doing, or not doing or doing in a different way, that makes it so much more successful in terms of attracting active riders than the old CTC HofE? Is there anything that other CTC groups, or indeed non-CTC groups, could learn from your experience?

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby Vorpal » 6 Nov 2015, 6:52pm

Psamathe wrote:But, re: beginner distances: I've just looked back at my logs to the days (around 2 years ago) when I started riding and my rides then were between 5 and 12 miles. And I remember "dreaming" of the day when I might get fit enough to cycle into the local town (10 miles away), do my shopping and cycle back. So I think you are definitely right about even 25 mile rides being way too much for beginners. And for a lot, if they went on such a ride I doubt it would encourage them to take it up.

I do wonder if pushing group rides as an activity is the way to encourage many to take-up cycling. A group getting familiar with the roads and getting a bit fitter I can see.

Ian

When I was working with beginning and returning cyclists, most of our rides were around 5 or 6 miles long. I did ride with one lady who could barely cycle the 500 metres down to the shops and back when she started. She was ever so pleased when she was able to ride to her daughter's house, then up to school with her grandaughter, then home again; a round trip of 2.2 miles. She eventually made it as far as the next village to the tea rooms (5 miles) and back again.
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robgul
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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 6 Nov 2015, 7:46pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
robgul wrote:
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

What do you think HofE CC is doing, or not doing or doing in a different way, that makes it so much more successful in terms of attracting active riders than the old CTC HofE? Is there anything that other CTC groups, or indeed non-CTC groups, could learn from your experience?


Quick answer is that we don't know (yet)!

Prior to the change-over to HoECC we had a core of about 30 regular "members" (there are of course no such thing as "members" of Member Groups - people are members of CTC and ATTACHED to MGs as riders) - as at today we have had approaching 70 people join the new club ... obviously the previous regulars but lots more that are both existing CTC full members and CTC affiliates (who have joined HoECC and CTC as affiliates at the same time) and some with their own TP insurance arrangements. Rider numbers on our Wednesday rides are much higher than they were before.

Our weekend rides have attracted a handful of new people at the moment - although with one exception they are all, shall we say, mature in years.

... and other than a few posts on the 3 main cycle fora we've done no promotion ... there is a plan that we'll be rolling out through the winter and into Spring. Two things are in the pipeline : an additional distance (50km) to the HoE Audax ride in May (alongside the 100 and 160 km editions which have run for many years .. and .. and early-season Reliability Ride (probably 2 distances) to attract new riders and members. We are also looking at modifying the Intro Rides to start with what to most of us are very short distances - 10 - 15 miles to show people what's possible, and to build from there.

The other interesting aspect is to see what happens when existing CTC memberships come up for renewal - our best guess is that many full members will drop down to Affiliate status, and that a significant proportion will become HoECC members with their own TP insurance that they already have with a household policy.

We shall see what happens but it looks good so far . . .

Rob

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Re: What Can Be Done to Increase Participation?

Postby robgul » 6 Nov 2015, 7:55pm

Vorpal wrote:
Psamathe wrote:But, re: beginner distances: I've just looked back at my logs to the days (around 2 years ago) when I started riding and my rides then were between 5 and 12 miles. And I remember "dreaming" of the day when I might get fit enough to cycle into the local town (10 miles away), do my shopping and cycle back. So I think you are definitely right about even 25 mile rides being way too much for beginners. And for a lot, if they went on such a ride I doubt it would encourage them to take it up.

I do wonder if pushing group rides as an activity is the way to encourage many to take-up cycling. A group getting familiar with the roads and getting a bit fitter I can see.

Ian

When I was working with beginning and returning cyclists, most of our rides were around 5 or 6 miles long. I did ride with one lady who could barely cycle the 500 metres down to the shops and back when she started. She was ever so pleased when she was able to ride to her daughter's house, then up to school with her grandaughter, then home again; a round trip of 2.2 miles. She eventually made it as far as the next village to the tea rooms (5 miles) and back again.


A bit of deja vu there .... having cycled a lot until I was about 23 I didn't again ride for best part of 30 years. When I moved to where I live now in 2000 I bought a new bike (Halfords ... I now know better!) as NCN Route 5 (The Greenway) is about 60 metres from my house - got on the bike and rode 3 miles out and back along the old railway line and was pretty tired - but pleased with the modest achievement

If you had said to me then that I'd ride the E2E (twice), to the S of France and 3-5,000 miles a year I'd have laughed out loud. I built up the distances slowly, went out with a small group in the town and graduated to riding with a CTC Section .... just great, and made lots of friends through cycling.

Rob