Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

pwa
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Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby pwa » 27 Dec 2015, 10:46am

No, this is not one of those questions where the person asking thinks he / she already knows the answer. It is a genuine query, and I am open to opinions.

CTC has been undergoing a transformation for several years, and it seems likely to culminate in the dropping of Cyclists Touring Club as its name. I joined CTC because I love cycle touring and wanted to be in a club of like minded people focused on that pursuit. CTC still looks at cycle touring issues, but it is no longer the focus. I support many of the aims of the current CTC, but I miss having a cycle touring club. Is there room for a new cycle touring club, either within CTC (with whatever its new name may be) or outside?

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robgul
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby robgul » 27 Dec 2015, 11:51am

Yes, possibly - ..... CTC as it is now has lost its way for many and varied reasons that have been aired at length.

BUT : Before the question can be answered there would need to be a bit more detail of the aims and objectives of the club ... i.e. "What would the members want and get ... and why would they join?"

It may be the availability of an infinite amount of information available on the internet has made the old-style CTC members' resources redundant - I don't to rake over the Chris Juden/Mark Walters stuff again, but most of what they provided is now possible to find with minimal effort (even for the idle "want it on a plate" people :twisted: )

Not quite the same thing but the YHA has all but disappeared in terms of being a "club" as it was years ago - there used to be loads of very active local YHA groups - now it seems that the YHA is little more than a chain of budget hotels/B&Bs

A reality check would suggest that launching a new Touring Cyclists' Club and reaching any sort of viable critical mass would cost quite a bit and take a while to achieve - and achievement is probably questionable.

Rob (ex CTC member)
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bikepacker
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby bikepacker » 27 Dec 2015, 12:00pm

Rob, I was about to answer "yes" until you made Brooks saddle compulsory. Ouch. :wink: :wink:
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robgul
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby robgul » 27 Dec 2015, 1:25pm

bikepacker wrote:Rob, I was about to answer "yes" until you made Brooks saddle compulsory. Ouch. :wink: :wink:


Ah - I wasn't actually thinking of those items being part of the new club's Constitution (but why not?) - merely my own penchant for equipping bicycles that I own and ride :D

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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 27 Dec 2015, 2:42pm

robgul wrote:BUT : Before the question can be answered there would need to be a bit more detail of the aims and objectives of the club ... i.e. "What would the members want and get ... and why would they join?


I'd be genuinely interested to hear this too, especially with a view to considering whether such services could be provided or co-ordinated over the internet.
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gaz
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby gaz » 27 Dec 2015, 2:53pm

Previous thread, similar subject from almost five years ago.
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landsurfer
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby landsurfer » 27 Dec 2015, 3:09pm

I must admit to being uneasy with the political stance taken of late by the CTC. As a cycling club the CTC should ultimately only represent the members and their cycling interests but there have been a number of " not in my name " issues regarding participation in political marches etc. that I am unhappy with. I will, as I am no doubt sure that many will recommend, vote with my feet.
But its a shame that our club has been taken over to represent the political ideals of the board / trustees rather than the rank and file.. I don't want political representation by the CTC, I want to cycle.... no problem with the charity thing but very unhappy with the politics.
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby millimole » 27 Dec 2015, 4:23pm

I do intend voting with my feet.
My reasons are many and varied, but they are similar to the issues that landsurfer raises. CTC is no longer a 'club of like minded individuals' it is a corporate campaigning behemoth existing to serve its own ends.
But, to answer the question: I'd say 'no' - there are several national cycling organisations that could accommodate a 'national tourists section' without any change to their constitution (I'm thinking of The Clarion for one) and could promote a link to an insurer and legal aid provider in the same way that LCC does.
I don't think the wheel needs reinventing- the critical mass of numbers does not yet seem to exist.
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby Ron » 27 Dec 2015, 5:08pm

robgul wrote:. "What would the members want and get ... and why would they join?"

The most quoted reason for retaining CTC membership appears to be "the insurance", so I don't think any new organisation is going to have to aim too high :D .

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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby Ron » 27 Dec 2015, 5:23pm

landsurfer wrote:I must admit to being uneasy with the political stance taken of late by the CTC. As a cycling club the CTC should ultimately only represent the members and their cycling interests but there have been a number of " not in my name " issues regarding participation in political marches etc. that I am unhappy with. .
But its a shame that our club has been taken over to represent the political ideals of the board / trustees rather than the rank and file.. I don't want political representation by the CTC,

It is politicians who decide the conditions for cyclists, eg banning from certain roads, wearing registration plates, provision or not of cycle specific facilities including cycle parking, taxation on purchase of bikes and components etc etc.. I'm a little concerned that anyone who cycles would be prepared to let the politicians get on with it without any input from representatives of those who actually use bicycles.
I am also completely unaware of any call to the membership to participate in political marches, can you give more detail on this please?

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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby TonyR » 27 Dec 2015, 6:26pm

pwa wrote:No, this is not one of those questions where the person asking thinks he / she already knows the answer. It is a genuine query, and I am open to opinions.

CTC has been undergoing a transformation for several years, and it seems likely to culminate in the dropping of Cyclists Touring Club as its name. I joined CTC because I love cycle touring and wanted to be in a club of like minded people focused on that pursuit. CTC still looks at cycle touring issues, but it is no longer the focus. I support many of the aims of the current CTC, but I miss having a cycle touring club. Is there room for a new cycle touring club, either within CTC (with whatever its new name may be) or outside?


I remember back a couple of decades when the Cyclists Touring Club was a membership organisation and it went through a period of turmoil with an old guard wanting to keep it as a touring based organisation while the membership was swelling with a whole new breed of new cyclists - mountain bikers, commuting cyclists, leisure cyclists etc. - who were bemoaning it not serving their cycling interests. IIRC the argument was resolved by the reality that there were too few tourists left to make a viable organisation on their own.

And as someone closely involved in getting the UK branch of the International Mountain Biking Association establish I can tell you that even with a vibrant cycling community and the support of a major established organisation (IMBA-USA), starting a new one from scratch is a very hard and difficult job. I wish you luck if you try.

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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Dec 2015, 8:45pm

I looked into joining CTC through my local club 20 years ago or even more. I liked cycling so thought joining a club might be good. They were one of the first CTC clubs to be able to.give out race.licences and it had a very keen racing group in the club. Even.had velodrome nights in Manchester. They didn't seem to distinguish between different types of cycling, they're all just riding bikes for.fun.
I didn't join because it was.cheaper to join two other clubs and do both activities than joining the CTC affiliated club and meeting minimum kit standards. I did go to the agm to check them out and got pulled.aside by an older member of the.committee to be told I needed mudguards, lights and a Carradice saddlebag. Pricing that lot up at the time made for a hefty cost of joining. Especially since I was a poor student.

I'm not a member now but thinking of joining as a family for the first time next year. I'm now getting into the touring and since I'm in a new CTC area I doubt I'll get the same strict requirement to conform to club rules costing a fortune.

IMHO the CTC needs to be campaigning. I think it should look at the Ramblers. Used to be the Ramblers association but rebranded to the Ramblers. Part of their process was to modernise. Plenty of local groups including age groups and special interest groups. The aim was to appeal to other potential members than the dwindling old school membership. It adjusted a lot and became stronger. I'm guessing there's a parallel because Ramblers was a fraction of the size of the BMC and CTC is probably a fraction of the size of British cycling. Both have an old fashioned image with a larger, modern and possibly elitist big brother/all encompassing organization in their sport/ activity.

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gaz
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby gaz » 27 Dec 2015, 9:42pm

Tangled Metal wrote:...I didn't join because it was.cheaper to join two other clubs and do both activities than joining the CTC affiliated club and meeting minimum kit standards. I did go to the agm to check them out and got pulled.aside by an older member of the.committee to be told I needed mudguards, lights and a Carradice saddlebag. ...

CTC Membership is the only* pre-requisite for riding with a CTC Member Group. It says so in the handbook.
...
•To be open to all CTC members within the practice and spirit of CTC Equal Opportunities Policy;
•For participation in regular Group activities to be free, except those that incur local additional costs for specific events or publications;
...


CTC Affiliates are another matter.
Affiliated Groups are NOT bound by all the policies included in this Policy Handbook.





*You can be barred if your riding endangers others, ungentlemanly/unlady-like conduct, etc. Likewise you should have a roadworthy cycle and lights would be required for attendance on rides likely to take place in the hours of darkness. Beyond that there should not be any dress code either for you or your cycle.
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby PH » 27 Dec 2015, 10:00pm

What would a national touring club offer? I can't think why I'd have any need for one, as Rob said information on just about every subject is available online, there's no way any organisation could compete with it. The technical role fits well with the current CTC objectives, it was important for all cyclists not just tourists, which is why the decision has never made and sense to me.
From what I've seen, all the touring stuff that is of interest to me is being done at a local level by the member groups. There is a role for a national organisation to support and encourage this and CTC appear to be doing more of this recently than over the last few years. I'm not sure that the management have really worked out where the MGs fit in the new Grand Plan. With 85% of the membership taking no part in local activities I can understand why they aren't seen as a priority. For their part I think most MGs could carry on as normal outside of the CTC, but IMO something would be lost. Maybe if it was to go that way then a new club as an umbrella organisation for the local groups would be worth having.
The current problem is if you want to be a member of your local group, then you have to become a member of a national organisation that you may not wish to support. I agree with enough of what's going on nationally to pay my subs and support it, I'd continue to do that without the local group. But I'm very aware that it's a hard sell to someone who just want to come on a few rides and has other options.

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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby landsurfer » 28 Dec 2015, 6:15am

Ron wrote:I am also completely unaware of any call to the membership to participate in political marches, can you give more detail on this please?

There has been quite a lot of traffic on here over the last 6 months reference the CTC's involvement and request for support for political marches ... just search ..... The call to support the "People's March for Climate, Justice and Jobs" was just one ....not in my name !!!
Last edited by landsurfer on 28 Dec 2015, 6:24am, edited 1 time in total.
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