Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

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

Postby landsurfer » 28 Dec 2015, 6:22am

OH .. one other thing ... a new national "Club for Touring Cyclists" .. ( see what I did there ) .... that will be AUDAX UK then ...... joined and been welcomed on my first ride ... which is nice .. :D
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pwa
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby pwa » 28 Dec 2015, 8:19am

TonyR wrote:
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.


Tony, my understanding of the phrase "cycle touring" is fairly relaxed and certainly includes expeditions on mountain bikes and leisure rides of an hour or two. Basically, all leisure riding that involves a journey. I would want my touring club to include all that. But I would not expect it to focus on commuting, which is well outside my definition of "cycle touring". I am glad that there is an organisation that stands up for cycling commuters (I've done a lot of commuting by bike) but I am not happy that it has become a major focus for what I thought was my leisure activity club.

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

Postby PH » 28 Dec 2015, 8:36am

pwa wrote:a major focus for what I thought was my leisure activity club.

Just what is it you'd like to see a touring club do?
Apologies if that sounds a bit rude, but I can't see what it would offer that wouldn't be better covered by an organisation working for the interests of all cyclists.
I do quite a lot of recreational cycling, alone and with my local MG, I also use a bike as my main means of transport. I can't think what any national organisation would do that would be relevant to one but not the other.

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

Postby Bmblbzzz » 28 Dec 2015, 10:21am

landsurfer wrote:OH .. one other thing ... a new national "Club for Touring Cyclists" .. ( see what I did there ) .... that will be AUDAX UK then ...... joined and been welcomed on my first ride ... which is nice .. :D

I've been riding audaxes for a few years now. They're great fun but I really would not consider them touring. They're a form of not necessarily competitive sport, I'd say.

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

Postby Ron » 28 Dec 2015, 11:40am

landsurfer wrote: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 !!!

Ah yes, I do recall that, but there's always someone marching in London, it really didn't jar my consciousness.
OK, I take your point.

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

Postby Si » 28 Dec 2015, 2:57pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
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.


This is where we always run into troubles with this discussion. It's really easy to say that the CTC is going the wrong way. But when asked what the right way is the answers are not forthcoming. It's easy enough to say it ought to be a membership focused club as it was in the past...but what does this actually mean? What do you want it to do for the membership? Can those who are disenfranchised by what the CTC is now please outline to everyone else what the alternative is, demonstrating their working-out.

As for comments on the current spate of so-called 'in-fighting', anyone with any real knowledge of the history of the CTC will know that in-fighting is a strong, proud historical tradition of the CTC since it was first started (as is, for that matter, accusations of it losing its way!). :D

My feeling is that as far as dedicated touring clubs (which the CTC has never been) are concerned...I can't see what one could offer that would entice me to join. All the questions that I have about where to ride, what routes to use, what kit to use, etc can easily be answered by a quick google without having to join a club. Likewise, there are numerous inspiring accounts of tours on the 'net to keep me busy. If the club could offer cheap or dedicated accommodation/camping/hostels then maybe it would be tempting but I can't really see that happening....plus there are things like the ccc, yha, couchsufing/warmshowers already out there doing that (or trying to). If the club could reduce/remove and calm traffic on the routes I want to use then I could be tempted but then we are talking getting involved with the politics of national level campaigning which appears to be what is causing some of the current upset about the CTC. There is also the thorny issue of MTBing - I like off road touring on an MTB, but given the number of complaints regarding any MTB article in Cycle magazine I get the feeling that many don't recognise this as a form of touring and that it would not be welcome in a Touring Club.

In short: "Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?" - no idea unless you can tell us what it's going to do in some detail.

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

Postby TonyR » 28 Dec 2015, 3:14pm

Si wrote:As for comments on the current spate of so-called 'in-fighting', anyone with any real knowledge of the history of the CTC will know that in-fighting is a strong, proud historical tradition of the CTC since it was first started (as is, for that matter, accusations of it losing its way!). :D


I think it started when the first member turned up for a club ride on one of those new-fangled safety cycles.

In short: "Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?" - no idea unless you can tell us what it's going to do in some detail.


We need a Cyclists' Club which welcomes everyone on a bike including touring, commuting, mountain biking, unicycling, BMX, fixed......... The trouble rests with a hard core that thinks it should be only for cyclists like them.

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

Postby robgul » 28 Dec 2015, 3:30pm

TonyR wrote:
We need a Cyclists' Club which welcomes everyone on a bike including touring, commuting, mountain biking, unicycling, BMX, fixed......... The trouble rests with a hard core that thinks it should be only for cyclists like them.



BUT that's trying to be all things to all men ... and that simply does not work with cycling - or much else.

Going back to my original (first) response to this thread I think the answer is now really NO . . .

I belong to two local clubs, both of which are affiliated to CTC for no other reasons than the Ride Leader insurance (the members - who are all listed as Ride Leaders - have the option of CTC/BC membership or having their own TP insurance) ... that works for me: great friendships and we organise our own rides and tours/holidays - a national/global club would add nothing.

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

Postby landsurfer » 28 Dec 2015, 4:01pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
landsurfer wrote:OH .. one other thing ... a new national "Club for Touring Cyclists" .. ( see what I did there ) .... that will be AUDAX UK then ...... joined and been welcomed on my first ride ... which is nice .. :D

I've been riding audaxes for a few years now. They're great fun but I really would not consider them touring. They're a form of not necessarily competitive sport, I'd say.


My short experience of AUDAX UK seems to be that the formal, non competitive (?) events are just the icing on the cake ... weekly rides out, similar to CTC district rides are the mainstay of the club ....Must be other CTC / AUDAX members out there with an opinion ... oh, and the insurance is on a par with the CTC product.
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby PH » 28 Dec 2015, 4:11pm

landsurfer wrote: My short experience of AUDAX UK seems to be that the formal, non competitive (?) events are just the icing on the cake ... weekly rides out, similar to CTC district rides are the mainstay of the club ....Must be other CTC / AUDAX members out there with an opinion ... oh, and the insurance is on a par with the CTC product.

Audax UK don't run any rides, they're the body that oversee and validate rides run to their regulations, many if not most of them by CTC Member Groups.
I don't know where the idea of weekly rides comes from, they're not AUK rides.
The insurance is nothing like that offered by CTC, it only covers you while you're on a AUK event.
http://www.aukweb.net/aboutauk/

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

Postby gaz » 28 Dec 2015, 4:28pm

landsurfer wrote: My short experience of AUDAX UK seems to be that the formal, non competitive (?) events are just the icing on the cake ... weekly rides out, similar to CTC district rides are the mainstay of the club ....Must be other CTC / AUDAX members out there with an opinion ...

I haven't been an AUK member since the early 90's. There was neither a local group structure nor "club runs" at that time and I see nothing on the AUK website to suggest things have changed. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that some AUK members have got together in your area and formed a "club", perhaps affiliated to BC or CTC.

landsurfer wrote:...oh, and the insurance is on a par with the CTC product.

AUK website says "3rd-party insurance while participating in AUK events" and whilst not wishing to give any form of insurance advice that's hardly on a par with CTC's product.

Please note that gaz is not FCA regulated and cannot assess individual needs for insurance. You will not receive advice or recommendations from gaz about them. Read the guidance sheets carefully to decide whether any policy suits your requirements. If you are still unsure, ring CTC's brokers directly on 0151 494 4400. Other providers are available. Posted on a forum that contains track nuts and cannot be guaranteed track nut free.
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Re: Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?

Postby pwa » 28 Dec 2015, 5:23pm

Perhaps CTC can never provide what I want. The nearest CTC affiliated group are based about 25 miles away and club-wise I live in a bit of a desert. If I want to ride with company I have to get fit and seek out Audax rides, and that means driving for an hour or two to get to an event.

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

Postby millimole » 28 Dec 2015, 5:57pm

Si wrote:
>snip<

Can those who are disenfranchised by what the CTC is now please outline to everyone else what the alternative is, demonstrating their working-out.

>snip<

In short: "Do we need a new Cyclists' Touring Club?" - no idea unless you can tell us what it's going to do in some detail.


It's a very fair point and one that has set me to do some hard thinking.
I'm sitting here with a pile of Cycletouring magazines from around the early 70s which are the result of clearing the loft out.

Without spending too much time going down nostalgia avenues - the December 1971 issue discusses an 'unusual proposal' for what we now know as a shared foot way; several ride reports, including one of the International Rally in Poland; book reviews;results of the CTC time trialists BAR competition; technical items; letters, ads and competitions.
Nothing there that can't be found online today - but as a whole that recognises the holistic nature of cycling and cyclists- nothing exists now that I can think of (other tha maybe a couple of on-line forum communities)

This is what I sense from the brave new CTC - this lack of inclusiveness and internal (to the club) self-reliance. There is also, I feel, a failure to grasp the heritage of This Great Club of Ours, and perhaps some lack of self-confidence.
It's interesting looking at the 1970s magazines - a period when cycling and CTC membership was at a very low ebb, that the club did not lack one ounce of self-confidence and embraced its heritage.

I'm uncomfortable about exactly what the CTC now is, what its direction is, and how that relates to me as a simple bum on a saddle - explain that to me and give me food for thought to reconsider by!
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

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

Postby Bmblbzzz » 28 Dec 2015, 7:02pm

There are a number of clubs named "Somewhere Audax" or "Audax Something" but these are just names indicating their main interest, not that they are in any way part of the organisation of AUK. Of course, some of the individuals in those clubs may also hold positions in AUK but AUK does not organise clubs or social rides.

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

Postby PH » 28 Dec 2015, 7:15pm

pwa wrote:Perhaps CTC can never provide what I want.

Sorry to ask again, but just what is it you want?