Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

CyclingOptometrist
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Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby CyclingOptometrist » 9 Feb 2016, 7:42pm

I pay to enter several cyclo Sportives every year. They are supported by hundreds of people of all ages. Yet not one of them is organised by the CTC. Can anyone shed some light on why this would be? Would it not attract more young people to the CTC?

merseymouth
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby merseymouth » 9 Feb 2016, 7:55pm

Hello there, The "Sportives" are commercial ventures, grabbing large sums for little worth! It is bad enough that the CTC wastes it's members subs on the Bakewell Beer Fest, aka L'Eroica Britannia. Yet that same organizers won't let tricyclists participate fully!

As the CTC was formerly the "Bicycle Touring Club it would appear that it has reverted to it's former existence?

Sportives are for pretend racers! Go get a BC Licence and see how you match up. MM

tatanab
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby tatanab » 9 Feb 2016, 8:03pm

It would upset those of us who remember what the T stands for.

Seriously though, there are considerable costs and admin support involved with a sportif. Traditionally CTC events are organised by your local group with local members helping. i.e. they are cheap and simple to organise. The CTC equivalent of the sportif would be a good old fashioned reliability ride which requires no facilities and little in the way of admin.

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RickH
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby RickH » 9 Feb 2016, 8:13pm

Sorry about the less than stellar welcome to the forum! May I give you a warmer one. :)

merseymouth wrote:Hello there, The "Sportives" are commercial ventures, grabbing large sums for little worth!

Some may be, some are quite small club organised events with maybe 100 or so riders and a bit of decent food laid on at the end. I've done a few of those.

To give more info, CTC as an organisation doesn't organises any events - but there are hundreds organised by local Member Groups & Affiliated Clubs. There are also "Audax" events (not directly connected to CTC but I've found that many of the organisers & riders are CTC folk) which are a bit like low key sportives - you get a route, but it isn't waymarked or marshalled so you need to be able to do your own navigation, & there is no organised back up if you break down.

I'm sure that others more knowledgeable than me can give you more info, especially if you give us some idea what part of the country your from.

Hope that helps

Rick.
(Off topic, but my son-in-law is an optometrist in Salford :D )

roubaixtuesday
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby roubaixtuesday » 9 Feb 2016, 8:14pm

Yeah, having the CTC organise rides which are extremely popular and make a profit would be ridiculous. What were you thinking of?

Sarc off, the CTC used to organise a series of these, before they became popular. The phil liggett branded one was, I think, the first century ride I did.

No idea why they stopped.

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Graham
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby Graham » 9 Feb 2016, 8:14pm

In those bygone days when the majority of the CTC staff were pre-existing CTC members, they simply could not believe that large numbers of cyclists would pay substantial entry fees for a pretend race.
After all, riders could join their local groups and pay nothing to do regular local rides.
The long distance enthusiasts could participate in an Audax event for a few pounds per event.

In the course of time, the sportive events flourished :
Time starved people DID want to pay substantial amounts to participate.
Drive to the start. Do a ride with timers, feed stations and marshals and let the organisers do the rest.
The whizzy marketing, hype and sense of event, do actually work.

I have no idea what the current "National Cycle Charity" thinks about sportives now.

Ivorcadaver
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby Ivorcadaver » 9 Feb 2016, 8:42pm

Some of us like to cycle, have jobs and other things in their lives - we are not bike obsessives. We don't want to endure the stress of breaking down in the middle of nowhere with no back up or particularly want to make the commitment of regular club rides. I am perfectly happy to pay £25 or so now and again for somebody else to plan a route for me, give me some food, have the reassurance of a sweeper wagon and have a good day out with like minded souls. Each to his own but personally I am not one of the gritted teeth, all weathers, endurance, saddle bag and woolly sock brigade. If CTC could organise sportive there is a great potential to generate some cash and expose the organisation to a much wider audience.

CyclingOptometrist
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby CyclingOptometrist » 9 Feb 2016, 8:44pm

Mmm, seems this has divided opinion between the old guard and the free thinkers. I don't think younger people will get turned on by a rather crusty sounding TRT. At my local sections recent rough stuff event, I was a the youngest rider at age 49. I was the youngest rider when I did this same event back in the 80's. The numbers were also vastly dwindled to barely 20 from all over the DA. So where are all the youngsters? I can tell you: they are riding exciting, up to date, popular well organised Sportives that could actually raise money for the ctc's causes, not to mention raise the ctc's profile amongst younger riders.

beardy
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby beardy » 9 Feb 2016, 8:49pm

The Sportive sector is one of the most popular and best served sectors in cycling.
It is hardly in need of Charitable intervention!

Though a Sportive without a compulsory helmet requirement could be a welcome change.

CyclingOptometrist
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby CyclingOptometrist » 9 Feb 2016, 9:00pm

Beardy, I beg to differ.
My local group has dwindled to just a few regulars average age 70. It seems to me that they have made no effort to attract new and younger riders. This is in part to their unbending commitment to the "old time honoured way of doing things" mantra. Yes, Sportives are popular, this is exactly why the CTC should be cashing in. All the Sportives I ride in, both road and off-road will not let you ride without a helmet. My local group, once the best in the DA in my opinion, will die out when it's diehards get too old to cycle. What good is that to anyone?

CyclingOptometrist
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby CyclingOptometrist » 9 Feb 2016, 9:01pm

Ok, just realised you said without a helmet.

beardy
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby beardy » 9 Feb 2016, 9:03pm

this is exactly why the CTC should be cashing in.


But it is a Charity, it is supposed to support cycling not cash in on it.

Or support cyclists, not profit from them.

beardy
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby beardy » 9 Feb 2016, 9:09pm

My local group, once the best in the DA in my opinion, will die out when it's diehards get too old to cycle. What good is that to anyone?


Well it is good for them, and they are doing the organising.
They dont have a monopoly on it. Anybody else can set up what ever else they like instead.
Even a Sportive, I would imagine.

CyclingOptometrist
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby CyclingOptometrist » 9 Feb 2016, 9:12pm

Profit is not a dirty word. Charities raise money to further their respective causes.

The CTC is not attracting younger riders in my area. The format clearly does not appeal to them.
The fact is, there are hundreds of young riders out there riding Sportives.

It seems to me that you have your head in the sand. The CTC and its members need to adopt and adapt.

beardy
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Re: Why does the CTC not promote Sportives?

Postby beardy » 9 Feb 2016, 9:17pm

It seems to me that you have your head in the sand. The CTC and its members need to adopt and adapt.


Not really.
The DAs may be dying but they are still enjoying what is left of their lives. No need to throw out what the few remaining enjoy for the sake of those who are not even there.

The hordes of new riders with their new ideas and Sportives are almost certainly capable of doing things for themselves without having others (who's interests are not really perfectly aligned) have to do it for them.