The CTC - is it vulnerable?

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horizon
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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby horizon » 15 May 2012, 4:32pm

Simon L6 wrote:and, sorry, Horizon, but I am no nearer working out what the values are. We are talking, are we not, about a body that colludes with the Charity Commission to conceal material facts from the members?

On the other hand, if you're referring to the values that inhere within the rides and the local campaigning, then you've got to start thinking of these as products that will, hopefully, embody values. Be that as it may, the product has to be improved. I do see that the RtR successes are being bigged up in the e-newsletter, which is all to the good, but as for the rides.......six people average age 65 sipping warm beer in a pub at lunchtime isn't going to capture the imagination any time soon. Not (before you jump down my throat) that I haven't done my share of warm beer sipping, and not that I won't again - but as a product it's got a very limited appeal.


What I mean is that the CTC embodies certain values: what they are and how they get expressed is a different matter. You are right to question their existence but think of one boy with a loaded bike, plodding up a hill in a small town in Dorset - typical CTC old fashioned touring stuff, as you suggest. Now think of the greatest TV advert of all time, capturing the imagination of a nation. Rose-tinted it may have been.
Last edited by horizon on 15 May 2012, 4:38pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Simon L6 » 15 May 2012, 4:36pm

robgul wrote:The suggestion BC & CTC are, quote from up-thread "... fighting for turf ... " is nonsense ...
I don't agree, Rob - mainly because the turf isn't static (see churn above) and needs to be fought for each year.

I also wonder if there is a quite deliberate strategy. If I'd be told to go out and find 65,000 new members I know where I'd be looking first, and that's in the rival (yes, sorry) organisation with the disaffected and unsupported organisers. JT's pizza sounds like a remarkably good investment, and if any BC bod wants to take me out for a pizza they won't have any trouble finding me!

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Simon L6 » 15 May 2012, 4:37pm

horizon wrote:What I mean is that the CTC embodies certain values: what they are and how they get expressed is a different matter. You are right to question their existence but think of one boy with a bike, plodding up a hill in a small town in Dorset - typical CTC old fashioned touring stuff, as you suggest. Now think of the greatest TV advert of all time, capturing the imagination of a nation. Rose-tinted it may have been.
extremely rose-tinted

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby robgul » 15 May 2012, 4:38pm

Simon L6 wrote:the thing that strikes me about Stourbug is this. The CTC gave them an award, but didn't seek to replicate it elsewhere, other than the 'five miles to fabulous' thing, which was really just a head office e-mail to local groups. Now, looky here. BC is going hell for leather for women's rides, and good luck to them.


... but is that going to alienate men, as being selected against ... and from Cycletta and other feedback in another place, alienate women by patronising them?

Surely all cyclists are equal ? - most of the women I know ride bikes with crossbars (that's a top-tube to youngsters) ... oh, and some saddles are gender-specific.

Rob

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby robgul » 15 May 2012, 4:41pm

Simon L6 wrote:
robgul wrote:The suggestion BC & CTC are, quote from up-thread "... fighting for turf ... " is nonsense ...
I don't agree, Rob - mainly because the turf isn't static (see churn above) and needs to be fought for each year.

I also wonder if there is a quite deliberate strategy. If I'd be told to go out and find 65,000 new members I know where I'd be looking first, and that's in the rival (yes, sorry) organisation with the disaffected and unsupported organisers. JT's pizza sounds like a remarkably good investment, and if any BC bod wants to take me out for a pizza they won't have any trouble finding me!


... what I really meant was that BC is looking for cyclists ... it is not specifically trying to raid the CTC ranks ... but if people want to cross the floor that's OK.

Rob

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Si » 15 May 2012, 4:48pm

Pulling on another hat....could we just be a little more careful about the language used in this thread please, and remember the rules on swearing: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10801

thanks.

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Si » 15 May 2012, 4:57pm

Oh, and by the way, my CTC councillor has bought me a pizza (a rather big one in a very nice gastro-pub type thing) - so it's not just Sky organisers :wink:

On the subject of turf, I did a CTC ride at the weekend. So many people that we had to split into at least four different groups and go to two different cafes to fit everyone, several newbies came and enjoyed. At the same time I received an email bemoaning the fact that local Sky type free led rides had had to be put off due to no one turning up despite all the publicity. So we must be doing something right for the time being.

But to give Simon his due...this weekend I'm doing a pro-cycling publicity stand ting. I've invited a number of organisations to supply leaflets, etc and said that I'd push them all. My problem is that I can rave on endlessly about how good the CTC is, but then they are going to ask how much is it to go on the sky ride and I'm going to say "oh, it's free" and they are going to say "so how much is the CTC ride?" and I'm going to say "oh, best part of £50". It's tricky.

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby JT » 15 May 2012, 5:09pm

Si wrote:Oh, and by the way, my CTC councillor has bought me a pizza (a rather big one in a very nice gastro-pub type thing) - so it's not just Sky organisers :wink:

On the subject of turf, I did a CTC ride at the weekend. So many people that we had to split into at least four different groups and go to two different cafes to fit everyone, several newbies came and enjoyed. At the same time I received an email bemoaning the fact that local Sky type free led rides had had to be put off due to no one turning up despite all the publicity. So we must be doing something right for the time being.

But to give Simon his due...this weekend I'm doing a pro-cycling publicity stand ting. I've invited a number of organisations to supply leaflets, etc and said that I'd push them all. My problem is that I can rave on endlessly about how good the CTC is, but then they are going to ask how much is it to go on the sky ride and I'm going to say "oh, it's free" and they are going to say "so how much is the CTC ride?" and I'm going to say "oh, best part of £50". It's tricky.


By highlighting how good your local CTC group is (and your concillor) you're also drawing attention to one of the CTC's problems, i.e. the lack of consistency, the lack of any direction or guidance by national office. What you have is a good local cycling club that happends to be a CTC club. The qualities you have are down to the individuals involved rather than anything the CTC has done as a body.

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Simon L6 » 15 May 2012, 5:11pm

robgul wrote:
Simon L6 wrote:the thing that strikes me about Stourbug is this. The CTC gave them an award, but didn't seek to replicate it elsewhere, other than the 'five miles to fabulous' thing, which was really just a head office e-mail to local groups. Now, looky here. BC is going hell for leather for women's rides, and good luck to them.


... but is that going to alienate men, as being selected against ... and from Cycletta and other feedback in another place, alienate women by patronising them?

Surely all cyclists are equal ? - most of the women I know ride bikes with crossbars (that's a top-tube to youngsters) ... oh, and some saddles are gender-specific.

Rob
Russell made it work (I have to say that, prior to meeting him I kind of assumed he was a better looking version of George Clooney, but, while handsome enough, he apparently pulled off this wondrous trick with meticulous planning and organisation). I think the 'principle' is neither here nor there - if it gets people riding bikes it's got to be a good thing.

There is another all-woman bike club in Kent somewhere - I'll have to look it up - but, as a general rule, women (like people from minorities) are under-represented on club rides, be they BC or CTC, and it's not an easy thing to sort. We did reach 27% one year, but we're down to about 24% this year.

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Simon L6 » 15 May 2012, 5:16pm

Si wrote:Oh, and by the way, my CTC councillor has bought me a pizza (a rather big one in a very nice gastro-pub type thing) - so it's not just Sky organisers :wink:

On the subject of turf, I did a CTC ride at the weekend. So many people that we had to split into at least four different groups and go to two different cafes to fit everyone, several newbies came and enjoyed. At the same time I received an email bemoaning the fact that local Sky type free led rides had had to be put off due to no one turning up despite all the publicity. So we must be doing something right for the time being.
there's lots that's right, and that's the galling thing. There's no 'best practice' mechanism. Councillors have spent so long writing off club runs that it doesn't occur to them that some are very, very successful, and, with a bit of support, that success could be spread around. I go back (once again) to the Belfast AGM where Jim Brown effectively spiked a mechanism for spreading ideas and best practice while bigging up the brand.

I don't know how it is with you, Si, but we've managed to explode a lot of the assumptions about club runs. Setting aside the unusual start time, there the radical notion that rides should have a beginning, a middle and an end - that the beginning should have some moment about it, the end should be revelatory (and involve beer), and the middle should entertain, have an identity or character and not be frenetic. We've exploded the idea that rides should be out and back. We've made the rides a literary event, and based a good deal of it around a forum. We've developed a TEC and Wayfinder method melds together people of varying abilities and that newcomers really like. There's a safety talk that people take part in.

Now, that's not a tablet of stone (and it's completely different to the wonderful Beginners rides run by the SWLDA), and I'm ever-willing to look at new ideas because I'm sure that there's bundles I haven't thought of, but it seems to me that this kind of consideration that should be brought to local groups with a view to offering a bit of new life to the product.

Si wrote:But to give Simon his due...this weekend I'm doing a pro-cycling publicity stand ting. I've invited a number of organisations to supply leaflets, etc and said that I'd push them all. My problem is that I can rave on endlessly about how good the CTC is, but then they are going to ask how much is it to go on the sky ride and I'm going to say "oh, it's free" and they are going to say "so how much is the CTC ride?" and I'm going to say "oh, best part of £50". It's tricky.
well, if they come out with us it's fifteen quid for the CTC and two quid for The Fridays!

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby robgul » 15 May 2012, 5:20pm

Simon L6 wrote:
robgul wrote:
Simon L6 wrote:the thing that strikes me about Stourbug is this. The CTC gave them an award, but didn't seek to replicate it elsewhere, other than the 'five miles to fabulous' thing, which was really just a head office e-mail to local groups. Now, looky here. BC is going hell for leather for women's rides, and good luck to them.


... but is that going to alienate men, as being selected against ... and from Cycletta and other feedback in another place, alienate women by patronising them?

Surely all cyclists are equal ? - most of the women I know ride bikes with crossbars (that's a top-tube to youngsters) ... oh, and some saddles are gender-specific.

Rob
Russell made it work (I have to say that, prior to meeting him I kind of assumed he was a better looking version of George Clooney, but, while handsome enough, he apparently pulled off this wondrous trick with meticulous planning and organisation). I think the 'principle' is neither here nor there - if it gets people riding bikes it's got to be a good thing.

There is another all-woman bike club in Kent somewhere - I'll have to look it up - but, as a general rule, women (like people from minorities) are under-represented on club rides, be they BC or CTC, and it's not an easy thing to sort. We did reach 27% one year, but we're down to about 24% this year.


At risk of getting a further rap on the knuckles from Si the mod: - there was suggestion from a couple of the Stourbug members a while ago (during the training phase) that Ru88ell has a clipboard with a chart beside the marital bed :D :D

Rob

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Si » 15 May 2012, 7:50pm

JT wrote:
Si wrote:Oh, and by the way, my CTC councillor has bought me a pizza (a rather big one in a very nice gastro-pub type thing) - so it's not just Sky organisers :wink:

On the subject of turf, I did a CTC ride at the weekend. So many people that we had to split into at least four different groups and go to two different cafes to fit everyone, several newbies came and enjoyed. At the same time I received an email bemoaning the fact that local Sky type free led rides had had to be put off due to no one turning up despite all the publicity. So we must be doing something right for the time being.

But to give Simon his due...this weekend I'm doing a pro-cycling publicity stand ting. I've invited a number of organisations to supply leaflets, etc and said that I'd push them all. My problem is that I can rave on endlessly about how good the CTC is, but then they are going to ask how much is it to go on the sky ride and I'm going to say "oh, it's free" and they are going to say "so how much is the CTC ride?" and I'm going to say "oh, best part of £50". It's tricky.


By highlighting how good your local CTC group is (and your concillor) you're also drawing attention to one of the CTC's problems, i.e. the lack of consistency, the lack of any direction or guidance by national office. What you have is a good local cycling club that happends to be a CTC club. The qualities you have are down to the individuals involved rather than anything the CTC has done as a body.


Well, yes and no. The local club exists because of the CTC - we are over 100 years old (the club not us members) and have been CTC all that time and through out its history the CTC has supported it (admittedly to varying levels). Of course, without the excellent enthusiasm of those who run and promote our group it wouldn't be what it is now, but the same will be said of Sky rides...doesn't matter how good BC is, if they can't get the right people they won't work. BC/sky rides are still patchy too...Simon says that there are loads in London but there aren't here.

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Edwards » 15 May 2012, 7:51pm

I have read nearly all the posts in this thread and the one thing has struck me is the loyalty to the CTC. I wonder just how much loyalty there will be from the full paying commuters insurance only and other non club riders.
BC does not have any where near as much baggage with there lack of some of the campaigns. The people without brand loyalty will question what is in it for them and CTC can not show that much recent success. In the last year what have the campaigns achieved that got into the press.
So that is going to be hard to sell, recent campaigning with no obvious results.
CTC support for local groups trying to attract new people is sporadic to say the least.

BC has a big backer that is pumping money in at all levels of cycling. It has a modern outlook in terms of advertising and is actively promoting the commuter insurance. They are targeting people new to cycling and ensuring that all ride leaders are supported and given financial incentives.

The final nail for the CTC is the recent and ongoing nonsense and backstabbing from both sides of the charity thing. This whole nonsense is not very good advertising and does not endear people to join.

So as you might gather I feel the CTC is more than vulnerable but is only just not falling over the abyss of self destruction.
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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby Simon L6 » 16 May 2012, 9:35am

Edwards wrote:I have read nearly all the posts in this thread and the one thing has struck me is the loyalty to the CTC. I wonder just how much loyalty there will be from the full paying commuters insurance only and other non club riders.
for my part it's more a sense of sadness that an opportunity has been missed. At a time when the world was moving very quickly, when information was being disseminated very rapidly, and when expertise was highly prized, the CTC Councillors hid information in tight little pyramids, failed to invest in expertise, lost sight completely on the changing nature of communications, failed to capitalise on the heritage that gave the CTC it's unique selling point and let the brand atrophy. They decided that the CTC should be a contractor for government for no better reason that most of them worked in government and knew nothing else, completely failing to recognise that small businesses need more than one customer.

Now, as you say, BC, armed with more cash than the CTC can imagine, is going after the lot. I confess I didn't see that coming, thinking that the more likely threat would be from underneath - a Tandem Club clone, for example - but, either way, the survival of the CTC depends on keeping those £41s coming, and that's not going to be easy.

Having made some terrible decisions Kevin probably did well to get out at the right time.

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Re: The CTC - is it vulnerable?

Postby thirdcrank » 16 May 2012, 9:49am

Simon L6 wrote: ... They decided that the CTC should be a contractor for government ...


And that's quite incompatible with effective campaigning.