CTC group leaders & CTC future direction

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Joined: 16 Oct 2011, 4:04pm

CTC group leaders & CTC future direction

Postby magical_mouse » 26 Aug 2013, 4:29pm

Hi, I am writing this as i begin to wonder whether the CTC is still primarily a club for cycle tourists or something else, my reasons for concern revolve around the following:

1. The new guidelines for runs leaders are beginning to sound prescriptive and (may) put leaders off.
2. The idea of running courses for leaders is sensible but charging almost £200 is an interesting development, is the future likely to develop that runs leaders have to have taken the course - this would effectively end local CTC group rides.
3. My local group is made up of people who are older, i do not know whether this is common but does suggest an ageing and therefore diminishing active group, there are some ad-hoc groups springing up in the area which previously the CTC would have catered for (or the local racing club or both).
4. The change of name for the CTC and the charitable status are not in themselves an issue (to me) but there seems a shift away from the original purpose of the organisation (cycletouring) and there do not appear to be any other organisations catering for cycletourists (of all persuasions - i belong to AUK but this is a very small subset of cycle-tourists).

I may be needlessly concerned, but would be interested to hear other views.


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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: CTC group leaders & CTC future direction

Postby Si » 26 Aug 2013, 5:00pm

would be interested to hear other views.

1. Ride leading is no longer as simple as it once was thanks to the requirements of the insurance industry, etc. You'll probably find that most organisations are tightening their reins regarding the advice for ride leaders, not just the CTC. And I'm sure that if it was left to the CTC then they'd happily continue as they always have. Compared to the other cycling group that I lead rides for the CTC rides are positively bohemian and anarchical in their liberal attitudes!

2. There seems a bit of confusion over the CTC Ride Managers' Course (if this is what you are referring to?). It's not a course that I would recommend for any leader of traditional CTC club rides. Rather it is a course that shows you how to look after groups of mostly new riders. It basically covers route planning, RAs, bike checks, snaking, keeping the group entertained, emergencies and awkward participants (and ice-cream eating). And it is very good for this purpose but somewhat different to what the average MG leader does.

3. My local group did start to age but has recently seen an upsurge in the middle-aged and some in their 20s+. I think that it's really down to what the existing members of a MG want to do to attract new blood. IIRC the recent surveys on average age of the CTC as a whole had a figure that was lower than I was suspecting. What might be more worrying is how many women, and how many people from ethnic minorities cycling clubs attract. The CTC isn't too bad on attracting females (least ways, my local MG isn't too bad). But fairly poor with ethnic minorities.......my local MG has a token content, but on the cycling project in the same area that I am involved with the uptake by those from ethnic minorities and by females has been extremely high. Of course, attracting people from ethnic minorities has never been a CTC tradition.

4. I would argue that contrary to popular opinion in some parts, the CTC has never been entirely devoted to cycle tourists, rather it has always taken a prominent role in cycle campaigning. But the shape of cycle campaigning in the UK is changing and so the CTC needs to change with it. Likewise, we haven't been the CTC from the get-go, the club had a number of name changes along the way in an attempt to stay current. So, to me, neither of these should be seen necessarily as something that takes away from touring, rather if the CTC is ignoring tourists then that is because the CTC is ignoring tourists.....and that is probably because there are fewer traditional tourists to cater for these days.

John Catt
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Joined: 21 Dec 2009, 6:08pm

Re: CTC group leaders & CTC future direction

Postby John Catt » 26 Aug 2013, 6:01pm

magical_mouse wrote:1. The new guidelines for runs leaders are beginning to sound prescriptive and (may) put leaders off.

Wonder which bits of the new guidance for ride leaders http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/events/ctc-guide-to-leading-a-group-ride-july-2013.pdf you perceive to be overly presciptive? They seem fairly innocuous to me.

These were issued at the same time as the new guide for group riding https://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/events/ctc-guide-to-group-riding-july-2013.pdf.