Si wrote:Not so much 'gone wrong'.....if the CTC was predominantly about promoting touring to 'keen cyclists' then the MG system works fine in theory: this is your hobby where you are happy to spend your disposable income so the membership fee won't put you off (assuming you believe the benefits are worth while).
But the CTC's (or should I say "Cycling UK's"...I notice in the draft govt transport strategy there is a big bit on the Bike Revival and it uses the term Cycling UK) main aim is not to promote touring but to promote all cycling. In which case, running it as a special interest club is not for beneficial. By promoting all cycling touring cyclists benefit, by promoting touring, only tourists benefit. If you are a died in the wool tourist I can see why you would rather it was heavily loaded towards touring cyclists, I do much more utility cycling than touring and so believe that the CTC/CUK should be supporting all forms of cycling.
Si, this is much the way I see it.
Some might like to recall CTC's 'global strategy' for 2013-2020: http://www.ctc.org.uk/about-ctc/policie ... -direction
To me, the key statement there is that "For both on-road and off-road cyclists we will be the natural home"
Certainly as someone who's primary interest has always been off road cycling/mountain biking (I very much prefer the French VTT classification as being more inclusive of everyone who rides off road for recreation, exploration skills or sport) I feel very strongly that CTC has been failing me, and my sport, for many years.
Current stats (Natural England MENE data) show that offroad/VTT constitutes about one third of all recreational cycling (i.e. once we discard commuting/transport and utility cycling) - on that basis it certainly hasn't had a fair share of the resources or priority of the organisation over the years. While lip service was paid and a lot of good work was done, the real issues and leadership that offroad needed were never really given the effort that was deserved - certainly if you take into account the much clearer importance of VTT to the tourist and rural economy in the wake of foot and mouth - we've heard months and months of outrage and constant winging from Philip and his ilk over the loss of the 'touring officer' but barely a [ flying whisper ]
was given by any of them over the gradual loss of the offroad team over the last few years.
I want CTC to represent ALL recreational and lifestyle cyclists, not just the select few - BC's direction and remit is clearly sport, CTC is the home for everyone else. I think that the conversion to CyclingUK is a huge step down that road, allowing the organisation to shed the problems of the past and reposition itself where it damn well should be.
If that upsets Philip and his mates who want to leave so that they can remain a clique of predominantly white, male, grumpy old farts with carradice saddlebags because changing somehow disrespects the 'history' of the organisation then I think that the cycling community that CTC was set up to represent is well rid of them.
A few miles away from here, a CTC affiliated group under the auspices of AGE-UK has been taking out dozens of people aged 50+ and getting them into off-road cycling - these are absolutely people who would never have categorised themselves as 'cyclists' and never dreamed of joining a CTC member group - what they are doing is riding bloody bikes, and they have just put out a plea for help in getting more women out with them. Bloody fantastic I say, and I want to see CTC knuckling down and supporting things like this in every way possible - if its at the expense of a few member benefits for those of us who have been riding for years, or means giving support to an affiliated group rather than a member group, then I say go ahead and flipping well do it. I will happily keep paying my membership to an organisation that supports grass roots cycling like this at the expense of member benefits, I think that its everything that CTC should be about.
In the grand scheme of things, more bums on saddles is the best member benefit any of us could ever dream of!