Celebrating our cycling volunteers

Celebrating our cycling volunteers

How do you encourage more people to enjoy the wonderful benefits of cycling? Five of our volunteers gave up their time on Saturday 9 October to speak about how they volunteer in cycling and why they would encourage other people to do so

Cycling UK volunteers undertake many roles, and the first event brought together a handful of the more than the 6,000 registered Cycling UK volunteers, where they spoke about their roles and how they got involved, and why you should too.

Meet our volunteers



Left: Khalda, right: Derek. Top left: Biola. Top right: Charlie. Bottom: Peter

Charlie

First up was Charlotte Parker of Bia Cycling Club in Reading. Charlie, who retired from the police force after 30 years' service, is one of our Pumped Up Crew of micro volunteers, as well as being a volunteer in the community who uses her bike as transport to perform her duties.

Not only this, she is also the founder of Charlie's Angels, a group that specifically encourages women to overcome the barriers they face to be able to enjoy cycling, having found it terrifying at first when she tried to join a cycling club herself. She also explained that Cycling UK has been brilliant in helping her to help others. 

Derek

Next, we heard from Derek Ridyard of West Surrey Cycling Club. Derek is the event organiser for the popular sportive Tour of the Hills, which takes place annually in August and has just celebrated its 40th year.

Now he has a bit more time on his hands, he spoke about the enjoyment he gets from being part of the team that pulls the event together, and the huge amount of goodwill it generates with the people who take part in it.

Although it takes several days to set up, the satisfaction Derek feels in enabling others to have a great day out cycling more than compensates. He not only said it's a buzz to see riders completing the challenging course, but is also good fun with positive spin-offs for the club, such as generating funds that pay for first aid training, for example.

Khalda

Khalda Begum leads two rides a week for Share Calthorpe CCC in Birmingham. Not having ridden a bike since she was 11, she got into cycling after being able to borrow one from from her local community cycling club.

After a year, she was asked to become a ride leader and has never looked back. The social aspect is as important to Khalda as the physical and mental health benefits it brings - she speaks about encouraging people to take time out for themselves and ride with like minded people, experiencing the beauty of nature and the local greenery, and says you can't beat the fresh air and camaraderie.

She has now been a ride leader for 18 months and asks anyone considering getting involved to ask themselves why they wouldn't want to give something back and pass on the joy they have experienced themselves. 

Peter

Equally passionate about giving his time to cycling is Cycling UK volunteer photographer Peter Cornish, who combines his two passions in his role. He has been performing the role for around three-and-a-half years, after spotting the opportunity on our volunteering hub.

Biola

Finally, we hear from Biola Babawale, the chair of Velociposse Cycling Club, a group that is trying to increase inclusion in cycling amongst marginal groups such as women and non-binary people.

Biola explains how, even though she is not a strong or particularly experienced cyclist, she has been able to give back to the sport by utilising professional skills gained in the corporate world to help the group grow.

This has allowed Velociposse to develop a strategy based on its great intentions and bring the vision of inclusion to fruition. She is now paying forward the enjoyment she has got from cycling as chair and ride leader for the group. 

Get involved

Find out about all our current volunteer opportunities and discover the resources we provide for group and club volunteers. 

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