2019 AGM - Secretary's Report

2019 AGM - Secretary's Report



I’m pleased to report that the regional membership number has risen again this year. Our postcode group membership number on 30 September, including members of Affiliated Clubs, was 1623, compared to 1544 last year, a nett increase of 79.  This is our largest membership and the largest annual membership increase since I became secretary in 2013.  I think it is reasonable to assume that the increase in membership was helped by the widely publicized case of the cyclist in London who knocked over a lady who walked into the road without looking at the traffic or where she was going as she was looking at her mobile phone, and then she sued the cyclist and won her case, a ridiculous decision.

I reported at the AGM last year that the problems with Cycling UK’s new email system were being addressed and there was light at the end of that particular tunnel.  Unfortunately, that light still appears to be very dim to me.  I sent an email through the Cycling UK website last month advising about this AGM, and after help from Cycling UK it successfully reached members.  However, the follow-up email I tried to send last week with the full AGM agenda including the items to be discussed under Any Other Business didn’t reach members successfully and it was my fault.  Cycling UK hadn’t explained in their instructions to me on posting emails to members that the status they had to be saved under on the website was ‘Ready to send’ so that Cycling UK can review them and then send them.  I had saved the latest email under ‘Sent’ which seemed logical.  However, in spite of editing the saved email and changing its status to ‘Ready to send’ Cycling UK still haven’t managed to send it to members. I’ll be following this up to see why the emails are not going to members.

I have a list of members who have asked me when the next order for our regional jersey is being placed. I will be emailing members in our region in January 2020, the Cycling UK email system permitting, to ask for orders for the short sleeve jersey, and I will be asking for orders for the long sleeve jersey later in 2020.

I wish to record my thanks to Heather Evans for the cycle campaigning work she does in the region. This work is invaluable as it benefits all cyclists, not just our members. Unfortunately the rights of way meetings organised by Northumberland County Council finished three years ago, but she is in contact with Ted Liddle, and we benefit from Ted’s extensive knowledge of the rights of ways network in Northumberland and he is also Vice-Chair of the Northumberland National Park and County Joint Local Access Forum.

The Ponteland riding group numbers continue to rise with 60 members now on the contact list, of whom 50 have been regular riders at some stage this year. The number of female riders in the Ponteland group has remained stable and they now comprise 25% of the riding group. Sadly, there are still no other regular group rides in the region in spite of attempts to encourage other groups to start. Depending on the time of year and the weather, the number of riders regularly turning out in Ponteland for the Tuesday rides is between 15 and 30 riders, and for the Friday rides it is between 8 and 12 riders. I wish to record my thanks to Geoff Diamond and Michelle Whitworth who have been the ride leaders for most of this year’s rides. My thanks, also, to Steve Foster and John Coen for organising a series of monthly longer rides as alternative rides on Tuesdays during the warmer months this year.

Our plans for a 100 miles Challenge Ride in the summer were abandoned when Cycling UK advised they could not support it as we didn’t have enough participants in previous years.

The £1000 donation agreed at the AGM last year to Ted Liddle for the Reivers Cycle Route relaunch was made in December. This has new maps and improved signage and I have received four copies of the new weatherproof map.

A group of 24 members and guests enjoyed a very good one week cycling holiday in Albufeira, Portugal in May this year. A one week cycling holiday is planned for 26 April to 3 May 2020 in Puerto d’Alcudia, Majorca and, so far, 21 members and guests have booked for this. Because of withdrawals after booking, there are now two places available at the original price of £570, but there may also be a small additional fee to change the booking name.

In addition to their regular rides, 36 members and guests of the Ponteland riding group attended a Christmas lunch at Arcot Hall Golf Club during a ride on Tuesday 11th December 2018. This year’s Christmas ride lunch is being held on Tuesday 10th December at The Plough, Stamfordham Road, Eachwick and, currently, 45 members and guests have booked to attend.

Lawrence Connelly

Hon. Secretary, Cycling UK Tyneside & Northumberland Member Group

6 November 2019

Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19