Meet our volunteers: Dave Hearn, Coventry CTC
Dave lives and breathes our values of Believing in Better and Collaborating as One Team. Bob Tinley, CTC Coventry's president, said when nominating Dave: "We - CTC Coventry - would like to recognise David Hearn’s contribution to Cycling UK in general, and especially to CTC Coventry, as he has been a member since 1977 and has been serving on the committee for 41 years."
He continues: "Dave has been a regular leader of local rides throughout that period and has been the driving force behind a fortnightly winter clubroom for 40 years, when he has organised a wide variety of speakers giving illustrated talks about their travels: not only cycling, but walking, sailing, ski touring, in fact anything of an outdoor nature.
"The last couple of years have been particularly difficult to maintain these activities but during that period he has also organised an annual Christmas dinner and managed an annual slide show with well-known speakers Josie Dew, Anne Mustoe and George Berwick, to mention but a few.
As well as leading groups of riders, he arranged the catering at a variety of watering holes on the rides, ensuring that all the riders were well-looked after
Bob Tinley, CTC Coventry president
"Dave has also been a key player in the organisation of our Tri-Vets rides, which we have been running since 2001. As well as leading groups of riders, he arranged the catering at a variety of watering holes on the rides, ensuring that all the riders were well-looked after. Not only has Dave been a constant figure within the club, but he also spent 25 years teaching cycle training in schools for Coventry City Council."
Cycling UK spoke to Dave following the award presentation to find out what makes him tick and what he enjoys about volunteering.
What made you decide to volunteer your skills?
To help others enjoy the activity I enjoy.
What is the impact of your volunteering?
Running the Coventry CTC member group is very much a team thing, I am one of several enthusiastic cyclists who contribute to the group.
Did the group help people to cope during the pandemic and lockdown?
I think so. We encouraged people to cycle on their own or with their partner. Once we were allowed to, we had weekly rides with a picnic halfway round. We have also started to have regular rides beginning in the less affluent parts of Coventry.
Do you particularly encourage more with female participation?
Our Centenary 100-kilometre ride last year saw 42 riders: 21 female and 21 male; our rides are regularly split roughly 50/50 female and male.
How about the return to activity after lockdown?
We followed all the guidelines during and after lockdown and are now very much back to normal, with café stops being a regular feature which we all enjoy. I think all the refreshment stops we visit have survived and it is nice to be able to support them once more.
What are the greatest challenges you have encountered?
We all speak to people and the main perception is that the roads are too dangerous for them to consider cycling anywhere other than in the park or on a cycle path.
Of all the tasks you have helped with, what are you most proud of?
I have delivered Bikeability (formerly Cycling Proficiency) for 27 years professionally and hope to have inspired children to want to go out cycling.
How has volunteering in cycling enhanced your own life?
For the past six years, I have had the privilege of organising the National Cyclists’ Memorial Service at Meriden. Also, once the vaccine began to be rolled out, I volunteered a couple of days each week at a Covid clinic for around twelve months. I was one of a team which included several members of CTC Coventry. My inspiration was my wife Margaret, who as a practice nurse became a regular vaccinator.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering in cycling?
It's easy, go for it.
Do you know someone who's Gone the Extra Mile for cycling? Why not nominate them for one of our awards and see their name appear on our Roll of Honour ahead of this year's Volunteers' Week from 1 to 7 June?