Volunteer spotlight: Simon Davey

Simon Davey is an all round cyclist and volunteer photographer for Cycling UK
Simon Davey is an enthusiastic photographer and member of our Pumped Up Crew, as well as a cyclist. He explains why he enjoys photography and comes from combining it with his love of cycling by volunteering for Cycling UK

Simon, who originally comes from Staffordshire, lived in a village called Milford on the edge of Cannock Chase and says "As a child, I rode my bike to school all year round, wearing a parka in the winter while eating a breakfast sandwich.

"In my teenage years, I cycle toured around Wales and the Peak District staying in some fantastic YHA accommodation and eating Vesta meals."

He started cycle touring in his youth, buying his first mountain bike in the early nineties, which he says was "New and very exciting.

"If you saw another MTB rider in those days, you would stop to chat."

He has mountain biked across England, Wales and France, but in 2011, he bought his first road bike and was hooked on the acceleration and speed. We spoke to him about why he became a volunteer for Cycling UK.

Looking ahead

In 2021, I'm about to get my first gravel bike and again, I'm really excited. Gravel, I hope, will be the best of Mountain Biking and road: more relaxed than road but more flexible for multi-day tours than a Moutain Bike. I'm dreaming of long, warm, sunny days with great bridleways, no time pressures and with a pub at the end for refreshment and accommodation.

I still intend to stay in a few YHAs like Ilam Hall in Derbyshire but in a private room! I love route planning and use a combination of Komoot, OS app and Garmin. My latest planned ride for the summer is a 3-Counties 3-Breweries Tour.

Why do you like photography? 

I would describe photography in three words: Art, Imagination, Fun. Digital cameras give us the freedom to try anything and see immediately the result so you can refine and try again.

I set-up a website just for my own enjoyment 10 years ago. My aim is to take a photograph that I would like to print and hang up at home. Less is more and I'm ruthless at deleting images which are just ok.

What made you decide to volunteer your skills with Cycling UK?

I really like the ethos of Cycling UK in promoting cycling for everyone. I also like photography, so it’s good matching two of my passions.

It's given my cycling a different dimension and it's fun. I like talking about Cycling UK with my friends and family

Simon Davey, Cycling UK volunteer photographer

How much time are you able to commit?

As much as is required. I’m retired, so I volunteer as a photographer taking photos guided by the team. I recently took some spring cycling photos of a family and I visited the location twice before meeting them – I’ve become obsessed with daffodils! One of the resulting photos (above) has been used by Cycling UK as the cover shot for its Facebook page

Of all the tasks you have helped with, what are you most proud of?

Taking a photo in lockdown of a British Cycle Quest (BCQ) checkpoint, which can now be seen on the BCQ website.

What do you get out of the experience of volunteering?

It's interesting and enjoyable. I anticipate making each Cycling UK event a mini project. Planning is part of the fun for me, be that routes or places to create interesting images.

How has volunteering enhanced your passion for cycling?

It's given my cycling a different dimension and it's fun. I like talking about Cycling UK with my friends and family.

Why do you volunteer for Cycling UK?

I really relate to the aims of Cycling UK in encouraging everyone to try cycling for transport and fun. If our short car journeys can be done on a bike, we make our local area a better place to live.

Combining cycling with photography is perfect for me. I'm really looking forward to planning for events, carrying out a recce of an area a few days beforehand to work out the best photo spots for light, background and interest, then taking the photos on the day.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Cycling UK or local groups supporting cycling?

Have a go and find an area which you will enjoy. Volunteering should be fun.

How to get involved

If, like Simon, you would like to give back to cycling by volunteering for Cycling UK, take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with the volunteering team.