Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey earlier this winter. Our 32 respondents (out of 41 club members)gave us some great insights into what our club members value and a few ideas that we will be taking action on this season. Keep in mind that with a response rate of almost 80 percent of members replying to the survey, we think we have a pretty representative sample.
We’ll start with the so-what of the survey. What have we concluded about our club? What do we want to do in 2017 as a result?
And if you want to see more of the detail behind our conclusions, scoot down to the Highlights section that follows.
Exec & Volunteer Conclusions & Actions From Survey
- Let’s all be reminded of what is most important to us as a club. From the “What do you enjoy most?” question (see highlights below for detail), we confirmed that our tagline “Great Fitness, Great Food and Great Friends” are the themes that unite us. But surprise, surprise, the order might be a little off – by far “great friends” was the overwhelming theme that everyone agrees makes us a special meeting place. Next was fitness – ride, ride, ride! to enjoy the beauty of our scenery and quality of our routes. Food came last, mentioned by only a few. In the Highlights, you’ll see all the comments to the open-ended “what do you enjoy most about the club” organized by theme. The * separates individuals’ responses. See for yourself!
- Let’s all be mindful of our varying ride levels. In the “What do you enjoy least or what would you change” question, the biggest concern was a growing gap between the fast and the more leisurely groups of riders. At least 10 members mentioned a desire for us to be more aware of our differing rider levels. We’re paraphrasing here, but the comments invite us to ensure all riders have companionship (the thing we value most in our club!) and don’t feel they are in a race to catch up to the group (which then takes off as soon as they catch up!!)
Our recommendation: Hosts, make sure no one leaves the ride start without at least one other rider. Riders, if you agree to hang with someone, hang in. Groups of riders, hang back every now and then to let other riders catch up.
Too much food, late at night, potlucks, low attendance, especially when hosts go to the trouble to host, lack of punctuality, too early start times to make it on time on Fridays, not adhering to safety and member duties/rules were also mentioned by 1-3 members.
- Let’s build in more flexibility with Friday rides. From the open comments and the top reasons our members enjoy the club, we concluded that hosts need to take the pressure off themselves to end a Friday ride with a potluck.
Maybe it’s just drinks in the laneway after a ride. Maybe just veggies & dip. Maybe it’s ice cream or a milk shake on the ride. Or maybe we have a tailgate party at the start/end location, crack open a beer or soda and say our adieus as the sun goes down. It’s up to the host. So hosts, get creative in 2017!
Also, almost 65 percent of respondents are open to a Saturday ride start in the morning. So hosts, if you can’t find a Friday that works for you this season, pitch to your Friday Ride Coordinator a Saturday morning ride. Some Saturdays are already in the calendar – i.e., October rides, not including Thanksgiving and two joint rides with another club (see item 8 below).
- We encourage hosts to consider rain check dates. 60 percent of respondents are interested in riding 2 to 3 times per week. That target is hard to meet during a rainy season. While we’re not ready to officially add another day of riding to our calendar, we do want to encourage you as hosts, if you’re able, to offer an alternate day that week if your ride gets cancelled due to the weather.
- Let’s go on a club tour. Over half of the respondents were in favour of a short 2-3 day tour from a base location (not camping) within a 3-hour driving distance. Marshall is looking into this possibility and will follow up with a destination and dates early in the season so you can mark it in your calendar if you’re interested in joining.
- We will maintain membership at 50. See Q7 in the highlights.
- If you’re a host, push a theme for your ride. Almost half of respondents (15/32) thought the club could do more themed rides. Think Wobbly Tour. Blossom Ride. Scavenger Hunt. Market Ride. Have fun with it and they will come.
- Let’s do a Slow Down & Savour The Ride ride. How about an experiment in 2017? Consider hosting a “slow ride” themed ride. What’s that you say? It’s a ride where everyone stays together in a group. And we experience slowing down and savouring the experience of the ride and the pleasure of companionship.
- Let’s ride with other clubs. Over a third of respondents endorsed joining another club’s ride or having another club ride with us. Willy has organized one of each with the Northumberland Hills cycling club for 2017, both on Saturdays. See the season launch post and the calendar for details.
- Safety First in 2017. As with our AGM conversation for the last two years, members are concerned about safety. And from Willy’s homework on insurance pricing, safe practices are important to our insurers as well. Watch for more on our plans for a safety campaign and a training event in the first post of the season.
Most interesting highlights from the survey
Q1. What do you enjoy most about the club?
great people * Camaraderie * great friends * Camaraderie * cycling friends * companionship * the people * social * people * the camaraderie which develops with this group * a time to chat, and catch up later when we gather someplace * new friendships I have made * the social aspects * companionship and after ride socials, especially potlucks * people * more of a social aspect than many other clubs * socializing with others during the rides and at the pot lucks * all the friendly people! * the social aspect of the club * the company riding and social time * the wonderful members who are accepting, interesting, fun and great cycling companions * social aspects * the friends, the togetherness * socializing afterwards * friends briding with friends * the social of meeting, conversing while riding * riding in groups with common interests in fitness and the wind in your hair
Exercise * Cycling * Cycling * Riding * Riding * the Tuesday rides * the great rides * riding * the cycling * rides * group riding * the level of rides in terms of distance and endurance * most enjoyable is no doubt riding with a bunch of enjoyable like friends * fitness * great rides touring the countryside * the leisure rides on the back roads * the roads, routes and maps we have the pleasure of using * riding wonderful roads with great people * the routes b exploring different areas * outings * fresh air… * scenery * love all the various routes
very casual * relaxed riding atmosphere * the casualness
potluck * great food * pot lucks * food
Q4. Top 5 personal riding goals (32 answered):
- Experience fresh air and scenery (28)
- Ride with others (26)
- Improve current fitness (24)
- Make new friends (17)
- Learn new riding routes (17)
Q5. Top 5 club goals (32 answered):
- Would consider doing a ride on a Saturday or Sunday starting in the morning (23)
- Plan to do Tuesday rides when possible (22)
- Plan to do Friday rides when possible (21)
- Would consider an additional day during the week, besides Tuesday (15)
- Would consider doing a ride on a Saturday or Sunday starting in the afternoon (11)
Q6. Top 6 tour organizing ideas (32 answered)
- Self-supported 2-3 day tours from a base location within a 3-hour drive (not camping and no sag wagon required) (18)
- Piggy backing on existing tours (14)
- 5-7 day tours within Ontario (11)
- 5-7 day tours to the US (9)
- 7-10 day tours in Europe (9)
- Interested in helping to organize (9)
Q7. Club size
Majority endorsed a preference to keep the number at 50 (12) versus skipped question or no opinion (11) versus increase to 60(7) or to 75 (2)
Q8.Top 7 good for the club in 2017 to:
- Organize more theme rides (15)
- Invite other clubs to join our rides (13)
- Be more active year-round and organize non-ride activities in winter (12)
- Invite other clubs to join our rides (13)
- Join other club outings (11)
- Host fewer potlucks (10) (versus (4) Host more)
- Find ways to communicate safety (10)