The Bicycle Adventure Club is growing and evolving. From Mary & I documenting our adventures on youtube & challenging ourselves into leading & motivating others on their Bicycle Adventure journeys. This has been an organic, exploratory growth, and one that has allowed us to personally grow and improve and we have all of you to thank. Developing the Bicycle Adventure Club is about developing people.
This post was updated on 10th May 2022 SEE BELOW
“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”Albert Einstein
I have run a business and been an employer for 20 years, so it’s no surprise that a lot of my business duties and requirements have filtered into how I run the Bicycle Adventure Club, especially when it comes to leading rides.
Duty of Care
There are 2 main ones that spring to mind. First, the importance of personal development. Directed learning allows me to maintain and improve my knowledge & competence allowing me to provide the best service & experience for riders. Secondly, I am aware that as a ride leader I have a ‘duty of care’ to the riders that I am providing the experience for.
In layman’s terms, if I create and lead an activity that I promoted to you, I need to take reasonable steps to make sure that you don’t come to any harm from that activity.
If, on that activity, you went racing off down a hill you hadn’t ridden before; on your inappropriate, rickety old bike, with only the back brake working, and you end up in a massive pothole, over the bars and breaking bones, it is reasonable to say that the incident was my fault as the ‘duty of care’ was with me as the ride leader. I didn’t warn you about the pothole or stop you racing off down a dangerous hill, never mind the obvious lack or pre-ride checks that should have gone into preparing for such a ride.
As a provider of that experience I have failed you, neglected my duty of care and consequently you have suffered life changing trauma.
An extreme scenario, or is it?
Post incident, how do I deal with a broken person, who am I gonna call? (ghostbusters…..?) What is the casualty’s name and where are they from? How do I get the group home safely, what do I do with the extra bike I now have?
All of these scenarios, questions and much more are just some of the things I need to think about when organising a Bicycle Adventure Club ride. It’s why there are processes & procedures in place to make sure you get the best possible service, a ride that will not only be interesting & challenging, but also with the risks minimised.
Fundamentals of Mountain Bike Leadership
Having that duty of care means that I also need to make sure that my personal development is directed towards the skills and knowledge I need to carry out my duty and I have just completed British Cycling’s brand new Fundamentals of Mountain Bike Leadership Course.
Described by British Cycling as:
‘a course ideal for anyone who wants to lead groups using mixed road and off-road environments, this might include rides that are already taking place but require development and insurance, with a remit to lead on terrain that ranges from the urban fringe and gravel tracks through to open countryside, woodland and most trail centre blue routes’
Perfect for the Bicycle Adventure Club!
More details on the award are HERE and I highly recommend it if you are thinking about leading rides or even just taking your mates out on a ride you have devised.
In order to attend the course I had to provide evidence of my bike riding ability and fitness via a logbook of rides over the last 6 months and complete 4+ hours of online learning via British Cycling, plus complete online safeguarding training to understand what my child protection responsibilities are.
I travelled down to WyeMTB in the Forest of Dean to attend the 2 day practical & assessment course. A great balance of classroom and practical ‘on-ride’ learning within a small group, covering everything from ride motivation, navigation, support, leading principles and much more.
On top of this a 2 day outdoor First Aid Qualification is needed to be certified.
The course so far has cost over £400. I’ve raised the money from selling Bicycle Adventure Club merchandise and providing workshops for a small fee, so a massive thank you to all those that have supported us, purchased something or attended a workshop.
Given the time and effort it takes to organise a group ride, I am considering charging a fee for some of our more adventurous rides, even the local ‘round the block’ rides require lots of time and preparation. Your donations & purchases allow us to organise these rides and you contribute to helping people get out cycling more. Thank you.
My other motivation for completing this course is to be able to deliver exceptional Guided Rides via Hire the Bicycle Adventure Club. Hopefully this will help us raise more funds to grow.
Next, we would like to put Mary through leadership training, that way we can look after larger groups. I’m also hoping to undertake the Night Leader assessment, then who knows maybe a team of leaders all delivering quality group Bicycle Adventures! Think how many people we could inspire, how many lives we could change!
Thank you for your continued support. Not only are you helping others into cycling by supporting us, you are genuinely changing our lives.
On a personal note, I couldn’t and wouldn’t have done any of this without the love and unwavering support of Mary. Kind and selfless to a fault. Today is our wedding anniversary. We have been married for 10 years. Love you Mar. x
Thank you for reading.
Sarah (& Mary)
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10th May 2022
Today I recieved my First Aid Certificate which means my qualification is ‘live’. However between completing the course and now British Cycling have taken the decision to not support their transgender and non-binary athletes and yet they have taken my money for this course and expect me to remain a member in order for the qualification to stay live, but if I wanted to race for them I couldn’t given that I identify a trans/non- binary. How can I use British Cycling as a tool for encouraging cycling when they themselves wont accept or fight the corner of people that are different. Shame.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below….