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And if you don’t race, or like racing, it doesn’t include you. I’m not good at this kind of stuff, but from what I can see BikeNZ thinks that all adult mountain bikers should be club members and paying them money—I mean membership fees—for what we get. I mean, they get a new website, which won’t be cheap. Oh we also get a centre for cycling to. I may be being a little cynical, but I’m not that excited. Have a read for yourself here and then let them know what you think. Hell you can even tell them in person as they’re doing a few discussion evenings.

Tama Easton posted an interesting breakdown of BikeNZ’s spending last year; its worth a look. You should also check out Mildy’s open letter to mountain bikers. I know getting to Petone at 6pm will be hard but it could be worth it. It’s at Pelorus House, by the roundabout in Seaview.

Monday 19th March – Auckland
Tuesday 20th March – Cambridge
Wednesday 21st March – Napier
Thursday 22nd March – Wellington
Monday 26th March – Nelson
Tuesday 27th March – Christchurch
Wednesday 28th March – Dunedin
Thursday 29th March – Queenstown
Monday 2nd April – Wanganui

If you’re keen on going let them know here.

0 Responses

  1. My interpretation is that BikeNZ basically wants to increase its membership base and therefore revenue stream with the additional revenue enabling it to grow cycling in NZ. The ‘pathway to success’ sounds like a way to describe simply initiatives that will increase BikeNZ’s involvement in ALL aspects of cycling within NZ. This all necessitates a review of the current membership model which will undoubtedly push a few buttons

    1. FYI… I worked for BikeNZ for 18months in a regional role. I didn’t have a car (let alone a flash new one)…. and whilst in the role was our only focus on high performance? Er, no track. I predominantly worked in schools and put 1500+ 8-10yr olds through 6hrs each of fundamental cycling skills training so they too can develop a passion and enjoyment that comes from using a bicycle. That would be your grassroots future cyclists. Nothing to do with high performance. There is some merit to the plan. Just sayin. Cabin

      1. Cabin, I must admit the only part of the document I liked was the their motivation to get kids on bikes, I have three children, two of which cycle to school regularly. When they started riding to school there was no bike rack. Turns out the police and the government had got most Wellington primary schools to remove their bike racks to discourage kids from cycling to school. The problem I have is as that document clearly states the end goal is to create more elite cyclists, that’s well and good but there is more to life than racing, just look at the Netherlands and those other European country’s. So I agree there is some merit.
        But when you look at page 23 that’s when it shows how out of touch it all is, they don’t even acknowledge that recreational mountain bikers exist, or matter enough to be part of the plan. I think i’d be pretty safe in assuming here that we (the non racing recreational riders out there) massively out number those that are racing.

        Making a flash website that people can log into and have personal profiles isn’t going to help, there’s this site that people use, you may have of it, its called Facebook, most don’t want another one. And websites aren’t cheap, in 2008 Sparc spent $5.5 million on its website. And between 2006 and 2010, Sparc will spend $11.5 million on its website. That’s enough to give almost $6,000 worth of sporting equipment (or a pump track) to every primary school in New Zealand. I’d hate to think how much BikeNZ would be happy to pay for the new website and even how much this PDF cost to design!

        Oh and you may not have had a car but there are a number of heavily sign written late model BikeNZ cars rolling round Wellington.

        1. I hear what you are saying. To be 100% honest I do quite enjoy the fact that I am now regional sports trust employed therefore doing local stuff with local direction. Tonight for instance I spent the evening running beginner MTB sessions for 35 middle aged ladies. Last night it was DadsnLads with 25 very beginner blokes experiencing the joy of MTB. This did come from BikeNZ plans and initiatives originally. And I know there is movement and progress in the everyday cycling space because I get the odd piece of contract work training instructors of fundamental/Learn 2 Ride skills around the country.
          So I feel it is important to add some fact to the debate.

          One thing they could certainly put more effort into is getting across their message that development does mean everyday/recreational cycling in all forms. That is the mission. But I think often that development word is read as meaning talent/athlete development. Definately work to do in that space.

          So I think the more people that have issues/concerns with the plan, the marketing, the approach (or anything else), I would urge you to go along to the evenings. Its your chance to put them on the spot and challenge it – and $ invested in website vs how many pump tracks it could build would be a great starting arguement wholeheartedly supported by myself.

          1. I’ve been waiting for your thoughts on this one…
            I would argue that the grass-roots education ends up being club-driven simply because the often-promised development resources never show up. I’ve been waiting for ages.

            I feel a tad sorry for bikeNZ, you can’t have what is essentially a high-performance programme responsible for feveloping recreational pursuits, the two are like chalk-and-cheese and require two completely different mindsets.

            Get along to the evenings and have your say

          2. Breaking news…. that BikeNZ could likely help themselves by making a proper announcement about themselves….
            I have in front of me on my desk hot of the press the first of BikeNZ’s code specific beginner/fundamental training resources (both instructor and participant handbooks). The code? MTB. Taken a while for sure. But it is there.

            The biggest challenge (and one I don’t have the answer for), is appropriately engaging and supporting clubs and community groups in such a way that they do have the skills, the desire, and capacity to delivery opportunities in the “beginner” space. Regional Sports Trusts are best placed to do this with clubs. But then the RST’s also need firm leadership, guidance, and actual concrete plans to help them to help and lead their respective clubs.

          3. I read this plan after seeing Caleb’s posts expecting to find some track centric, pro-elite only, out of touch, white elephant. Instead I see talk of supporting clubs, helping kids learn to ride, providing instruction to a broader range of people, building memberships etc. Oh the insanity.
            The focus on helping Clubs and building membership is a good one. Remember, it is clubs like Makara Peak Supporters, Wellington MTB Club, Queenstown MTB Club etc. who play a huge role in advocating, building track and putting on events for social riders and for racers alike. Long Gully isn’t just about the National DH series, it’s mostly about club events.

            The suggestion in the document that membership is important and of making it easier for volunteer administrators at organizations manage memberships is bang on. I don’t necessarily like the approach they are proposing, it is probably not for every club, but it will help a lot of clubs.

            Memberships = advocacy = more stuff you like including the tracks that we all like to ride on socially.

            And regarding the ‘there’s this thing called Facebook’. When will Spoke Magazine be getting rid of its website??

          4. Ben, I guess I just wanted to encourage a bit of discourse on the site, I mean its not like that the BikeNZ plan was really out there for people to see, and now lots of people have seen it. Its worth mentioning that we didn’t even get sent a press release, BikeNZ weren’t obviously that keen on mountain bikers feedback.
            I’m just glad people are talking…

            Oh and we wont be getting rid of our WordPress based site anytime soon, the simple MTBNZ site (also wordpress) is fantastic. Ben would you log in to a special user profile on a BikeNZ site? Really Would you? I could be wrong but I think most people want information from websites these days.

          5. Your posting the article was a great idea, I was having a dig at your commentary in the discussion. You know, to stimulate further discourse.
            Oh, and I might be weird but I login to sites all the time that provide me a service or some sort or another (Pinkbike, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc.). Modern web browsers and sites make it pretty seamless, but regardless, I was mostly thinking about it more from the point of view of a project / club coordinator with an interest in membership management. If they can provide the means for someone to register on the site, pay subs to a club, then get sent reminders etc. when they are due again, then that is providing a useful service to a club. One you can get if you pay Wild Apricot $USD 50 a month too mind (that is the SaaS platform that Makara Peak use) and they give you event processing and web hosting too for the same price so Bike NZ will be dreaming if they want to charge much for this at all (or anything really).

            And by the way, lots of Makara Peak Supporters folks are happily creating accounts, paying their subs. Membership has been much stronger since electronic sign ups and payments were introduced, in fact paid membership tripled within about 12 months from memory. So the angle that Bike NZ is taking on making that easier (if that is indeed what they are wanting to do, rather than just get a bunch of peoples accounts they can spam) then that is goodness.

            Of course they could just make this as stunningly unsuccessful as Ride Strong. But great to see them thinking about it.

      2. FYI according to the 2011 Financial Statement $5,386,000 Sparc money allocated to High Performance and $343,000 to Cycling Development. As a recreational cyclist who races, i think it would be nice to swap those numbers. Just sayin.

  2. Show me one example of centralising that has helped the grass roots. Sure, it creates the potential to lobby at a political and public service level but unfortunately that potential is seldom realised. It creates a resource hunger bureaucracy which takes reather than creates and tends to focus on the elite few rather than the many at the grass roots. Or maybe I’m wrong, and maybe we need a BeachNZ too as surely we are missing out on having a standardised and therefore much better kiwi beach experience.

  3. no advocacy is mentioned for facilitys, use of areas, or cycle lanes. some good Ideas but it seems they have a very narrow defintion of cycling as well. under this scheme kelly Mcgarry, jed Mildon, the frews and many other great riders and spots would get no money, recognition or funding. not everyone likes to compete, or be part of clubs that don’t have there interests at heart. why shoud I give money to a club when I don’t agree with its objectives. And I also know that many people are put off by competition, herds of people and general mainstreaming of sport. Bikenz/ sparcs clear bias towards competition, especially olympic will be to there detriment I believe. rant over

  4. What ever happened to just getting out on your bike with some mates and having a good time? Sounds like the marketing dept is trying to sell a pyramid scheme to the average cyclist to me.

  5. I agree that for us to have more top level cyclists we need to have more people cycle. Having said that – that theory hasn’t worked for China.
    My biggest issue is cycling is not primarily about competition or development. It is about the sheer joy and convenience of cycling. Many people are missing out on this because they think it is either, too dangerous, or too inconvenient.

    Road user attitudes have changed in New Zealand as there are more cars on the road and they are faster. The car is king and our transport strategy revolves around roads, rather than moving people into alternative forms of transport.

    Just look at the comments on a recent article about how cars and bikes could share the road better.
    there are some very thoughtful comments in there. Some consideration of other road users is required by all parties.

    We need Bike NZ to show some leadership in cycling advocacy from road safety to mountain bikes in National parks and everything in between. We need to create a culture in New Zealand that riding a bike is normal and encouraged. But I may be mistaken in my understanding on the purpose of the organisation, but I sure as sh1t know that a new website is not going to change attitudes to cycling in New Zealand – whether it be for leisure or competition.

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