Following initial expressions of interest from over 420 people, 160 registered Forum members and 288 members joining to contribute modest seed funding these notes are summary of where we are as at today, 28 April 2017.
A lot of effort has been put in by the founders, with contributions from a small initial group - however progress has been slow and thwarted in some areas.
The most significant requirement that potential TCC members identified was personal third-party insurance on a par with that available from other cycling organisations. It was expected that TCC membership would be offered at a basic rate and a slightly higher rate to include third-party insurance.
After numerous enquiries it seems that all roads lead to just one broker/provider, Butterworth Spengler. We experienced considerable delay in even getting a reply to our enquiry for a group scheme where we expected to have hundreds of members - eventually we received an answer: Thank you for your enquiry, unfortunately we are unable to assist due to agreements we have with our other associations.
There was also a proposal from another insurer that agreed to provide a suitable group policy for third-party insurance. We decided to proceed but when the project got beyond the sales people it turned out that the cover was only available as part of a member package that was really for cycle theft with third-party as an afterthought . . . not only was that unsuitable it was also (as most cycle theft insurances) at exorbitant rates.
The Tandem Club membership on the face of it offers insurance within its very modest annual membership fee but we were told by the provider that it is “cover of last resort” and not a “given” - we understand that it is based on the probability that any member would have cover from another organisation, or as is almost universal - cover under a household policy.
So, at present we are at a brick wall with insurance.
2 Resources & Forum
Quite a lot of ideas emerged from the meeting we had with a small group but almost no contributions of resource or ideas have been received from members.
A hard core of Forum members are posting with some useful answers and friendly banter. The Forum will be split shortly into “open” (i.e. anyone can read posts and Registered FORUM members can post) and “closed” (that is only visible to TCC members, who may also post - these members will of course have access to the whole Forum)
We’re delighted that Chris Juden & Mark Waters have agreed in principle to provide their expertise in matters technical and touring within the TCC members’ area of the Forum.
Creating an email list of the expressions of interest, TCC Forum members and TCC members has been ongoing - with several mailshots to ask for contributions for website resource and ideas. We have also issued press releases that have gained cover and generated enquiries.
We looked at a number of events to promote and stimulate interest in TCC and the York Rally at the end of June seems to be a good opportunity with a presence, banner, leaflets etc and people to answer questions about the potential club.
There is a cycle festival at Clitheroe at the end of May but from information received so far on the programme it will be somewhat niche and we don’t feel it would justify the entry costs and expense we would incur. The Mildenhall Rally is still some way off and we expect to make a decision attendance on the basis of experience at York.
The initial funding from TCC membership at a token £4 enabled us to cover the legal costs of incorporating the limited company, website costs, payment fees and room hire for the inaugural meeting together with a supply of leaflets and a TCC promotional banner. No “people costs” have been incurred, nor do we expect any for the foreseeable future.
The Companies Act requires us to produce and publish accounts and this will be carried out within the statutory timescale, and published on the website.
5 The bottom line
The founders are keen to pursue formation of the club and meet the apparent demand, notwithstanding the insurance issue.
BUT without contribution and help we are going to find it very difficult to gain traction and develop the club.
Beside volunteers for the events we urgently need content for the website sections. Write up your recent tour info, route, where stayed, what kit you used, bike transport, the best sights, climate, people you met etc.
With a summer of cycling ahead of us we have decided to review the position as at 30 September 2017 and make a decision on viability or otherwise by 31 October 2017 - we really are hoping that we can continue but we can’t do it alone.