One of our regular readers and contributors ‘themartincox’ is lucky enough to be away in Aigle this week. As part of his MBA program with Nottingham Trent he is spending a week at the UCI headquarters doing a market study into mass-participation cycling (that’s sportives and the like to us normal folk). He's looking for your help with a quick survey that'll go inform the UCI's ideas about mass participation cycling.
The newly created UCI Mass Participation Commission met for the very first time at the UCI's office in Aigle, Switzerland, another sign of the change in Aigle after Brian Cookson’s election.
Following the two day session, Cookson said: “The Mass Participation Commission will be central to the UCI's desire to help drive the development of non-elite and amateur cycling, and growing the number and reach of mass participation events will be central to this aim. I was delighted to see the energy and commitment of the Commission in its first meeting and it confirmed to me that mass participation events have huge potential.
“With more leisure time and an increasing desire by governments and individuals to improve health, there is a real opportunity to significantly grow mass participation events across all territories. I regularly ride mass participation events and I want the UCI to help bring the pleasure they give to more and more people, whatever their age or cycling standard.”
The UCI points out that mass participation events are booming in many parts of the world and cites last year’s inaugural RideLondon event as demonstrating the appeal. The organisation says big events can help introduce participants of all ages and levels into cycling.
Martin is out there working with the UCI to prepare a report into cyclists’ habits, and to see how the UCI can assist riders and event organisers in getting more from their days out on the bike.
He has a short anonymous survey, which looks like it will take about three minutes to fill in. It won’t save the cycling world, but it might help make it a slightly it a better place.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.