My first year in a cycling club

My first year in a cycling club

If you’re reading this, you may be where I was a couple of years ago, wanting a new hobby and/or a new way of keeping fit. After a summer of cycling with my cousin on a hybrid bike, I’d decided by September 2014 that I wanted to go ‘further and faster’ and that the hybrid wasn’t really conducive to what I wanted out of cycling. After googling cycling clubs, I came across VC Melyd’s website and emailed Mark Allen for some advice. Mark was very helpful and suggested I go to Marsh Tracks (MT) on a Monday evening for the ladies’ session, so one cold November evening I ventured to MT, hired a road bike and had my first ‘go’ on a road bike around the track. Wow! What a difference! This was what I’d been looking for in terms of ‘faster’ in any case. I joined the other beginners and Mark gave us an induction and we went round and round the small track, getting used to the bike and the gears and learning how to cycle safely on a road and how to deal with any obstacles along the way. I went to MT on Monday evenings through the winter, got used to the bike, the gears and progressed to join the experienced group on the bigger track. Everyone was very friendly and some had been cycling for years and obviously loved cycling. We had to fill in some paperwork and one of the questions was ‘what do you want to achieve from attending the MT sessions?’ – my answer was to be good enough to join a club ride on a Sunday.

Fast forward to April 2015 when I did the Gran Fondo Conwy ‘bach’ route on my hybrid. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the atmosphere, the only downside was that I was on my hybrid and the majority were on road bikes. By this time, I’d also been on one or two ladies’ ride on a Thursday evening and again they were all on their road bikes and I was on my hybrid. That was it, decision made. After months of reading articles about bikes and cycling, I treated myself to a road bike and although I was very apprehensive about the cleats and being “clipped in” I knew I had to do it. When I went to collect the bike, I was lucky enough to be able to try out the bike and cleats in the company of staff who were very helpful and gave me some confidence with clipping-in and unclipping.

The Thursday night ladies’ ride was a great way to get used to cycling as part of a group. Everyone was very friendly and able to offer advice and answer any questions I had about cycling. In July I went on my first Sunday intermediate ride and loved it; we went to Llanrwst and obviously there were hills but what goes up must come down and in North Wales you won’t go far without a hill so it’s best to get used to them sooner rather than later. I took part in the Manchester 100 ride in September and did my first 100 mile ride; it was a great day out and hardly any hills, which was a treat!

Group rides are great for a number of reasons: there’s safety in numbers, an opportunity to meet new people, try new routes and new roads and it’s a really good way of improving as a cyclist as you tend to go that little bit faster than you would on your own. Also, what’s really fantastic about VC Melyd rides is that there’ll be regular stop and re-group points, so if you are having a bit of an off-day and not quite able to keep up then don’t panic, everyone will stop, wait, re-group and then start off again together.

So there we go, a taster of my first year of cycling with VC Melyd. I would encourage anyone who has a bike and enjoys cycling to go to one of the regular Marsh Tracks coaching sessions. Ladies on a Monday evening at 7pm, under 12’s on a Thursday at 6pm and open session on Thursday at 7pm. You’ll meet a lot of nice people who are very welcoming and encouraging and you’ll soon have a new hobby where you’ll become familiar with all the nice cafes in the area as a coffee and cake stop is obligatory on a bike ride!

Rules & Constitution of Velo Club Melyd

1. The club will be called: VC Melyd

2. The Purposes of the club
The purposes of the club are to promote the amateur sport of cycling in North Wales and community participation in the same area.

3. Permitted means of advancing the purposes

The committee has the power to:

  • Acquire and provide grounds, equipment, coaching, training and playing facilities, club house, transport, medical and related facilities
  • Provide coaching, training, medical treatment, and related social and other facilities
  • Take out any insurance for club, employees, contractors, players, guests and third parties
  • Raise funds by appeals, subscriptions, loans and charges
  • Borrow money and give security for the same, and open bank accounts
  • Buy, lease or licence property and sell, let or otherwise dispose of the same
  • Make grants and loans and give guarantees and provide other benefits
  • Set aside or apply funds for special purposes or as reserves
  • Deposit or invest funds in any lawful manner
  • Employ and engage staff and others and 
provide services
  • Co-operate with or affiliate to firstly any bodies regulating or organising the Sport and secondly any club or body involved with it and thirdly with government and related agencies
  • Do all other things reasonably necessary to advance the purposes.
  • NONE of the above powers may be used other than to advance the purposes consistently with the Rules below and the general law.

4. Membership
Membership of the club shall be open to anyone interested in the sport on application regardless
of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs. However, limitation of membership according to available facilities is allowable on a non-discriminatory basis. The club may have different classes of membership and subscription on a non-discriminatory and fair basis. The club will keep subscriptions at levels that will not pose a significant obstacle to people participating.
The club committee may refuse membership, or remove it, only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the club or sport into disrepute. Appeal against refusal or removal may be made to an appointed panel consisting of club members.
5. All general meetings
All members may attend all general meetings of the club in person.
Such meetings need (insert number of days, usually 21) clear days’ written notice to members.
The quorum for all general meetings is (insert number of people) members present or (insert percentage) of the total membership whichever is greater.
The Chair or (in his or her absence) another member chosen at the meeting shall preside Except as otherwise provided in these
Rules, every resolution shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast on a show
of hands. Formalities in connection with General Meetings (such as how to put down resolutions) shall be decided by the committee and publicised to club members.
6. Annual General Meetings (AGM)
The club will hold an AGM once in every calendar year and not more than 15 months after the last AGM.
At every AGM:
• The Members will elect a committee including a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary to serve until the next AGM
• The Treasurer will produce accounts of the club for the latest financial year audited as the committee shall decide
• The committee will present a report on the club’s activities since the previous AGM;
• The Members will appoint a suitable person
• To audit the accounts; and the Members will discuss and vote on any resolution (whether about policy or to change the Rules) and deal with any other business put to the meeting.

7. Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)
An EGM shall be called by the Secretary within 14 days of a request to that effect from the committee or on the written request of not less than (insert number of members) members signed by them. Such an EGM shall be held on not less than 14 or more than 21 days’ notice at a place decided upon by the committee or in default by the Chair.

8. The Committee

• Role
Subject to these Rules the committee shall have responsibility for the management of the club, its funds, property and affairs.

• Property
The property and funds of the club cannot be used for the direct or indirect private benefit of members other than as reasonably allowed by the Rules.
The club may provide sporting and related social facilities, sporting equipment, coaching, courses, insurance cover, medical treatment, event expenses, post event refreshments and other ordinary benefits of Community Amateur Sports clubs as provided for in the Finance Act 2002.
The club may also in connection with the sports purposes of the club:
Sell and supply food, drink and related sports clothing and equipment;
Employ members (though not for riding) and remunerate them for providing goods and services, on fair terms set by the committee without the person concerned being present;
Pay for reasonable hospitality for visiting teams and guests;
Indemnify the committee and members acting properly in the course of the running of the club against any liability incurred in the proper running of the club (but only to the extent of its assets).
The committee will have due regard to the law on disability discrimination and child protection.

• Composition
The committee shall consist of at least three and not more than 10 members
The committee members may co-opt club members (up to the maximum permitted number) to serve until the end of the next AGM.
Any committee member may be re-elected or re-co-opted without limit.
A committee member ceases to be such if
he or she ceases to be a member of the club, resigns by written notice, or is removed by the committee for good cause after the Member concerned has been given the chance of putting his/her case to the committee with an appeal to the club members, or is removed by club members at a general meeting. The committee shall fairly decide time limits and formalities for these steps.

• Committee meetings
Whenever a committee member has a personal interest in a matter to be discussed, he/she must declare it, withdraw from that part of the meeting (unless asked to stay), not be counted in the quorum for that agenda item and withdraw during the vote and have no vote on the matter concerned.
The committee may decide its own way of operating. Unless it otherwise resolves the following rules apply:
At least 2 members must be present for the meeting to be valid;
Committee meetings shall be held face to face;
The Chair, or whoever else those present choose shall chair meetings
Decisions shall be by simple majority of those voting;
A resolution in writing signed by every committee member shall be valid without a meeting
The chair of the meeting shall not have a casting vote.

• Delegation
The committee may delegate any of their functions to sub-committees but must specify the scope of its activity and powers; the extent to which it can commit the funds of the club; its membership; its duty to report back to the committee. The committee may wind up any sub-committee at any time or to change its mandate and operating terms.

• Disclosure
Annual club reports and statements of account must be made available for inspection by any member and all club records may be inspected by any committee member.

9. Amendments
These Rules may be amended at a general meeting by two-thirds of the votes cast but not (if relevant) so as to jeopardise the club’s status as a Community Amateur Sports Club as first provided for by the Finance Act 2002 and not in any event to alter its purposes (unless the procedure set out in 9 (b) has been followed) or winding up provisions.
The club purposes may be changed to include another eligible sport if the committee unanimously agree and the members also agreed the change by a 75% majority of votes cast.

10. Winding up the club
The members may vote to wind up the club if not less than three quarters of those present and voting support that proposal at a properly convened general meeting.
The committee will then be responsible for the orderly winding up of the club’s affairs.
After settling all liabilities of the Club, the committee shall dispose of the net assets remaining to one or more of the following:
To another club with similar sports purposes which is a charity and/or; To another club with similar sports purposes which is a registered CASC and/or;
To the club’s national governing body for use by them for related community sports.

Velo Club Melyd Code of Conduct for Parents, Carers, Adult Members, Volunteers Other Supporters

As a parent/carer of a member of the club, you are expected to abide by the following code

I will –

  • Inform the coach of any specific health requirements or medical conditions of my child in advance of the coaching session by completion of a club membership form or a parental consent form;
  • Advise the coach if my child has to leave early or is being collected by someone other than a parent/carer, giving details of the arrangement including who will be collecting my child, when and at what time;
  • Encourage my child to learn the rules and play within them;
  • Discourage unfair play and arguing with officials;
  • Help my child to recognise good performance, not just results;
  • Set a good example by recognising fair play and applauding the good performances of all;
  • Never punish or abuse a child for losing or making mistakes;
  • Publicly accept officials’ judgements and teach children to do likewise;
  • Support my child’s involvement and help him/ her to enjoy his/her sport;
  • Use correct and proper language at all times;
  • Remember that children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not mine;
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities;
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person regardless of their gender, ability, disability, cultural background or religion;
  • Show appreciation and respect for coaches, officials and administrators. Remember, without them, your child could not participate.

Velo Club Melyd Code of Conduct for Young People

As a member of the club, you are expected to abide by the following code.

I will –

  • Arrive for training and competition in good time to prepare properly;
  • Wear suitable kit (including a helmet) and clothing for all cycling activity sessions, as agreed with the coach;
  • Warm up and cool down properly on all occasions;
  • Play within the rules and respect officials and all their decisions;
  • Be a good sport by applauding all good performances, whether they are made by my club or the opposition;
  • Control my temper – verbal abuse of officials and other riders, or deliberately distracting/ provoking an opponent is not acceptable or permitted behaviour in any sport;
  • Work equally hard for myself and my club – remember, the club’s performance will benefit, and so will I;
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of their gender, ability, disability, cultural background or religion;
  • Pay any fees promptly;
  • Abide by the rule that junior members are not allowed to smoke on club premises or while representing the club at competitions;
  • Abide by the rule that junior members are not allowed to consume alcohol or drugs of any kind on club premises or while representing the club;
  • Treat all participants in cycling as I would like to be treated – not bullying or taking unfair advantage of another participant;
  • Cooperate with my coach, club mates and opponents – remember, without them there would be no competition;
  • Thank officials and opponents after competition.