Whether you ride road races, time trials, challenge events or simply enjoy club runs, you can bet that volunteers have been a key part of your cycling life to date.
From the gregarious event organiser doing the rounds on race day and making sure everything is running smoothly, to the flag bearing marshals that stand stoically at junctions and keep the riders safe from traffic.
Volunteers are so crucial that it's no exaggeration to say that grass-roots cycle sport would collapse without them. After the pandemic put a stop to sporting event, many organisers have struggled to return to event promotion, with multiple races cancelled toward the end of last season due to a lack of volunteers.
So this Spring we’ve teamed up with British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials to get more people volunteering. Over the next couple of months we are going to be celebrating cycling's volunteers and the amazing job they do in running our sport in their free time.
Sign up and get involved!
Get involved and help the sport you love by registering your interest in giving back this year. As cyclists, we've all benefited from volunteering — let's put something back in. You can choose how much you do and when you do it, but it starts by adding you name
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British Cycling's delivery director Dani Every called its volunteers "the beating heart of our sport".
"By giving up their time to enable grassroots racing, coaching, club and recreational riding opportunities, each year they enable thousands more people to discover the joy of riding and racing," she said.
“We've made great strides forward in our education course delivery, providing first-class tuition and giving people more opportunities to learn from the comfort of their own home, and I hope that many more will be inspired to get involved through this campaign to become the coaches, commissaires, ride leaders, activators and event organisers of the future.”
Rob Bailey of the CTT also added: "Your sport needs you.
"Please just consider volunteering once or twice instead of racing. Relaxing in the sun, marshalling with a friend and with the prospect of cake and tea waiting back at the HQ isn’t that awful. You can even get a few miles in going out to the event!"
He also pointed out that volunteering benefits the volunteer, as well as those they are helping.
"Helping with the administration of the sport be it at club, local DC or National level can add to your CV," he said. "It demonstrates the necessary get up and go so important for many professions. You can develop new skills friends and have fun."
As any event organiser will know, it's not always straightforward trying to recruit volunteers, and it sometimes takes a little persuasion to find anyone outside of what is often a familiar hard core of people willing to give up some free time. But every little helps, and helping on a race rarely takes up more than a few hours of your day.
This is so important: If our sport is to survive and thrive, it needs to see new volunteers coming through to help run events. Please do consider getting involved.
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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields.
Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.
A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now in the past, although that doesn't stop him banging on tirelessly about "that one time" he nearly rode a 20-minute '10', and planning the big comeback that everyone knows will never actually happen.
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