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Re: [lewishamcyclists] Dog & Bell rides planning issues

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  • Jane Davis
    Absolutely, Ian. I still appreciate going on other people s rides, always something new to learn. I am away Saturday and have another non cycling
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 26, 2013
      Absolutely, Ian. I still appreciate going on other people's rides,  always something new to learn.   I am away Saturday and have another non cycling appointment on Sunday (yes, I am required to do other things sometimes) so will miss Gareth's and Francis' ride, and I am disappointed about that as I know both those ride leaders would have shown me a part of London I am not that familiar with and demonstrated a different leader style from which I can pinch useful tips!  (Teachers are terrible skill thieves, you know.)  Even though, now, I have led quite a few rides myself and some might think I know what I'm doing more or less.  Just talk to a few Lewisham regulars and they will doubtless disabuse you of  that notion.   It's becoming expected on my rides that sooner or later I will do the spinny thing with my hand, indicating I have taken us all up or down the wrong road (usually a hilly one) and we all need to turn round and go back and usually, up.    What has made it so much easier for me, is that, generally, we have a great bunch of people that come along.  Easygoing, tolerant, great sense of humour.   Good people.

      Best Wishes, Jane 

      On 26 Sep 2013, at 18:12, Louise and Ian Blore <louiseatbeadles@...> wrote:

       

      I think this was a really sensible suggestion/agreement.  I was mentored by someone who shall remain nameless, and possibly did not quite know it at the time.  "Leadership" skills are still in commercial demand.  For young riders it can't harm a CV. 
      Ian


      From: Francis Sedgemore <francis@...>
      To: lewishamcyclists@yahoogroups.com; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; southwarkcyclists@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, 26 September 2013, 12:24
      Subject: [lewishamcyclists] Dog & Bell rides planning issues

       
      Following on from last night's rides planning meeting at the Dog & Bell, I shall summarise what was discussed following the planning for October. Apologies for the length of this email, but it's sufficiently important that I go into such detail.

      A few of us have expressed concern about (a) gaps in the rides diary, and (b) late announcements of rides (of which I am especially guilty!). The former is due in part to a lack of people able and willing to lead rides, whilst the latter is the result of general slacking and poor publicity.

      On the publicising of rides...

      First of all, we need to better advertise the meetings of the Dog & Bell Crew, or whatever you prefer to call our informal collective of southeast-based LCC members. This is easily rectified, with borough group e-list reminders sent out on, say, the Sunday or Monday preceding the Wednesday meeting. We should also publicise our meetings through borough group websites, and, with the recent expansion of its events and forum section, the LCC website.

      Following a decision made last night, I have created a Twitter account for the Dog & Bell Crew. @dogbellcrew may be used to announce social rides and other SE London cycling-related events, and strengthen links and coordination between LCC members in this part of London. Please use the @dogbellcrew handle and #dogbellcrew hashtag when tweeting stuff related to our work.

      On the leading of rides...

      We have a small group of usual suspects who tend to fill the rides diary, and this raises questions concerning the inclusivity of the group, friendly and welcoming though we are. For some time I have been trying to bring Southwark Cyclists into the fold, and there are other LCC members in this part of London who might come on board. Part of the problem lies in a perceived lack of sufficient experience from some who might like to lead rides.

      All of us were at one time rides participants only, rather than leaders, and all it took for us to become experienced ride leaders was to lead a ride. Simples.

      There are skills that are essential in a good ride leader, but these are acquired with time, and it helps to have support from those who are more experienced. Andrew Fergar raised this in private email correspondence a few days ago, and suggested that the experienced among us could mentor the inexperienced.

      This is an excellent suggestion from Andrew, and, going by last night's discussion, this is the consensus view of the group. I for one would be more than happy to help guide aspiring ride leaders, and more often be a follower rather than a leader myself. To aspiring ride leaders I say, feel free to approach me or other Dog & Bell ride leaders, outline your ideas for routes, and call on us for practical support and guidance. Ask, and it shall be given.

      As you were.

      Francis

      --
      Dr Francis Sedgemore
      journalist, writer and physicist
      telephone: +44 7840 191336
      website: sedgemore.com


    • John Phillips
      I d just like to echo part of Jane s comments re the number of media platforms/channels of communication. We, LC, currently have : the Website, Facebook,
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2013
        I'd just like to echo part of Jane's comments re the number of media platforms/channels of communication.

        We, LC, currently have : the Website, Facebook, Twitter, personal email exchanges, the Yahoo list and Lewisham Cyclists' email list. That's 5 to monitor (personal emails & Yahoo list arriving on the same platform).

        It's a chore to view them all on a regular basis and the arrival of another won't help matters. There's also some risk of different conversations going on in different areas with consequent mis-understandings and possible friction - godly, tolerant people though we are.   

        Perhaps we need to debate whether we actually need all of these or not.

        John


        On 26 September 2013 19:20, Jane Davis <saoirse.davis@...> wrote:
         

        Absolutely, Ian. I still appreciate going on other people's rides,  always something new to learn.   I am away Saturday and have another non cycling appointment on Sunday (yes, I am required to do other things sometimes) so will miss Gareth's and Francis' ride, and I am disappointed about that as I know both those ride leaders would have shown me a part of London I am not that familiar with and demonstrated a different leader style from which I can pinch useful tips!  (Teachers are terrible skill thieves, you know.)  Even though, now, I have led quite a few rides myself and some might think I know what I'm doing more or less.  Just talk to a few Lewisham regulars and they will doubtless disabuse you of  that notion.   It's becoming expected on my rides that sooner or later I will do the spinny thing with my hand, indicating I have taken us all up or down the wrong road (usually a hilly one) and we all need to turn round and go back and usually, up.    What has made it so much easier for me, is that, generally, we have a great bunch of people that come along.  Easygoing, tolerant, great sense of humour.   Good people.

        Best Wishes, Jane 

        On 26 Sep 2013, at 18:12, Louise and Ian Blore <louiseatbeadles@...> wrote:

         

        I think this was a really sensible suggestion/agreement.  I was mentored by someone who shall remain nameless, and possibly did not quite know it at the time.  "Leadership" skills are still in commercial demand.  For young riders it can't harm a CV. 
        Ian


        From: Francis Sedgemore <francis@...>
        To: lewishamcyclists@yahoogroups.com; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; southwarkcyclists@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, 26 September 2013, 12:24
        Subject: [lewishamcyclists] Dog & Bell rides planning issues

         
        Following on from last night's rides planning meeting at the Dog & Bell, I shall summarise what was discussed following the planning for October. Apologies for the length of this email, but it's sufficiently important that I go into such detail.

        A few of us have expressed concern about (a) gaps in the rides diary, and (b) late announcements of rides (of which I am especially guilty!). The former is due in part to a lack of people able and willing to lead rides, whilst the latter is the result of general slacking and poor publicity.

        On the publicising of rides...

        First of all, we need to better advertise the meetings of the Dog & Bell Crew, or whatever you prefer to call our informal collective of southeast-based LCC members. This is easily rectified, with borough group e-list reminders sent out on, say, the Sunday or Monday preceding the Wednesday meeting. We should also publicise our meetings through borough group websites, and, with the recent expansion of its events and forum section, the LCC website.

        Following a decision made last night, I have created a Twitter account for the Dog & Bell Crew. @dogbellcrew may be used to announce social rides and other SE London cycling-related events, and strengthen links and coordination between LCC members in this part of London. Please use the @dogbellcrew handle and #dogbellcrew hashtag when tweeting stuff related to our work.

        On the leading of rides...

        We have a small group of usual suspects who tend to fill the rides diary, and this raises questions concerning the inclusivity of the group, friendly and welcoming though we are. For some time I have been trying to bring Southwark Cyclists into the fold, and there are other LCC members in this part of London who might come on board. Part of the problem lies in a perceived lack of sufficient experience from some who might like to lead rides.

        All of us were at one time rides participants only, rather than leaders, and all it took for us to become experienced ride leaders was to lead a ride. Simples.

        There are skills that are essential in a good ride leader, but these are acquired with time, and it helps to have support from those who are more experienced. Andrew Fergar raised this in private email correspondence a few days ago, and suggested that the experienced among us could mentor the inexperienced.

        This is an excellent suggestion from Andrew, and, going by last night's discussion, this is the consensus view of the group. I for one would be more than happy to help guide aspiring ride leaders, and more often be a follower rather than a leader myself. To aspiring ride leaders I say, feel free to approach me or other Dog & Bell ride leaders, outline your ideas for routes, and call on us for practical support and guidance. Ask, and it shall be given.

        As you were.

        Francis

        --
        Dr Francis Sedgemore
        journalist, writer and physicist
        telephone: +44 7840 191336
        website: sedgemore.com



      • Francis Sedgemore
        ... A damnable heathen writes... Multiple communications channels can indeed cause problems. We should therefore use the ones that matter, and junk the rest.
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 1, 2013
          On 1 Oct 13, at 12:46, John Phillips <johnp1616@...> wrote:

          > There's also some risk of different conversations going on in different areas with consequent mis-understandings and possible friction - godly, tolerant people though we are.

          A damnable heathen writes...

          Multiple communications channels can indeed cause problems. We should therefore use the ones that matter, and junk the rest. Facebook is a closed community, so that should go for a start.

          Twitter matters, given the vast numbers who use it for sharing snippets of information, its openness, including to those who do not have Twitter accounts, and the rapid horizontal networking facilitated by this micro-blogging format. I despise Twitter, truth be told, but am happy to (ab)use it opportunistically for sharing events and other time-critical information.

          Email lists are declining in popularity, but some people who value their online privacy avoid open web forums, and instead stick to closed email lists. I'm not sure how such people can be otherwise accommodated. Ideas?

          I'm serious about Facebook. Don't use it for anything important, and that includes sharing information within the cycling community. By publishing such information on Facebook whilst ignoring open platforms, one can end up excluding those who for whatever reason do not wish to be associated with this particular online ecosystem. Personally, I wouldn't touch Facebook with a bargepole.

          Regarding rides announcements on borough group and other websites...

          Each borough group has a person responsible for rides coordination. That is, an individual who updates the website diaries with details of rides. Or at least that's the theory. The problem is that we are now being encouraged to use the LCC website in addition to our local sites.

          Who among the Dogandbellers should deal with this? Now I've been doing it for my own rides, but then I publish details also on my own website, and for a number of my regulars this is the first port of call. I need to re-prioritise my activities generally, and this will include spending less time faffing about on the interwebs.

          We could do with a Dogandbeller whose job it is to publish ride details on the LCC website. This channel is important, as in recent times we've had a number of our rides feature in LCC's Friday Post newsletter. That e-epistle is widely read within the London-wide LCC community.

          The trick is to chose one's communications channels wisely, seed the information into the public domain, and let others do the work in cross-posting the details. The Dog & Bell Crew, or whatever you call it, may be an informal collective, but it would in my view make sense to have a website to publicise our activities. Affiliated borough group websites could then link their rides pages to it, and this could save some effort. I'd just like us to be a bit more efficient as a collective that operates by consensus, and for myself save some time for loafing.

          I am dealing with the Dog & Bell Twitter feed, and over the coming months will look to see how useful this is in practice. If it isn't bringing in the punters, we can safely discard Twitter as a communications channel. In the meantime it is in my view a worthwhile experiment.

          Francis

          --
          Dr Francis Sedgemore
          journalist, writer and physicist
          telephone: +44 7840 191336
          website: sedgemore.com
        • Jane Davis
          Well, I hate Facebook too, but it does seem to work very well for Lewisham Cyclists.  I remember the halcycon days of activism when all our activities were
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 1, 2013
            Well, I hate Facebook too, but it does seem to work very well for Lewisham Cyclists.  I remember the halcycon days of activism when all our activities were coordinated by a telephone chain, which used quite a few public call boxes to try and shake off the authorities, but alas, the world seems to have moved on, and not, in a way with which us old folks are always happy.  Nothing new there.  Quite a few of our new riders, especially the younger people, have come to us through Facebook.  I don't think it's a good idea to ditch it and won't unless lots of Lewisham cyclists come forward asking for us to do so.  Twitter, I hate less, partly for the reasons you give, and indeed we have a Twitter account at Lewisham Cyclists and use it.   I agree with you about the LCC website and indeed made exactly that point in my post to these lists a few days ago.   I try to put our rides on that too- we share the task in Lewisham, although John does the bulk of the work loading our rides calendar on the website.
            There is, I think, something to do with how we identify ourselves here, which may be giving rise to this slight difference of opinion.  Some of us within the rides meeting group work hard within our local borough group, and the rides we run, although a hugely important part of that borough's activities, are just one part of the work we do in the borough.  What that means is, a number of us have quite a strong identity informed by the borough we live in, the issues upon which we campaign, and the councils we meet.  Some of us are less identified with a particular borough and therefore want to develop an identity for the rides which breaks with that borough identity.  I am not saying one approach is better or worse but my personal feeling is that I prefer the way it is at the moment- we meet up as reps from various boroughs or as individuals and coordinate our ideas to make sure there is a good spread of rides in SE London and advertise them the way we have been doing.  It seems to work on my rides-- I am not displeased with turnout.  It fluctuates from as low as 3 or 4 up to around 20- I wouldn't really want more than that on a ride.  The only issue I ever had with our system was sometimes people left it a bit late to get the details of their rides out.  And I was only concerned about that because a)they might miss getting posted on some platforms and lose possible riders
                                                            b) it could leave our rides calendars looking blank and therefore give an impression that we weren't very active (when in fact we are) 
            I don't have a problem if some leaders only want to do the odd ride here or there- I have only been leading rides regularly for a short period of time-and that coincides with me stopping full time work.  It's very hard to do it when you work full time.  And I am happy to offer support in ride planning, buddy ride leading etc, whatever people want.  I'll even post to the Dog and Bell thing if that is actually what the majority wants.  But I don't want to sink the  Lewisham Cyclists identity into something else.  And I agree with John, I don't think it's necessary- publicising our rides has never been a problem.
                  Jane

            From: Francis Sedgemore <francis@...>
            To: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: Jane Davis <saoirse.davis@...>; lewishamcyclists@yahoogroups.com; southwarkcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Stephen Craven <stephen@...>
            Sent: Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 13:33
            Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] [Southwark Cyclists] Re: [lewishamcyclists] Dog & Bell rides planning issues


            On 1 Oct 13, at 12:46, John Phillips <johnp1616@...> wrote:

            > There's also some risk of different conversations going on in different areas with consequent mis-understandings and possible friction - godly, tolerant people though we are. 

            A damnable heathen writes...

            Multiple communications channels can indeed cause problems. We should therefore use the ones that matter, and junk the rest. Facebook is a closed community, so that should go for a start.

            Twitter matters, given the vast numbers who use it for sharing snippets of information, its openness, including to those who do not have Twitter accounts, and the rapid horizontal networking facilitated by this micro-blogging format. I despise Twitter, truth be told, but am happy to (ab)use it opportunistically for sharing events and other time-critical information.

            Email lists are declining in popularity, but some people who value their online privacy avoid open web forums, and instead stick to closed email lists. I'm not sure how such people can be otherwise accommodated. Ideas?

            I'm serious about Facebook. Don't use it for anything important, and that includes sharing information within the cycling community. By publishing such information on Facebook whilst ignoring open platforms, one can end up excluding those who for whatever reason do not wish to be associated with this particular online ecosystem. Personally, I wouldn't touch Facebook with a bargepole.

            Regarding rides announcements on borough group and other websites...

            Each borough group has a person responsible for rides coordination. That is, an individual who updates the website diaries with details of rides. Or at least that's the theory. The problem is that we are now being encouraged to use the LCC website in addition to our local sites.

            Who among the Dogandbellers should deal with this? Now I've been doing it for my own rides, but then I publish details also on my own website, and for a number of my regulars this is the first port of call. I need to re-prioritise my activities generally, and this will include spending less time faffing about on the interwebs.

            We could do with a Dogandbeller whose job it is to publish ride details on the LCC website. This channel is important, as in recent times we've had a number of our rides feature in LCC's Friday Post newsletter. That e-epistle is widely read within the London-wide LCC community.

            The trick is to chose one's communications channels wisely, seed the information into the public domain, and let others do the work in cross-posting the details. The Dog & Bell Crew, or whatever you call it, may be an informal collective, but it would in my view make sense to have a website to publicise our activities. Affiliated borough group websites could then link their rides pages to it, and this could save some effort. I'd just like us to be a bit more efficient as a collective that operates by consensus, and for myself save some time for loafing.

            I am dealing with the Dog & Bell Twitter feed, and over the coming months will look to see how useful this is in practice. If it isn't bringing in the punters, we can safely discard Twitter as a communications channel. In the meantime it is in my view a worthwhile experiment.

            Francis

            --
            Dr Francis Sedgemore
            journalist, writer and physicist
            telephone: +44 7840 191336
            website: sedgemore.com



          • Francis Sedgemore
            Jane No-one is asking borough groups to sink their identity into the Dog & Bell s boozy whole. It s just that those of us involved in the cross-borough social
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 1, 2013
              Jane

              No-one is asking borough groups to sink their identity into the Dog & Bell's boozy whole. It's just that those of us involved in the cross-borough social rides planning should consider our collective action and identity, and find ways of achieving maximum impact with the least possible effort. Individual borough groups can and will do their own thing, with as much autonomy and idiosyncrasy as they claim for themselves.

              In this there is no difference of opinion. All power to Lewisham Cyclists' collective elbow!

              Francis

              On 1 Oct 13, at 14:15, Jane Davis <saoirse.davis@...> wrote:

              >
              > Well, I hate Facebook too, but it does seem to work very well for Lewisham Cyclists. I remember the halcycon days of activism when all our activities were coordinated by a telephone chain, which used quite a few public call boxes to try and shake off the authorities, but alas, the world seems to have moved on, and not, in a way with which us old folks are always happy. Nothing new there. Quite a few of our new riders, especially the younger people, have come to us through Facebook. I don't think it's a good idea to ditch it and won't unless lots of Lewisham cyclists come forward asking for us to do so. Twitter, I hate less, partly for the reasons you give, and indeed we have a Twitter account at Lewisham Cyclists and use it. I agree with you about the LCC website and indeed made exactly that point in my post to these lists a few days ago. I try to put our rides on that too- we share the task in Lewisham, although John does the bulk of the work loading our rides calendar on the website.
              > There is, I think, something to do with how we identify ourselves here, which may be giving rise to this slight difference of opinion. Some of us within the rides meeting group work hard within our local borough group, and the rides we run, although a hugely important part of that borough's activities, are just one part of the work we do in the borough. What that means is, a number of us have quite a strong identity informed by the borough we live in, the issues upon which we campaign, and the councils we meet. Some of us are less identified with a particular borough and therefore want to develop an identity for the rides which breaks with that borough identity. I am not saying one approach is better or worse but my personal feeling is that I prefer the way it is at the moment- we meet up as reps from various boroughs or as individuals and coordinate our ideas to make sure there is a good spread of rides in SE London and advertise them the way we have been doing. It seems to work on my rides-- I am not displeased with turnout. It fluctuates from as low as 3 or 4 up to around 20- I wouldn't really want more than that on a ride. The only issue I ever had with our system was sometimes people left it a bit late to get the details of their rides out. And I was only concerned about that because a)they might miss getting posted on some platforms and lose possible riders
              > b) it could leave our rides calendars looking blank and therefore give an impression that we weren't very active (when in fact we are)
              > I don't have a problem if some leaders only want to do the odd ride here or there- I have only been leading rides regularly for a short period of time-and that coincides with me stopping full time work. It's very hard to do it when you work full time. And I am happy to offer support in ride planning, buddy ride leading etc, whatever people want. I'll even post to the Dog and Bell thing if that is actually what the majority wants. But I don't want to sink the Lewisham Cyclists identity into something else. And I agree with John, I don't think it's necessary- publicising our rides has never been a problem.
              > Jane

              --
              Dr Francis Sedgemore
              journalist, writer and physicist
              telephone: +44 7840 191336
              website: sedgemore.com
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