Throughout October, we collected feedback from our riders via a short, nine-question survey and 37 people participated. There are 45 paid members and 100 addresses on our mailing list.
The first four questions were basic satisfaction inquiries. All participants reported that our group rides meet their needs, 97% of participants said they were very satisfied or satisfied with our club, and 95% said we have very-high-quality or high-quality rides. Safety of our rides was rated as above average or excellent by 92% of participants. None of these responses are surprising, because you’d probably riding elsewhere if we weren’t meeting these basic needs.
For question 5, the survey participants rated the speed of our rides and the responses were distributed in a nice bell curve. Eight percent of participants said the rides are “extremely fast” or “not at all fast” (too easy), while most were in the middle. It seems like that’s where we should be, and we could reduce the pace a bit without losing people because we are too slow for their fitness level.
The next question (6) asked about our ride routes and I was surprised to see that a majority (65%) responded that rural roads, like Cannon Falls and Northfield, are their favorites. About a quarter of you are like me and like a variety of routes, while no one preferred city roads. We’ll continue to use a variety of routes. Wind direction and weather will continue to affect my route selections, and we’ll avoid city routes whenever we can.
A question about club kit was next (7), and I changed this one a bit after seeing the initial responses. I wanted to know what kit, beyond jersey, shorts, and vest, you would like to purchase. Most popular were socks, which were requested by half of respondents, followed by arm warmers and cycling caps, which 30% of you want to be able to purchase. Three people asked for a jacket, so that’s worth exploring, too. Your responses to this question will be useful when I work with Grand Performance on our next kit order, which may be this winter. Garneau offers many of these items and GP has other vendors that can provide what we want. Meeting minimum quantities is a concern, especially for gender-specific items, so your feedback is helpful.
The next question (8) asked how long you have been riding with the club and your responses were about equally distributed in the four time frames I provided. It was great to see this distribution, so I know every group was represented well in the responses.
Comments and Concerns
Question 9 was an open-ended field for your comments, questions, or concerns. The responses had a few themes, which I’ll address below. Many of you used this field to put a personal touch on your survey responses. Various forms of “thank you” were frequent and appreciated.
One rider commented “more women” and I wholeheartedly agree. The women who ride with us are amazing athletes who make the club better. It felt to me like there were a couple more women this year and some of them rode with us most every weekend. We definitely have room for improvement, so don’t be shy about inviting women to ride with us.
A few people commented about pace lines, getting the B riders to group up at the end of rides, and ride routes. Pace lines are always challenging, especially in cross winds, and I promise to do more coaching before and during the rides. I’m at a loss for how to get the B riders to group up and ride in together. I’ve considered this one before, as I’ve certainly been in that group enough, and I would appreciate your ideas. Ride routes are usually chosen based on wind direction and routes that we’ve recently ridden. I include longer routes when I have time and fitness to do the route and when the wind cooperates. For example, I don’t want to finish an 80+ mile route with a 10+ mph headwind. I will use this feedback to improve the rides next season.
Finally, a few people commented about the operation and governance of the club. I have continued to lead the group much as it has since 2003. I would love help from other members, especially with leading the rides, and writing content for our Cycling Tips blog. RCC is not an official organization with officers, bylaws, and governance; some clubs often have this overhead. I keep a record of our income and expenses in a spreadsheet and I’m happy to share that with members anytime. This year, the club has 45 paid members and a balance of $795.29. Our income, primarily from kit sponsors, was $3,100 and expenses totaled $2,304,71. The balance will be used next year to cover our expenses. Our web site has had 2,619 unique visitors this year, with up to 150 visitors per week.
Please view the survey results for yourself.