Announcing My Candidacy For Election To The CTC National Council
I think after that as a title, I should play some Sousa. Though as I’m English it should probably some Elgar, or at a push maybe even some D.Ream. You get the picture. Things CAN only get better - but without John Prescott trying to get down with the kids.
Anyway, I’ve managed to get myself nominated for the forthcoming election to the CTC National Council . And with your vote (assuming you’re a CTC member living in the North East of England), I really do hope to get elected. I’m frankly flattered by the people who’ve supported me so far, including both Heather Evans and Carlton Reid , and if elected I hope to live up to their (and your!) expectations.
Here’s my election address thing - if you’re a CTC member living in the North East, you can expect to see this with your election papers in the post some time soon. You’ll note the slightly less conversational, more formal tone to this than you’re used to here. That’s because being a member of the CTC’s National Council is a serious business - if you elect me, it’s a role that I’ll take as seriously as your trust and your vote deserve:
I’m asking you to elect me to the CTC National Council so I can help improve our club’s performance for its members, and influence with non-members - I have a gimlet-eyed enthusiasm for cycling, coupled with many years’ experience in helping organisations improve performance, and develop & implement their strategies.
There are many reasons why people should ride bikes – it’s good for their health, good for the environment, and good for the economy. However, given the current state of Britain’s roads, the attitude of a minority of drivers, and the laughably poor standard of most cycle infrastructure, it’s little wonder that while most UK homes own bikes, most of these languish unused and unloved in garden sheds.
I have a vision of a future in which riding a bike is the obvious choice for most of the trips most people take every day. This means a radical shake-up of infrastructure to tempt the non-cycling majority out of their cars and into an environment that’s both safe and efficient. But we must be realistic about this, and the time it’ll take to bring about. So in the meantime we have to work with what we’ve got – helping local authorities where they’re receptive, but opposing them where they propose infrastructure that endangers cyclists; recruiting a future generation of cyclists through Bikeability and the Right to Ride (to School); and campaigning to present cycling as an everyday occurrence – one that’s right for delivering the post, is fully-integrated into the transport system, and one where in the event of an accident a driver would feel ashamed to claim SMIDSY as a defence.
I’ve ten years experience as a consultant, working with the senior management of firms. In this, I’ve specialised in the development of strategic priorities, and then converting these into marketing & operational plans. What that means in practice is working with people at all levels to build a shared sense of purpose for their organisation, and then helping them to figure out what this means in very practical terms as day-to-day activities.
I’ve worked with clients of all sizes, from micro-businesses & start-ups to multi-nationals, and in sectors as diverse as direct mailing, engineering, and accountancy. For the past year I’ve worked as a business coach in Northumberland, helping owners of local firms to understand their cashflows, and get better, measurable results from their sales & marketing.
In parallel with these day-job activities, I also deliver Bikeability training, take part in planning consultations with local authorities’ traffic engineers, and regularly give my time to other local cycling groups.
I’m pretty diverse in my riding, which includes commuting, riding with family & everyday errands, randonneur rides, and Ironman triathlon. I’ve ridden Coast-to-Coast, the Great North Bike Ride (as a fixed-wheel there-and-back), and the Dunwich Dynamo on a 1970s Pashley tandem. I write about my riding on my blog at www.mccracken.me.uk [uh, dude, that's here!], which has been a source for articles in the CTC’s weekly emailings as well as the national press.