Sue Hawkins - Cycle Bristol CTC - Certificate of Merit

CTC member groups all over the country can either prosper and succeed or decline and fall, thanks to the efforts, enthusiasm and commitment, or lack of it, of a small band of volunteers. Sue Hawkins joined the then Bristol Section committee in 2003 as “Runs secretary”.

After promptly changing her Post to Rides Programme Secretary, she completely re-designed the rides programme making it user friendly to all. This was just the start of the huge contribution Sue has made to the continuing success of Cycle Bristol CTC.

Noticing a lack of women on rides and in club activities in general, Sue built on the national CTC’s ”Women into Cycling” initiative to organise and publicise a series of rides during National Bike Week specifically for new women riders, but led by experienced local women members. These rides were so successful they became regular fixtures in future Rides Programmes and saw a steady increase in numbers attending rides.

However, this was just a precursor to what many local riders, existing members and ‘stay-aways’
hailed as “the best thing that had ever happened to Bristol CTC” – The Get Gorge-ous Cycle Challenge, Bristol to Cheddar Gorge and back – 50 miles. Sue (and colleagues Jane Chapman and Sally Pearson) envisaged a series of rides (aimed mostly at women, but not excluding men) that would start very easy and then extend gradually, with five mile increments, over several months to the big event. For six months it was a non-stop labour of love, devising routes, leading rides, organising helpers, booking cafés and pubs for refreshment stops, mentoring nervous riders & setting up bikes, in fact whatever it took to encourage the riders on their journey! On 13th June 2009, over 80 riders completed the ride – around a third (plus their family members) promptly joined the CTC and many still continue to enjoy Club activities. Sue then undertook the task of sending weekly news email to all club members to keep them informed of the weekly rides and other cycling events happening. 

In 2010 with generous financial backing from Bristol City Council (as Britain’s First Cycling City), the Get Gorge-ous challenge was another huge success. This time however, Sue was the driving force behind it all by solely administering the 133 training rides, the Leaders and Helpers, keeping all the riders informed and  recording all that they had achieved. Further success followed with 70 plus riders completing the challenge on the day. 

All these extra commitments show Sue's dedication to cycling, and is reflected by a booming Bristol group with a growing membership (over 400 signed up to our weekly email newsletter). On and off the bike Sue is a great advert for the pastime and sport we all love.  

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