At the time the decision was made to set the non competitive membership fee at $40, it was based upon external advice that was provided to Bike Manawatu which was unfortunately incorrect. When the error was realised, we were forced to increase the fee by another $10.00 to ensure the overheads were covered and we apologise for this. The West coast North Island Cycling Centre has been sympathetic to our plight and has been working with us.
Organisationally, there is no way around the affiliation fees associated with Bike Manawatu being a part of the wider union of cycling bodies (WCNI and Bike NZ). As pointed out on the Bike NZ website the fees contribute to the public liability protection for cyclists who belong to Bike Manawatu, and any other registered cycle club, and the issue is separate from those who want to race at licensed events. For Bike Manawatu to do something separate would be tantamount to ignoring the wider constitutional clauses which as a sub-body we are bound by. Simply the membership needs to accept this as a key factor that allows us to exist within the Bike NZ framework.
While some have different goals, ambitions and objectives, at the basic level, what binds many of us is simply the desire to get outside and enjoy the experience and exhilaration of riding a bike. Through the experience we get to meet a number of liked minded people from many walks of life. We share polite conversation and offer words of support and encouragement. We see through our own eyes just how popular the sport of cycling is becoming. It is a sport that caters for all ages and abilities. We share in our successes and failures.
I joined the club because of my kids and while I was reluctant to ride competitively at first, I got a national license. I purposely don’t take my cycling seriously but I do value the friendship and camaraderie that comes from being a member of the club. I’m passionate about cycling, like so many others in the club. I’d like to think my membership adds value and contributes to the greater good of Bike Manawatu regardless of the fees I have to pay for the privilege. There are many others who give their time, energy and support to the club and they don’t even ride.
We still have a number of people turning up to Bike Manawatu sponsored or organised events sitting on the fence over the issue of membership. We would like to see these people make a positive decision and become valued members of Bike Manawatu. That way they can take full advantage of all the benefits being a member of a progressive and vibrant club has to offer. Put into some perspective, the membership fee, regardless of where the money is going, is only marginally dearer than the Masters Club membership fee in 2009, is around the same cost for a mid range clincher tyre, and equates to about 14 cents per day. This I believe still represents value for money.