The club is a self-supporting entity, run by its members for its members. There is no “us” and “them” – you are the club.
ALL members are required to volunteer on at least two occasions throughout the year. Volunteering is a good opportunity to get to know other people from the club as well supporting events in which teammates will be participating. If you are thinking about taking part in future events, volunteering is an excellent way to begin to learn the ropes.
What events does the club promote?
The club promotes and supports a number of events including:
- SERRL, Surrey League & BMCR races;
- Wally Gimber Road Race
- Track events at Herne Hill Velodrome;
- Time Trials (TT);
- Velopark & Crystal Palace crits series’;
- Cyclocross races;
- Annual hill-climb;
- Ride of The Falling Leaves;
All require your help – and none of them can happen without it; the onus is on you to step forward and help. For racing events, you normally have to get there about an hour before the racing starts. Either drive down yourself or get a lift with someone else who is driving; many of us do not have a car in London, but this should not preclude you from helping at any of the events, lifts are usually available. For some of the closer races like Velopark you’ll usually find that a group will ride down and back.
How to sign up to specific volunteering events
A current list of events where volunteers are needed is here:
Members can sign up to these events at any time; the list of events will be refreshed throughout the year as dates for events are confirmed by our committee members. The event will show when the maximum required volunteers has been reached and will ‘close’. Signing up involves completing a short form, which will give us more details such as your preference for role, if you require a lift, have a car etc. It will be from this list that members are contacted with further details, prior to the event.
I signed up to something a while ago, but I’ve forgotten, how can I check?
To check what you have signed up to;
- On Rider HQ click on the arrow for the drop-down list next to your name (top right)
- Click on ‘My Page’
- The ‘Events’ section will show which events you have signed up to
- These can be edited using the drop-down list next to ‘Actions’
What if I am no longer able to do a specific event that I have signed up to?
Some of the events are listed many months in advance and we understand that plans change and life happens. Please try to give as much notice as possible:
- Up to two weeks before the event: If you have signed up to one of the ‘Volunteer Events’ on Rider HQ, no problem, please use the same link, remove yourself from the event and sign up to one you can do! The slot will then show as available for someone else to fill. There is no need to inform anyone about the change.
- Less than two weeks before the event: Please do everything you can to avoid cancelling at this late stage. The event lead will have started to assign roles and will be relying on you for your attendance, it also gives us very little time to find a replacement. It increases both the admin and stress for the organisers who are also club volunteers, just like yourself. In the very unlikely event that you must withdraw your commitment, please email both the event organiser and the Volunteer coordinator (contact below) directly. You may be asked to find a replacement yourself; the forum can be an effective way to do this.
What will I do as a volunteer?
Roles vary depending on the event, here are some of the most common activities:
Road races: You may be marshalling a junction with a couple of others, what’s required is to hold up any approaching cars when you see the race lead car coming (which signals the approaching pack) so that all the riders can negotiate the junction safely. Road races normally race around 7-9 times around a circuit and in between these moments of action there’s not that much to do.
Circuit races: There are no cars in these circuits, but riders may still need directing or warning of approaching corners.
It’s all very straight forward but marshalling is essential for everyone’s safety. Here’s a useful link which explains more:
This will depend on the technology (or lack of it) being used to judge the race. The team need to keep track of riders who are lapped during the race, so these are not included in the final results. Traditionally a team is required to call out and record the numbers past the finish line and then this information is brought together to devise the final list of results. Technology such as ‘Gopro’ may be used to film the finish.
Sign-on / off Team
Usually required before the other volunteers so tick riders off the sign-on sheet, collect BC licences, hand out numbers etc. Sign off is normally also required at the end of the race to collect the numbers in again, return licences etc.
Drivers Plus Their Cars, For The Race Convoy
Required to help transport race equipment and people.
For race photos or for use of finish line judging technology
Qualified First Aider(s)
Whomever fulfils this role must be in date on their certificate. There will be a first aid kit provided. Some sites will have will have first aid backup available for serious incidents
To cover illness/No Shows. Help with tea and coffee, post race banana’s lollies etc. Other duties may involve running a tea / cake stall or baking to sell or for use as prizes.
I am an experienced / qualified “….”, could this be of use to the club?
We are always keen to make best use of our members’ skills and experience, if you think you can help in a way other than these roles, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator
I’ve acquired some great skills and knowledge as a member of DP, how can I share this with potential new members?
Guiding Monthly Saturday Club Introductory Rides
‘Ride Guide’ for the monthly intro rides is a really important part of welcoming potential new recruits to our club and it is , it is recognised that when done well, this is not an easy task at all and takes great effort, patience and skill. We hope that club members who have been a DP member for 9-12 months and are acquainted with Saturday club ride route will volunteer in this capacity and share their experience. This activity is however not counted as one of the volunteering stints that we all agree to do two of as part of our membership.
Your job, together with other experienced DP members, is to introduce yourself, give a briefing, guide, manage the group and situations that arise, chat and generally make them feel welcome. Plus you can pass on your experience and the roadcraft you’ve acquired whilst riding in a group. Some of these riders will be strong and experienced, others will be new to cycling and/or riding with a group, all will be new to Dulwich Paragon CC. Prior to splitting into groups, riders will be given a short introduction to the club, its aims and what’s expected of them. This is a task that requires patience and an acceptance that you may not be able to go quite so hard, fast or far as usual. New riders may lack confidence, speed and mechanical skills. If you have to cajole them up a hill or show them how to fix a puncture, then remember that we all had to start somewhere – and maintain that wonderful rep we have for being a friendly and above all inclusive club.