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We have teased this for quite some while now but phase one of the Big Ask is finally here! However, we thought we'd give you some background into this campaign's purpose.

Team Milton Keynes is a big club with an incredibly diverse membership which covers everyone from honed and chiselled athletes to the Saturday social riders and cafe-stop connoisseurs. Our members range in age from infant to ancient with every age in between. Across the club we have some terrific competitors who compete at a national level, plus a lot of members who regularly pin on numbers at local and regional events. As a club we have a terrific reputation for putting on some of the best events in the region, attracting competitors from right across the country. We are a truly multi-faceted club covering triathlon, duathlon and of course road, MTB and cyclocross racing and riding. 2020 was going to be another good year for the club until COVID-19 came along, turning our world upside down.

For those members who like to compete regularly 2020 was particularly frustrating with races and tournaments cancelled or formats changed and fields reduced. Every aspect of the club’s organised activities has been impacted. Key volunteers have done a terrific job of working within the guidelines to put on events and training sessions, but in spite of these incredible efforts, 2020 was a very difficult and frankly, unpleasant year for all of us. And starting the year in lockdown again means 2021 has not been a picnic thus far either, but hopefully by the end of spring life will have returned to something a little more normal, but that begs the big question - what’s normal?

Most of us have adapted to the changed world and continue to train, run, swim and ride regularly, but it’s equally true that we’re also trying new ways to exercise. Dyed in the wool cyclists are running regularly, and there are a lot of members trying off-road and gravel riding for the first time. Nationally, this pandemic has seen a huge number of new cyclists and runners, particularly amongst women and whole families, so it feels like a new era starting for the club as we try and reflect what all of us as members do and what we want from the club.

So starting from today and then over the next couple of months, we’ll be asking you all for your thoughts and feedback on a whole range of things from road racing to swim sessions, social outings to gravel rides and where the best cafes are. Phase one involves two online surveys with questions to answer, with the first survey for all members aged 18 and over (deadline for completion Sunday 11th April, 22:00) and a second for our youth members aged 14-17. The youth survey will go live Sunday 4th April with a two-week deadline for completion.

We then plan to follow these initial surveys with Zoom coffee-mornings and virtual pub-tables. Plus, hopefully some socially distanced chats and get togethers. We expect that there will be some things that we’d like to do more of like gravel riding or trail running. There may also be a few things that we’re happy to give up. Most importantly we want to hear ideas and suggestions on what the club does.

So it is now your chance to have a say in how the club develops and operates in the future, to help to decide what events and activities that we undertake and to have an input into the type of club that we are. We want every voice to be heard, so that when the new normal finally arrives we’re ready for it.

The survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FKMDNVR