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Our fresh new approach to supporting members

Phill Hart | Published on 3/4/2024

The long wait is over!  Welcome to Bike North’s fresh new approach to supporting our members.

This new weekly email and the new website look new and fresh, with appealing colours and a more engaging style.  However, that is not the main reason for the change.  This is more than dressing it up or change for change’s sake.

We can be rightly proud of the IT systems we have been using, largely developed by Bike North’s earlier IT titans and specifically tailored to our existing processes.  Over time, our current IT platform has been getting creaky.  After long discussion and careful analysis, the Executive Committee decided that the current approach was going to be too hard and expensive to maintain.  New IT systems have emerged, with new features that better meet our members’ needs, now and into the future.  Ably led by David Thomson, we decided to look for a more sophisticated platform that would retain as much as we could of our current processes and bring many new features and functionalities.  We have chosen ClubExpress so we can all concentrate on the things that matter – enjoying and improving cycling!

Most importantly, we have designed a fresh new website that makes it much easier to find what you are looking for.  We asked members what was important to them in the previous website and we then focussed on making that easier to find and use.  We have also removed clutter that was out of date.

It is often difficult moving on from some of our familiar ways of doing things.  We are very used to the old website and how we accessed what we wanted to know and do.  We are accustomed to how the Calendar looks and how it works.  I know first-hand just how important that is.

The fresh new approach supports members in three important ways:

  1. Helping you get the information you want. You will see more about this later, but right now you are currently looking at the special inaugural edition of our new email newsletter, called ‘Chain Reaction’.
  2. Helping members get onto rides. The Calendar is more prominently accessed within the site and the next rides are visible from (almost) every webpage. If a ride has filled up, you can now add your name to a waitlist. You’ll automatically be invited to join the ride, if a space becomes available. As well, the new website fits in the palm of your hand; you can now find and join rides more easily straight from your phone, if you wish. Welcome to the new world!
  3. Making it easier for members to manage their information. It is now much easier for you to see and manage your own details. You can change your email address, your phone number and much much more; you no longer rely on contacting our Membership Coordinator. Is it time to renew your membership? It’s all handled very easily.

We all owe a huge thank you to the many people who have helped us get to this point:

  • David Thomson was particularly helpful in the early stages, supporting the Executive Committee in reaching the decision to change our approach, surveying many available options and selecting the one that best suits our needs
  • Many members and other stakeholders, the Executive Committee and the Ride Leaders who were involved in designing and testing the new website and associated processes
  • Particular members of the Executive whose areas of responsibility gave them the opportunity to contribute strongly to the design and implementation of the new approach: Editor Di Lawrence, Treasurer Melody Guo, Membership Coordinator Elizabeth McNess and Rides Coordinator Geoff Young
  • Trevor Nash, who has been our database guru helping transfer our membership and rides data from the old system to the new
  • The Website Update team, including Di Lawrence, David Vasey and David Thomson for their hours of effort and valuable insights and support.

Most especially, I extend heartfelt thanks to Sarah Gillis, on my own behalf and also on behalf of the Executive Committee.  Sarah has led the transition project with powerful attention to detail and exemplary energy and determination.


I hope you enjoy our fresh new approach to supporting our members.  The new website has the same, familiar internet address: 

Phill Hart, President

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