Without measurement, we don’t know if there is improvement; we don’t know what is meaningful. For the time and effort we're putting in are we attaining value in a way that is optimal and sustainable?
This approach to improvement is well understood by professional cyclists. The sport wrote the book on data driven performance. Power meters, heart rate monitors and the Garmin reshaped the way athletes train. To be successful, you must be intimately familiar what these numbers mean when it comes to performance, effort and outcomes.
It came as a relatively logical step to apply these same principles to improve outcomes for women's cycling, as well as the individuals who make it possible.
The Cyclists' Alliance have adopted these steps for success, and applied them to the work we do representing the needs of women's cycling. We'll achieve this through a series of surveys that will be made available to all of women's cycling.
These surveys can be found in TCA's member section (here) and are also emailed directly to UCI registered cyclists.
They will give TCA valuable insight into the thoughts of professionals cyclists and help shape an understanding of how the peloton views:
- race safety;
- race coverage;
- team culture;
- rider treatment at races; and
- many more.
There are two main reasons for The Cyclists' Alliance to measure performance: To inform decisions and actions the union will take, and to measure and communicate the positive outcomes of these actions.
If strategic, operational and tactical decisions are not being made based on measured performance, is an organisation really delivering value? If they can't demonstrate that the promised benefits have been realised, has the situation improved?
It would be impossible to tell and this has been the story of women's cycling. But it is beginning to change. These surveys give riders an opportunity to tell their union what matters most, they give riders a voice. This voice is what The Cyclists' Alliance is here to represent. If you haven't received an email, please contact us or join TCA today.
I would like to give special thanks to the Rider Council who provided valuable insight into developing these surveys and Jack Ennis-Butler for his assistance in translating.