Bike North Volunteer Award

Darryn Capes-DavisCommunity, Cycling

My Year at Bike North

At the 2018 AGM of Bike North I was awarded one of two Volunteer Awards. So what went into that award? Below is my Communications Report from the 2018 Bike North Annual Report which gives you an idea. You can read the whole report HERE.

Bike North News

Bike North News received a revamp this year. While the news template itself did not significantly change, the technology behind the template was updated and tested against nearly all possible email clients. The Bike North photos system has also been integrated into the news system, allowing for much simpler photo management by the news editor. News items are now also shared straight to Facebook and the website home page if desired making the realisation of a write once, use many strategy for content.

Move to Microsoft

A desire to have the best document storage system has led Bike North to migrate both its documents and email to Office 365. This has been made possible by Microsoft’s generous support of Not for Profits like Bike North, making Office 365 a zero-cost solution. As well as email accounts for Exec members, all Bike North working groups now have their own Office 365 group, including One Drive document storage, which will be available for current and historical documents. One Drive is also being integrated to the main website, allowing easy sharing of documents with members and public, without any further copying, saving precious time for our volunteers.

Technology Systems

Bike North has multiple systems to manage its activities. These include website, membership, finance, news, rides calendar, coaching, documents and more. Many changes have taken place behind the scenes this year. All system code is now stored in a private cloud repository (GitHub), providing for a trackable secure storage for our system code. All systems are now on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform for technology like websites. Like Office 365, this is another zero-cost solution for Bike North.

A change of significant note is that Chain Mail has been officially retired. Replacing Chain Mail is Chain Links, being stories too long for news items, that are shared on the website and then highlighted in weekly Bike North News as well as Facebook and the website front page.

Rides Calendar

One of the most used of Bike North technology systems is the Rides Calendar. As such, the Rides Calendar has had some extensive changes during the year. Ride with GPS is now used for all new Ride data. Riders can now preregister for a ride using their Facebook or Google login, as an alternative to membership or manual options. Riders now can see an estimated duration and can save the ride to their favourite calendar. Group preregistration is now also supported, which was used during this year’s Bike North Century Challenge, negating the need for the past separate manual process. Like the news system, the Rides Calendar is now also integrated to the Bike North photos system. Finally, and most importantly, Ride Leaders have automatic weekly reminders to submit their Ride Logs, which has led to 100% Ride Log submission.


Bike North always strives to use its Communications platforms to push significant issues. One of the most pressing issues of the year has been the Sydney Harbour Bridge Northern Cycleway ramp. We have been part of the Bicycle NSW led petition campaign, promoting the issue twice on Facebook, reaching over 20,000 Facebook users. During each campaign our Facebook likes have improved, delivering an ongoing benefit to our communication reach.

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