The Bicycle Association is to close its Coventry office, making manager Pat Morris redundant. Also leaving the trade organisation is company secretary Mel Payne. Joining the BAGB in the newly created role of operations director is Steve Garidis of Cycle Training Affinity. The changes take effect on 1st February 2015. Phillip Darnton remains as the Bicycle Association’s executive director.
Announcing the appointment of Garidis, the BA’s president, Paul Stewart of Moore Large, said:
“With the phenomenal growth and public interest in cycling the BA has a major opportunity to expand its role and reputation on behalf of the whole cycle industry, particularly in its relationships with Whitehall and Westminster. With the appointment of Steve Garidis we can now start to capitalise on those opportunities and provide leadership to the whole industry.”
He added: “The Bicycle Association plays a key role as non-partisan adviser to Government and to major national cycling charities and non-government organisations. The engagement, support and advice which the BA provides to its membership, while substantial, will be expanded and improved going forward."
“For some time, the Bicycle Association has been considering how best to ensure its future. Since current arrangements have worked well, there was an inevitable inclination not to make any changes. However, as the key people involved in the day to day running of the Association are not getting any younger the BA was coming to an inevitable, but natural, transition point. Implementing change is never easy, but change provides the Association with some real opportunities for growth.”
The closure of the BA office in Coventry brings to an end a long association with the city. The Bicycle Association, in various forms, has been based in Coventry since the late Victorian era. Coventry was the epicentre of British bicycle manufacturing, starting in the late 1860s. The former office of the Bicycle Association, prior to the current one at The Quadrant, was Starley House, named after James Starley, the “father of the cycle industry”. Pat Morris joined what was the forerunner of the Bicycle Association in 1963. She left to raise a family, rejoining the organisation in 1977, making for 37 years of continuous service.
“Pat’s departure marks the end of an era in the BA’s long history,” said Darnton. “She has been the lynchpin of the BA’s administration and has loyally served twenty presidents.”
Mel Payne will be leaving his role as company secretary to concentrate on a bicycle-tyre importation business. His role will be taken by Philip Taylor, chief executive of Schwalbe UK, and a past president of the BA and member of the Council.
“It has been my great pleasure to work alongside Mel during the time I have served on Council, and in my two terms as president. His affable personality, great knowledge of the Bicycle Association, and his sound advice will be sorely missed.”
Steve Garidis will be appointed as operations director reporting to Stewart. He will assume responsibility for the administration and management of the BA, and progressively take on a number of projects currently undertaken by Darnton.
Garidis started in the bicycle industry in 2005 with an administrative role with Cycling England. After the coalition government’s “bonfire of the quangos” in 2010 he co-founded e-bike hire business the Electric Bike Network. He is currently a director of Cycle Training Affinity, a provider of information to the Department for Transport and Bikeability cycle training.
“These are dynamic times for cycling, and I am looking forward to working with the Council to help ensure the BA remains as the lead body for the UK bicycle industry, and plays a key role in securing the future of cycling.”