To prove our commitment to high standards we have been through a range of appraisals, qualifications and service reviews. In many cases we have taken the lead and become the first provider in the UK to go through these processes. We also have some of the leading experts in the fields of outdoor education, mountain biking and bmx as external advisors.
National Skills Academy (Outdoors)
CycleActive is one of sixteen quality assured providers approved by the National Skills Academy, and the only one approved to deliver both MBLA leadership awards and dedicated cycle first aid awards.
This quality assurance scheme for outdoor training and leadership providers was created by former AALA inspector Malcolm Campbell for Cumbria Tourism. It combines rigorous checks on operational procedures, risk management and overall client service standards.
The Mountain Bike Leader Association is the mountain bike leadership arm of Scottish Cycling and British Cycling, and it’s scheme is recognised across the UK. Every leader or instructor at CycleActive must qualify through the MBLA at the highest leadership level.
As the National Governing Body for cycle sport the courses provided by British Cycling represent industry standard for cycle coaches. Our course designers are qualified at Activity Coach, Level 2 Coach and BMX Coach levels – allowing us to bring these ideas and techniques into all of our courses.
The recently redesigned CTC MTB Instructor course was originally co-written by CycleActive’s Chris Ford. We became the first commercial partner to the CTC in the delivery of training that incorporates their skills system.
Expert Advisor (Education & Leadership) - Matt Healey
Matt has a considerable list of outdoor education, leadership and development qualifications to his name, combined with huge experience in these fields. He ran the national Options programme for the Outward Bound Trust before being recruited by the YMCA to lead the creation of their major new outdoor centre in South Wales. Matt was on the first board of 12 tutors appointed by the MBLA when it was formed, and played a key role in its development.
Expert Advisor (Mountain Biking) – Nick Craig
Those in the mountain bike world will know that Nick has a huge number of accolades to his name, including four mtb national championship titles and three consecutive wins at the annual Mountain Mayhem 24 hour race. He also played a key role in the preparation of our two leading xc racers for their Gold and Silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Nick has been involved with CycleActive since 2006 and is acting as an advisor to British Cycling on the development of their new mountain bike coach award.
Expert Advisor (BMX) – Shaun Calvert
As a coach, club chairman, founder and track designer for Preston’s renowned National Standard BMX track Shaun has become a widely trusted and respected member of the BMX and cycling world. As a racer Shaun was twice British Champion, twice European Champion and once World Champion – and he brings this level of knowledge into every BMX course he designs or delivers. Shaun provides all of our in-house BMX development training and works with us on BMX projects across the UK.
CycleActive and the Environment
Cycling is one of the cleanest, greenest and healthiest forms of travel. Those of us who cycle for leisure, for adventure or as a way of exploring other countries can have a significant impact on the environment around us, and the communities we engage with on our journeys.
This is a statement of the ways in which the company and the staff of CycleActive aim to ensure that the impact we have is positive. This is a constantly evolving document, and we would encourage anyone who is thinking about travel or training with us to comment on our approach. If you have ideas on how we can do things better we would very much like to hear from you.
Environment and Community Pledges:
Cycle Travel Plans. Our holidays are all designed to maximise cycling time and minimise driving time, reducing overall distance travelled in vehicles as much as possible. Whether we’re mountain biking in Italy or touring in Cuba we endeavour to plan holidays that give our clients as much time in the outdoors as possible. There is no rushing between locations in vehicles, or rides with long vehicle transfers.
Environmental and Social Awareness. All CycleActive guides are trained in environmental awareness and responsibilities, and we work with partners around the world to ensure that our activities are carried out in a socially aware and sensitive way.
Community Activities. We support a range of cycling and outdoor activity related projects in the UK. Our expertise in the fields of leadership training, cycle coaching and youth development is widely called upon and we work on a no-fee basis for the National Governing Body for mountain bike leadership and the National Skills Academy for the Outdoors. We also give time to community cycling projects that need help and expertise to secure facilities, develop youth training programmes and raise funds through sporting bodies.
International Partnerships and Training. Local guides around the world acknowledge with some cynicism that many “environmental policies” which state that companies only employ local staff are little more than cost saving excuses. We take a radically different approach. Wherever possible tours are led by two guides – one experienced and qualified cycling expert from our UK team, and one skilled and knowledgeable local guide. UK staff provide training to our partners on cycle skills, maintenance, bike setup and related activities, while local staff develop our language skills, social understanding and local knowledge. Together these international teams provide the highest standards of leadership and safety in the cycle travel industry.
In-house operations. We aim to reduce all office waste, to reuse or recycle everything from paper to cycle parts, and to constantly review the operations of the business to ensure that we are being as environmentally conscious as possible. One step taken in 2006 was to stop producing annual brochures, stop all client mailings other than by email, and to provide full holiday, course and company information on our website.
Carbon reduction. With help from one of the UK’s leading experts on Climate Change and Environmental Engineering (a generous client of ours who herself has given her expertise free of charge) we are working on a detailed carbon reduction programme for ourselves and our clients. This will include the purchase of carbon credits to offset all emissions from our operations, and the offering of targeted WWF Gold Standard carbon credits to allow all clients to travel in a way that has no impact on the global climate.
Carbon impact. reduction and offsetting
The process of global industrialisation that has carried on for over 100 years has had a real, proven impact on our climate. At current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere the planet will warm up by 2 degrees before 2050, with significant impact on landscapes, ecology and our society. Even now we release more carbon into the atmosphere than the planet can absorb, accelerating the process of global warming.
There are climate sceptics who still dispute the widely accepted facts about global warming, and others who believe that the largest international polluters have such a significant impact that there is little point in taking individual action.
We take a different view. Like increasing numbers of people across the world we are looking at what we do, and the services we provide to all of our clients, and trying to find ways to reduce the carbon impact of everything that we are involved with.
Carbon Credits and Offsetting
It could seem hypocritical to incite people to travel, then tell them to consider the damage they are doing in the process. We’re fully aware of this rather strange position but our only answer to the question “so why do you do it?” is that we believe our holidays are as environmentally sensitive as possible and therefore travelling with us – since you’re probably going to travel anyway – is a good idea.
We also suggest that all clients do what we do and buy carbon credits to offset the carbon impact of your trip.
Purchasing one carbon credit is simply investing in a project that will result in the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere by one tonne. As with any investment process there are good projects and not so good projects. For this reason we have taken advice from one of the UK’s leading environmental engineers and climate change experts on how to make sure we invest in projects that have real, verifiable impact.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint to Zero
When you book a holiday or course with CycleActive we will let you know how many carbon credits you would need to offset the volume of carbon being released into the atmosphere by your travels. If you want to purchase these carbon credits then we can organise that for you – or you are welcome to take that information and make your own carbon reduction decision.
Our staff will all have their carbon impact calculated and the full value of this will be offset by the purchase of carbon credits. If every client does the same thing the overall carbon impact of every course or holiday can be reduced to zero.
The projects we recommend are all graded Gold Standard by the WWF. This is the highest standard of carbon offsetting project and is a guarantee to investors that their payment is genuinely being used to effectively reduce carbon in the environment, in a sustainable way.We accept that carbon offsetting is still a matter of choice and so we do not expect you to make any additional payments, or include anything in our prices to cover these costs. However, if you want to find out more about the process, the projects that you could invest in or to make your carbon offsetting investment, please get in touch with us.