Tandem Club of America Membership: I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up

I received my 2010 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last seven years, I thought I’d share a quick look at the Tandem Club of America’s (TCA) demographics. As always, my hand-tabulated counts from the membership listing were entered into my spreadsheets and looked at on a state-by-state basis in comparison to data from last year’s Membership Roster and for reasons I explain in my more detailed report & analysis, the January 2008 membership roster. You can find my highly unscientific analysis HERE.

In summary, and based on what was published in this year’s 2010 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 765 is down 16.3% compared to last year, with a net reduction of 149 members.

Sadly, the prediction in my editorial from last year’s analysis was correct and this was the largest single drop-off I’ve seen since keeping track of the membership trends.

Looking back and comparing membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 692 or about 47.5%.

– 36 of 50 states saw net losses in membership while only 4 saw a net increase of one-each.
– Leading the pack (not surprisingly) was California which lost a net of 21 members in the last year, down from 111 in 2002 to 47 members as of January 2010.
– For the first time since watching the data there are now only members in 49 of the 50 US states, as the one lone tandem team from Wyoming dropped from the roles this year.
– Wisconsin was another state that stands out with the loss of 12 members, down from 46 in 2002 to just 19.

Editorial: Just as I noted last year, unless TCA abandons its laissez-faire approach to managing the club and develops some type of vision for how it will deliver value to members in the future, I would expect the slide in membership to continue until the revenues from memberships will no longer cover the cost of printing and mailing out DoubleTalk and Web hosting fees. At that point, I’m not sure what happens. Just looking back two years 25% of the long-time TCA members have dropped from the roles (22 of 87) and of the 273 or so newer members who joined TCA during 2007, 131 (48%) of them have not renewed their memberships.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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4 Responses to Tandem Club of America Membership: I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up

  1. Pingback: Where have all the honkers gone? « Honking In Traffic

    • TG says:

      My gut tells me that it’s the concept of ‘club membership’ that’s in decline… influenced by a shift in cultural norms and generational differences. It was for the most part the folks who got into tandeming in the 70’s and 80’s who created many of the formal clubs and rallies. While rallies and overall tandem ridership seems to remain steady, the desire to ‘belong’ to an organization and/or take on formal leadership roles in the more structured clubs has waned and been replaced by ‘virtual’ relationships that bridge geographic boundaries. Things like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, forums and even the old-tech listserver like Tandem@Hobbes provide the more dedicated enthusiasts who consider tandeming as one of their primary interests with a ready outlet for social interaction 24/7. This makes sense in a world where increased demands for our time make setting aside an entire day or weekend each month for a club ride with teams of disparate performance levels less attractive than riding alone as schedules permit or with friends in a non-tandem focused group or club rides. As for the Tandem Club of America, it has simply lost relevance since it violated Darwin’s basic rule of survival: it has failed to adapt itself to a changing world (period).

  2. Hm hm.. that’s very interessting but honestly i have a hard time figuring it… I’m wondering what others have to say….

  3. Pingback: Tandem Club of America Membership: Sorry, there’s just no way to spin this into a positive story…. « The TandemGeek's Blog

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