From January 2012 to October 2020 this blog was the personal project of Kevin Mayne.

Since October 2020 updating and posting to the blog have been suspended, to find out more see the post here.

The blog is left up as an archive and personal record, but the content is not being updated and some links to external content may not be maintained.

Updated writing and social media by Kevin Mayne can be found via www.cyclingindustries.com and on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

History of idonotdespair.com

For 14 years I was Chief Executive of CTC, the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, now CyclingUK.

In 2012 I left CTC to join the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) as Director of Development based in their Brussels office, and after 7 amazing years working for the cyclists’ movements of Europe I became Chief Executive of Cycling Industries Europe, a trade association for businesses working in the cycling sector.

Cycling has been an ever-present theme throughout my life as commuter, racer, tourist, mountain biker – call it what you will. In 1998 the CTC Council allowed me a unique opportunity to combine this life with my professional passion which is organisations and and the people that make them tick.

When I came into my international role I got the chance to bring these twin threads together even more. One of my major projects was to support vibrant and sustainable cyclists’ organisations in every country.

And as I traveled I always hoped to get a bit of an insight into cycling culture, places and people. That is a special opportunity that I tried to share, along with the pleasure of so many new places. I have even generated a few comments about life in Belgium, without I hope being too rude to my hosts, and the country where I became a citizen.

And I suppose the blog reflected the feedback I have had over the years from within cycling. Whenever I cycle with people we bond and we build relationships – the camaderie of the wheel.Photo by Andrzej Felczak

Photo by Andrzej Felczak, Radlobby Österreich

Disclaimer, health warning, policy stuff

This was a personal project. I’m did it in my own time to share some of the enjoyment I get from cycling, or indeed from anything else that pops into my head. So I was totally allowed to go off message and into areas I liked.

I tried not to communicate officially about policy stuff, or campaigning, or anything that crossed over into the day job with the cycling associations. Ok, I’ve had a unique opportunity because my day job is cycling, but if you want to engage me on CIE or policy issues please don’t do it through the blog, contact me in Brussels using the CIE link above.

I’m also not aiming to earn any money, strictly for fun. (Exception for the odd personal sale). However if you use my photographs without my permission, in writing, in advance I reserve the right to charge a commercial rate. Ask me nicely for your use to promote cycling and I will usually say yes! There is a contact form on my sales page.


The other stuff

Since November 2012 I live in the commune of Lasne, Brabant-Wallon, Belgium. I moved there from Berkshire England where I lived for the previous ten years.

I grew up largely in Bungay, Suffolk, England which I regard as my home town and its where I still have family.

I will admit to having at least 10 bicycles (at the moment) including two city/hybrids for daily use, two MTBs, two road bikes, two touring bikes, a fixie and a Chinese Flying Pigeon for restoration one day, when I have the time.

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Kevin,

    Really enjoyed reading your blog! Thought I’d drop you a line about our current project ‘The Adventures of Don Quixote by Bicycle’ It’s a theatre show where the performers and audience ride together. Promo film here; https://vimeo.com/42642213 . Further details here; http://www.burnthecurtain.co.uk . We’re currently looking for venues for next year- be great to hear any ideas you might have?

    Keep up the good work- favourite bike related tune? This;

    Joe BTC


    • Thanks for following Joe – I have been to your site and I love the concept.
      I’m sure you would go down a storm at some of the bike festivals that are put on by the more cycling friendly towns. The idea of a sort of mummers group wandering their festival performing sounds too good to miss. I remember the bicycle ballet in Brighton or the cycling film festivals in Leicester in recent years.

      I would love to have seen you one day at the York Cycle Show!


  2. Hi Kevin,

    I’ve been reading your blog a lot, and I love it. I have a question that I’m not sure you can help me with but I see that you travel with your bicycle on what looks like a regular basis. I am moving from the states to the UK, what kind of bag/container do you recomend for bringing my bike over?
    This is my bike: http://www.linusbike.com/models/dutchi-3/ Leaving it home is not an option. Thanks for any advice you can give me on this.



    • If you are moving long term just go to a local bike shop and ask them for an old box that they had for a delivery. You usually need to turn the handlebars and remove the pedals to fit such a box, but the shop might help. These boxes are taken by most airlines.

      Within Europe I either use a folder on trains or I hire bikes at the destination, I got really fed up with the hassle of trying to look after my nice bikes in transit.


  3. Hi Kevin. Thanks for taking a few moments to stop by http://CyclingEurope.org . I thought I recognised the name and then I dug a little bit deeper to realise why 🙂 I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to read my book Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (I mention it quite a few times on my website and on Twitter – @CyclingEurope) but I’d love to send you a copy (either an eBook or paperback version) if you are interested in doing so. Your former colleague at CTC, Chris Peck, called it a ‘wonderful, witty account of a cycling tour across Europe; well worth a read’. I also note from above that your home is in Berkshire as well; we may well cross each other in the rain…
    All I need for the book is either an email address or postal address. Perhaps some of your new colleagues might also fancy reading it; the ECF gets a few mentions as, of course, does the Eurovelo 5.


    • Thanks Andrew

      I have been keeping an eye on your stuff through the blogosphere too, if you can convince Chris Peck then you have cracked the toughest of audiences!

      I don’t solicit stuff, but I am sure that we at ECF should have your book around the office after the publicity you have given Euro-velo and I’d love to add it to my somewhat incomplete book reviews on this blog, so if you want to send us one send it to the Brussels office.

      Best wishes.



  4. new here by coincidence, I was trying to find more news on Niki Terpstra who won Paris-Roubaix yesterday, and landed on you website Kevin.
    Really enjoying reading all the stories.
    I wonder though why I didn’t find anything on Madonna del Ghisallo, on the other hand it might come in the future.
    all the best !


    • It’s on my list of “must visit” cycling places and I have no doubt I will get there.

      So many places to visit, people to ride with….

      Thanks for stopping by.



  5. Hi Kevin,

    I read your post about the “sea of bicycles” in Utrecht with great interest. I am an expat living in Utrecht and, like you, I am amazed at the ubiquitous presence of the bicycle in the city and in the life of the Dutch people.

    I have posted some pics of the recently opened fiestsenstalling (parking lot for bicycles) of Utrecht Central Station – it’s the huge one you heard about and mentioned in the post, too. Indeed it is something amazing: it can shed 4200 bikes and it is super technological.

    Have a look if you’d like: http://meinthenetherlands.blogspot.nl/2014/05/fietsenstalling-jaarbeursplein-new-huge.html

    Cheers and thank you for spreading the bicycle culture.


  6. You might consider contacting Jack Becker via his organization’s latest blog which he helped launch. http://www.cyclotouringbc.com/wordpress/ It’s an arm of British Columbia Cycling Coalition. Jack is very involved in spearheading promoting cycling tourism and strategy in the province right now. Working on a conference right now.

    He spent 6 months solo cycling and camping in both North and South islands in kiwiland as an early retirement gift to himself.


  7. Interesting and well-written blog Kevin. I was wondering what your opinion is of cycling around Lasne, compared to around Bungay, and if you might be interested in sharing some of your favourite routes as a guest blogger on http://discoveringbelgium.com/ ? I have written some cycling posts myself, but would welcome the insights of a “cycling pro”! Thanks for letting me know.


  8. Hi Kevin,
    Interesting blog – thank-you.
    I’m currently doing some research on the road and roadside design factors that impact road safety in urban Melbourne. May I please use your photo of the part-time cycle lanes in Melbourne in my PhD thesis?


  9. Kevin,
    Just read your flying pigeon post with great interest, as I too am struggling to put one back together. Is there an enthusiasts forum or club you could point me towards? James


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