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Changing Gear from 2021 to 2022

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Project: Changing Gear is the review of our first year and the development of our organisation to make it easier than ever to explore Scotland and meet like-minded people.

After our first year of operating, I've reflected on the past 12 months and amidst a turbulent economy, a challenging health situation and the continuous difficulties faced by our members and by Scotland as a whole, I'm immensely proud of all that we have achieved over the past year since I founded Scottish Adventure on the afternoon December 26th 2020.

Some of our 2021 highlights include:

  • Establishing our brand as Scotland's only adventure community organisation

  • Growing our membership from 0 to 168

  • Around 1/4 million miles cycled by our members in 2021

  • Two bike packing overnight adventures

  • A bike maintenance class

  • 3x online adventure talks

  • Our first public event - Durris Dash 2021

  • Our first package holiday trip to Braemar (not without the adventure bit...!)

  • Raised over £2,500 for Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance

  • Made newspaper headlines at the Tour of Britain in Aberdeenshire

  • We hosted a memorial ride for someone who was involved in the concept of SAC

Every one of our members has contributed to our success and I would like to personally thank them for all their invaluable support throughout the year. From making the year-long commitment and signing up to our events, to organising local rides and offering to help with the more strategic development of Scottish Adventure.

As you will read below, there is plenty to get excited about as we change gear from 2021 into 2022. A more defined direction, a more inclusive community, a new website and app and new leadership team allow us to grow our community of like-minded people and make it even easier for folk to explore Scotland.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and exciting new year.

I'll see you out there...

Roy Milne

Founder & Chairman

Cairngorm Christmas Adventure, December 2021

Project: Changing Gear

Project: Changing Gear is the review of our first year and the development of our organisation to make it easier than ever to explore Scotland and meet like-minded people.

We have listened to our members, we've consulted the adventure market and we've spent a substantial amount of time researching and discussing our future direction to set up the framework for a sustainable and inclusive future. We are happy to announce 10 changes to our organisation which we hope will be the foundations for some great adventures as we head into 2022.

Change #1 - We started on a bike and it lead us to adventure

Originally set up as an adventure cycling club, we have spent a year growing our membership and getting to know everyone. We have learned that there are a whole host adventure activities which people who ride bikes also love to do. Thanks to our membership and events operating model and our focus on supporting Scottish businesses, it seems a natural progression to include all adventure activities as well as more of the cycling activities which were the responsible for our success in our first year.

Wild swimming? Walking? Skiing? Bike Packing? Walking? Mountaineering? Climbing? Coasteering? Trail running? Hiking? Sailing?

We are more interested in the experience of adventure rather than which piece of kit you use to access it.

74% of members take part in other adventure activities and would like us to expand to include more than just cycling Member's Survey 2021

Change #2 - Introducing the Scottish Adventure Community (SAC)

The Scottish Adventure Community is home to Personal Members who enjoy exploring Scotland and meeting like-minded people, Business Members who provide products and services which enable adventure and for the first time - we now have Associate Members who provide industry information and resources for safe and sustainable adventure.

Change #3 - Website got a full upgrade

Only one thing for it - go take a lookie. We hope you like the feel of the new website and we welcome any feedback be-it positive or an opportunity for improvement. We hope you find it useful and inspiring as well as a great tool to meeting like-minded people to plan adventures with.

Change #4 - New app for Local Adventures

WhatsApp has been great in our first year to make plans for local rides and social events. We now have the Spond App to make finding, attending and organising local adventures easier and to will help ensure members dont miss a meet up. Local Adventures are organised by members for members and no matter what type of local adventure you are organising, you can put the information into Spond.

84% of members would like to see more Local Adventures - Member's Survey 2021

Change #5 - New leadership team

It has been a busy year in 2021 with plenty delivered in a start-up organisation. To ensure we grow sustainably and represent the Scottish Adventure Community effectively, we have recruited several key people who form our new Leadership Team.

Our forward-looking Leadership Team is make up of dedicated, focused and experienced people who know adventure very well. Working with each other and with our community, their knowledge and experience come together to make a different for all our members and project partners all over Scotland.

Change #6 - More public events, all over Scotland

Durris Dash 2021 was more successful than we could possibly imagine so we are in the final stages of planning the Tartan Dash Series 2022. The TDS22 will see the same multiple checkpoint format being used for a series of four events planned over Scotland (and we do really mean all over!).

We also have other events which are designed to showcase some of the best areas of Scotland while allowing participants to take part at their own pace. We hope people will use our events as an opportunity to visit different parts of Scotland and make a weekend break out of it. We will be providing plenty location information via our blog in the build up to all our events to make it as easy as possible to identify places to stay, eat and visit and shops you might want to check out while you're there.

Tartan Dash Series 2022 locations will be announced and registration will open on Wednesday 29th December 2021.

Change #7 - The Summit - our annual get-together

The Summit will be our annual adventure conference to review our past year, hear from our community members and to reveal plans for the coming year. While the main event will be an evening affair, we will also have some adventure activities during the day to showcase each location and enable people to meet others in our community.

The first Summit will be held in Aberdeen on 22.01.22 and will travel to a different location in Scotland each year. This supports our aim to hold events in different areas of Scotland and once again is a great opportunity to make this a weekend trip. The Summit is open to absolutely everyone and we look forward to inspiring people to join the Scottish Adventure Community by hearing first-hand about our member's experiences.

"Heading out on regular adventures is great but I think we should have a way of getting everyone together in one place" - SAC Personal Member

At The Summit, we will welcome stories from our Personal Members, testimonials from our Business Members, information from our Associate Members as well as discussion about key topics.

Change #8 - More member discounts than ever before

We have tasked Stevie Strathie (our Partnership Director) with identifying and growing our Business Membership who are a big part of the Scottish Adventure Community. As part of the drive to help our Business Members increase their revenue and market coverage, we have been able to secure member-exclusive discounts for our Personal Members to incentivise people to shop local and to grow the relationship between customer and local business.

Recently we have welcomed Decathlon (Aberdeen), NEO Gym, Firetrail, Charlie's Adventure Supplies, Kitbrix, Outsider Events and Straight Cut Designs as Business Members.

Roy (SAC) welcoming Andrew from Decathlon Aberdeen onboard as a new Business Member

Change #9 - We have a new 'Why' and Aims

We have always had a deep rooted love of adventure and of Scotland. We have taken that warm and fuzzy feeling and translated that into something other people can relate to.

Our Aims detail what we seek to achieve as an organisation. Everything we do will directly feed into achieving our aims and we will continuously work on developing our services, behaviours and projects to support them.

Change #10 - Explore Scotland with a Holiday

Our final development is the addition of a package adventure holidays service. We believe we can enhance our community of Business Members which provide accommodation, food, guiding and other services by pulling together Scottish Adventure Holidays to make it even easier for people to explore Scotland.

We will utilise our Business Members and package up these services to create a fantastic adventure holiday experience. Take the pressure off being the organiser and let us look after you - book your Scottish Adventure Holiday today.

Project: Changing Gear is complete. Over to you...

So there you have it - the end of a year of adventure and change coming to a close and we hope you like the direction we're going in but the next bit is over to you.

As we head into 2022 why not organise a Local Adventure - start up a regular meet up, send ussome suggestions for events in your area or write a blog to share your experiences.

If you haven't joined the Scottish Adventure Community yet, now is a great time to get involved because 2022 is definitely going to be an epic Scottish Adventure.

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1 Comment

Cameron Mew
Cameron Mew
Dec 21, 2021

A fantastic year by all accounts. The successes, the learnings, a desire to listen and promote member participation is in itself, a source of fantastic adventures. The community feel is real with many inspiring individuals involved. It’s been fun. Looking forward to 2022. Oh! Since I joined, Santa’s never had a bigger list 😃

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