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Meet Helena Coker: Top Treasurer, Terrific Condor, yet Terrible Gardener Featured

Without Helena Coker our club couldn't operate. Read on to get to know a bit more about your Club Treasurer, including how Helena keeps the Condors on a sure financial footing, what the club and its members mean to her, and what she likes to do when not moving house!

Tell us a little bit about your role and what is you'd most like to achieve this year?

You might not even have met me in person (because I haven’t lived in Oxford for two years) but you have probably submitted to my demands for money...hi I’m your Treasurer! I’m in charge of balancing the books and managing the budgets. In short, it involves some Excel wizardry and lots of time on PayPal. We’re lucky enough to have such a strong member base and great sponsors that money coming in is not a problem. Therefore this year my main goal is actually to make sure the board spends more on members than we receive, whilst leaving us at a healthy starting point for next year.

 

What would you say attracted to you to the Cowley Road Condors in the first place?

Diversity. I first started riding a road bike 4 years ago, I wasn’t fit, fast or familiar with Oxford. I started out with the University Cycling Club which was mostly active in term time, meaning the summers had to be supplemented with a different club. Eventually, I found the Condors. The frequency of riding and sheer numbers in the summer meant that I could pick rides suited to my ability and gain some great group riding experience. In the two years I was in Oxford I went from social riding, to instigating women’s dev rides, to hanging on to the incredible women’s race team for dear life. Even though I left Oxford, I couldn’t leave this amazing network behind and wanted to help from afar.

 

Describe your absolute favourite moment since joining the club? 

The Condors, both individuals and as a club, have supported me more than I can put into words at the moment. So, I’ve decided my favorite moment was actually after I had moved away from Oxford. I left from Wandsworth (south west London) at 7am and rode 70km on my own to Watlington Hill to surprise the Condors at their hill climb. Everyone seemed so happy to see me, it warms the cockles of my heart to think about. I wasn’t persuaded to take part in the hill climb but I met up with my friends, was fed cake, given a Bike Oxford t-shirt AND saw the boss (Cheryl) ride with ET in a basket! What more could I want? I then got a puncture on the way into Oxford, which I was fixing at the side of the road when another Condor saw me and popped home to get me a track pump. It’s just little things like that which remind me why I love the this club.

 

So, what's your main interest outside of cycling?  It's OK to not have any.  Cycling rules!

Some might say that my main hobby is moving house seeing as I’ve had to do that 6 times in the last 4 years. It doesn’t leave me much time to do other things (except lots of cycling).
Those that know me will say my main hobby is moaning. And to be fair it’s a pass time I have perfected. Now that I have finished my PhD thesis, started a real job and moved for the last time in a while (hopefully), my main interest is adulting. That is, working out what non-students do. As part of my transition into adulthood I’m learning to garden, or as I like to call it ‘the art of making plants die a little bit slower’. I look forward to getting back into photography and I love crafts/making things so I’ll be upcycling some stuff to fill my shiny unfurnished ‘maisonette’.

 

What three words immediately spring to mind when you think about the Condors, or bikes, in general?

  1. Inclusive
  2. KTFU (insert any F you like!)
  3. Bantz

 

Lastly, which Velominati rule do you fully support and will always abide by?! 

Of the 20 that I could be bothered to read (*gasp*, grievances on a cute kitten e-postcard to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. please) I think Rule #6 is my favorite.

Rule #6 // Free your mind and your legs will follow

Your mind is your worst enemy. Do all your thinking before you start riding your bike. Once the pedals start to turn, wrap yourself in the sensations of the ride – the smell of the air, the sound of the tires, the feeling of flight as the bicycle rolls over the road.

 

Thank you, Helena! If you've ever any queries on club finances then drop Helena a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The below graphic is something Helena created for our 2017 AGM - it's a useful visual indicator showing how we allocate your £30 annual club membership.
 
Last modified on June 22, 2018
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