Ron Vlooswyk will serve in a new role at Swicked Cycles: Community Ambassador. Photo Swicked Cycles Facebook

The new community ambassador

Swicked is turning 10 next month. When we started this little bike shop, one of our big missions was to get heavily involved in the community and enhance cycling for the North Island.

This mission was never intended to be just sponsorship, but instead, get us personally involved at many levels in the cycling community.

We are very proud of what we’ve managed to create in the last 10 years. We have established a strong group ride community with our Monday and Thursday night rides. We have encouraged many youths with our “SwicKids” riding program and “Take a Kid Mountain Biking” events. And since 2010, we have helped get well over 500 bikes to less fortunate families at Christmas with our “Every Kid Deserves a Bike” program.

The list of initiatives we have accomplished is long, but sadly, we still have a longer list of things we never found the time or resources to tackle.

I am sure you all understand having long lists and being short on time. With kids, running a small business day to day, and still trying to find some semblance of a personal life, time is at a premium. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t find any more hours in the day and some things slipped down the priority list.

Not ones to give up easily, Chenoa and I put our heads together over our recent winter holiday and decided it was time to change all this. We have now created a community ambassador position at Swicked to help us progress our mission.

Ron, who you may have met on our group rides or in the shop, is taking on this position. He has extensive experience in these areas and is excited to switch gears at Swicked and tackle some big projects within our cycling community.

Ron, the Swicked community ambassador, will now be able to liaise with the local trail advocates and builders. He’ll organize our trail maintenance wants and needs, and develop our trail tool loaner program. Ron will further enhance the Swicked group rides, advocate to get more riders into the sport, and much more as the position evolves.

I am not sure who is more excited, us or Ron, but it will bring some great improvements going forward.

So, if you are a builder, or advocate looking for some support, a newbie looking to get into cycling, or a volunteer looking to get involved, feel free to e-mail Ron at

We are all very excited about this next step and look forward to the many benefits Swicked can bring to the community, in addition to our current programs.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…