marc etches commissare british cycling
Who is this for? Anyone in Business
What is it About? The Man, the Myth.
Reading Time 60 Seconds

Most of my weekends are taken up by cycling. Either riding my bike or being an official at one of the many British Cycling events around the country. I’m often a Commissaire, which for those who don’t know what a commissaire is; – basically – similar to a football referee.

At National events, there are a team of three Commissaires in cars and two Commissaires on motorbikes known as moto comms. We all work together as a team to ensure the riders are safe and the rules and regulations are followed. My other roles include judging, which is recording the riders as they come through on each lap and taking notes of the riders as they finish the race. There are also some races where you have to judge the intermediate sprint points where riders are awarded time bonuses and the KOM points when riders receive points for the King of the Mountains competition. I also sit on the back of a motorbike with a blackboard and give the rider’s information about the race; such as time gaps and the number of riders in the front group – known as the break.

On top of all this, I’ve been a race organiser of the Sheffield Grand Prix for the past 8 years and have worked with British Cycling to organise three National Championships. I’m the Vice Chair of British Cycling Yorkshire Region and Chair of the White Rose Youth League – which has produced some of the country’s top riders, longer than any of the above I have been club secretary of Sheffield’s most active cycling club, Sheffrec Cycling Club and have taken the club forward for the past 20 years. So, it’s fair to say I’m pretty well known in cycling circles and have many dear friends that I bump into and chat about many experiences we’ve all witnessed over the years.

So a common conversation opener from most people is,

“So, do you work for British Cycling now Marc.”

My standard answer is:

“No, I’m a graphic designer.”

We then swiftly move onto a conversation about something based on two wheels. It’s only after when I stop and wonder … do people actually know what I do as a day job?

As with most people at cycling events we are all volunteers despite, what most people think, we are just that, volunteers. We don’t get paid and only receive out of pocket expenses for fuel and the odd meal; so the weekend work doesn’t pay my mortgage!

What I do during the week seems to be the most popular myth about me. I’m actually a Director at Blue Strawberry Elephant which is a graphic design and marketing company based in Sheffield “making small businesses look bigger and bigger businesses look better”. I’ve been a graphic designer for the past 23 years and love creating brands for all sorts of companies in different sectors, designing websites of all sizes and putting together brochures, signage and advertising campaigns that deliver results for clients nationwide.

So, if you do spot me on my bike, at a bike race or just in the local coffee shop, you might want to see me as Marc the graphic designer for Blue Strawberry Elephant rather than Marc who works for British Cycling.

Want to see how we can help you stop competing and start leading? Just check any of website links in this blog- they’re all created by us.

0114 255 9993

Testimonials here: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.