While the weather is still mild and we have had some bright sunny days, autumn is a time that brings seasonal hazards to cyclists. Find out some top tips from Sustrans on how to winterproof your bike and ride, plus where to report the build-up of slippery leaves, water filled potholes and other hazards on your regular cycle route.
This month we talk to Keeley Ritchie about how she and her daughter benefited from the Bikeability level 1 & 2 combined sessions that took place this October half term.
We also share an important educational video highlighting why cyclists may cycle in the middle of the road and the important role of driving instructors in teaching the next generation of drivers that everyone has a right to use the road and not just motorists.
Get updates on Wivenhoe and Colchester’s Bike Kitchens offers and opening hours.
Find out more about CTC’s successful lobbying for changes to the Victims Code giving more rights to cyclists involved in motor incidents, also an update on CTC’s efforts locally.
If you have a sense of adventure, enjoy a challenge and care about climate change, then check out the London to Paris ride (Wed 9 Dec to Fri 11 Dec) for the rally at the UN Climate Change Conference on Saturday 12 December.
The Bikeability sessions we organised over the October half term were a great success, with 28 kids and 3 adults taking part. Thanks to ECC for providing and funding the courses and Thomas Lord Audley school for hosting us. We hope to organise more in the spring, so please get in touch if you want to be added to our waiting list.
Read Keeley’s interview to find out how she and her daughter benefited from the Bikeability training and find a link to the useful video mentioned above at the end. You might like to share it with members of your family and friends who cycle or drive or both!
The Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen community bike workshop off St John's Rd continues to open Saturdays at 2pm and Mondays at 7pm for anyone to drop by and get friendly help to fix their bike, donations welcome. They have spares - inner tubes, cables, brake pads and random spare parts - lights outside for evenings, heater indoors when it's cold, and there's tea!! FBWivenhoeBikeKitchen bicyclewiv[at]gmail.com 07926 463568. They also do FREE bike checks and tune ups at Wivenhoe Farmers' Market, Congregational Hall, High Street - Sat 21 November 9.30 to 12.30.
The Colchester Bike Kitchen (CBK) is now open twice a month, from 1pm-4pm on the first and third Saturdays, at the Waiting Room, with its excellent café offering beer, wine and food from local producers. If your bike needs a bit of TLC, then CBK has the tools for the job and volunteers to offer advice if you need it. Like WBK, they rely on donations, and there’s a list of suggested donations for spare parts. They could do with some more volunteers in the workshop and to run the information desk – so please do get in touch if you’d like to help (training provided). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.colchesterbikekitchen.org.uk for more information . The last dates for this year are 21 November, 5 December and 19 December, and on 5 December they will be part of the Waiting Room’s Festive Bazaar, so make sure you have some big panniers on your bike to take home a selection of the lovely Christmas goodies on sale!
CTC has successfully lobbied the Ministry for Justice for positive changes for cyclists in the new Victims Code that will be implemented on 16 November 2015.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news with the Government refusing to extend the Victims' Right to Review scheme to all offences, not just the most serious. This means many cyclists injured in collisions still will not be able to challenge a police decision not to charge a driver.
CTC are now considering what steps to take next to ensure all road crime victims can challenge decisions not to take action against irresponsible drivers.
Visit the CTC website if you want to know more or to support CTC’s important work for cyclists.
Locally CTC Cycle Champions are reflecting on a fantastic year of cycling in Colchester as well as newer locations in Essex; with six new community cycling clubs from Chelmsford to Clacton and more progressing. Find out what is on offer in Colchester and further afield throughout Essex
The London to Paris ride to join the COP21 climate demonstration on Saturday 12 December will be challenging and demanding. You will need to be prepared for a no frills ride, with cycling in the cold, little sleep, ad hoc stops for food etc. The organisers have spelled it out in black and white, so if, once you have read their check list, it still sounds like your idea of fun, go for it! If anyone goes along please get in touch as we would love to interview you!
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Read Wolf's insirational story about how cycling has transformed his mobility. Find out about the e-bikes he has built, his campaigning for better cycle links particularly between towns and his lobbying for ebikes to be recognised as a mobility aid. 'Getting the bus is causing me big problems, but cycling is good. Going to work by bus I’m sitting down for an hour and a half and I’d have to take painkillers before going to work, but not when I’m cycling.'