News – March 2018

This month we talk to self confessed petrol head Ashley Parmenter about how he got into cycling and why cycling makes sense for short journeys.

We update on the Colchester Bike Kitchen project to assist Refugee Action-Colchester to donate bikes to Syrian adults and children who have recently arrived in our town, further bikes will be donated to Syrians who agree to do Bikeability training.

After all the snow and rain in recent months, we offer some timely advice from Sustrans on how to clean your bike.

We share a study by the British Medical Journal suggesting people who are too busy to exercise daily should multi-task by walking or cycling to work to reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer.

Ride for Helen is back on the 13th May, find out how you can join in. Cyclists from across the county will be meeting at The Crix in Hatfield Peverel to take part in this fantastic, family-friendly event which offers a choice of cycling routes to suit all capabilities; 6 miles, 15 miles, 35 miles, 65 miles and NEW 100 miles.

We talk to Steve Carswell a Bikeability instructor with Cycling4U about his partnership with a Braintree company to deliver Safe Urban Driving (SUD) training for HGV drivers to help improve understanding of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

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February 2018 news

This month we talk to Sarah Holt who has recently returned to cycling and completed the London to Paris ride to fundraise for St Helena Hospice

We have a local cyclist volunteering to ride with those with visual impairments who have access to a tandem.

Re-Cycle need more bikes and Colchester Bike Kitchen need more volunteers, so they can consider extending their opening hours to weekly 

We highlight again the great opportunity for a one to one session to build your confidence to cycle for just £10.

Have you heard about Britain’s forgotton 1930’s protected cycleways including our own Cymbeline Way? If not find out more about the 500 mile network of protected cycle ways that were installed in the 1930’s and what has happened to them now.

If lack of a shower at work is discouraging you from commuting by bike, we share Sustrans tips for commuting by bike and staying fresh when you get there.

Find out how Good Journeys are rewarding people for going car-free to UK attractions.

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January 2018

Happy New Year! We start 2018 off talking to Kelli Schmalenbach, a first year student from Pennsylvania studying at the University of Essex who loves cycling and is planning to explore the UK by bike this year.

Essex Police launch today a bike lock campaign which includes a one week offer of 20% off a Sold Secure Lock in local Colchester bike shops.

For just £10 you can receive a one to one session with a qualified cycling instructor to help you gain confidence and improve your road skills on a bike.

We report on Colchester’s recent successful bid for Sport England funding to increase participation in sport and physical activity

Can you help tidy up the Wivenhoe Trail? Volunteers are getting together on the 3rd March to litter pick the trail.

As a cyclist you probably know how much space you feel comfortable with when a car passes you. We share information about Cycling UK’s Too Close for Comfort campaign and a short video you might like to share with your non cycling friends who drive.

Finally if your fingers and toes have been suffering with the cold, we share Cyclescheme’s hand guide to keeping toasty.

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December 2017 news

This month we interview Darius Laws, a photographer and video producer who’s also a Colchester Borough Councillor.

Following the snow a few weeks back and the icy slush in the days after, you may have parked your bike for a few days. If you are wondering what to do if further snow or ice comes our way, we share some tips from Sustrans for safe cycling in snowy and icy conditions should you decide to cycle.

Despite all the cycling activity in Colchester, nothing is registered on the Active Essex website. So if you run a club or group or are part of a club find out how you can sign up to promote what your club offers.

We are still looking for an unwanted bike to suit a tall 15 year old. Can you help?

Local charity Re-Cycle has a new Managing Director.

Did you take part in Beat The Street on your bike? The Beat the Street team are keen to hear from people who did and are happy to share their story.

Find out more about what the Bike Life 2017 report from Sustrans have to say about cycling in cities.

With 2018 approaching and the time for New Year resolutions, we share an interesting study from the University of Copenhagen which found that cycling to work is just as effective for losing weight as going to the gym 5 times a week!

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November 2017 news

This month we talk to Jacqui Stone who represented Britain in the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in France this August, just three years after getting her first proper road bike.

If you found last month’s article about e-bikes interesting read more about how e-bikes represent the most fastest growing segments of the transport market.

With Christmas coming up are you thinking about buying a bike for your ever growing child? If so find out more about The Bike Club plus Black Friday deals from ATW cycles and has anyone got an unwanted bike they would be happy to donate to a 15 year old Syrian refugee living in Colchester?

We update on the government’s cycle safety review.

Finally if your transport interests extend to buses and trains, check out a talk on the 30 November in Colchester themed ‘The Politics of Buses and Trains’.

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October 2017 news

This month we talk to Wolf Simpson about how using bikes and more recently e-bikes has transformed his mobility and how far he can travel without suffering pain.

Thanks to everyone who has given us feedback on the Cycle Colchester website, your comments have been really helpful. We would still like to hear from more of you, so if you can spare a few minutes please complete our short survey.

Cycle Colchester survey

In light of Wolf’s inspirational story, we share some e-bike brands and local suppliers as recommended by local Cycle Colchester subscribers.

Events this month include Freshers Fair at the University, St Helena Hospice’s charity bike ride, Cycle Colchester at the Black History month event at Firstsite, and a family bike ride from Greenstead.

Sustrans are looking for more volunteers locally, go along to their ‘Tappas and tea’ event at Firstsite to find out more.

Bikeability sessions are on offer  in the October half term, including Learn to Ride and combined levels 1 & 2. They will be held at Gosbecks primary school in Shrub End.

There is also the opportunity for one to one adult confidence sessions to build your skills and confidence cycling on roads where you live.

We share further lessons learnt from commuting to work; and in the wake of the Charlie Alliston case, we highlight Cycling UK’s concerns following the DfT’s announcement regarding an urgent review into cycling offences.

If you are taking part in Beat the Street, are you following their social media and have you signed up to their newsletter to receive info on latest bonus tap chances and more.

Finally we share with you Chris Juden’s original thoughts on why cyclists prefer to keep moving, rather than stopping and starting!


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September 2017 news

This month we talk to Jess Douglas about why she cycles.

Help us revamp the Cycle Colchester website and newsletter by completing our short survey.

Cycle Colchester survey

St Helena Hospice’s charity bike ride is now just a few weeks away, will you join in or could you help marshal?

Beat the Street is turning our town into a giant, fun, free game for the community from 20 September 2017! Find out how to take part.

With the new academic year we have updated the University Cycle Map

Ten tips to avoid if you are thinking of commuting to work from Cyclescheme

If you are concerned about Bike Theft, check out localised advice from the Colchester Cycling Campaign.

Have you heard of the Dutch Reach? A simple but different approach to opening your car door which helps ensure you see approaching cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians and avoid ‘dooring’ them. Adopt the habit, spread the word and help save lives.

To finish on a lighter note, a glimpse of everyday cycling in Holland.

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July 2017 news

With the summer holidays upon us, we give you some ideas for fun days out by bike.

If you want to increase your confidence to cycle, we are offering Bikeability Learn to Ride and Bikeability combined levels 1 & 2 in August for adults and children which will take place at the Corporal Budd VC gymnasium off Berechurch Road.

In terms of events coming up, Suffolk’s Crafted Classique sportive takes place on the 12th August offering a selection of exciting routes suitable for all abilities.

We will be at the Myland fete on the 28th August, bring your bike for a free health check, we will have bikes to try out and a flag painting activity for the kids.

Local charity St Helena Hospice’s annual fundraising bike ride is coming up on September 8th, with a selection of different length routes, could you take part in the ride?  If not could you volunteer to help marshal the route?

A few months in from Cycling UK’s successful #TooCloseForComfort campaign to purchase distance mats for the majority of police forces in the UK, ,33 out of 45 police forces, including Essex, have been quick to adopt the campaign. Have you noticed a difference in driver behaviour?

Well done to the Colchester schools that won categories in the summer term Eco Race and find out how your school can take part next year.

If you have been following the controversy over the Mile End Road cycle path, read about the outcome of CCC’s campaign.  

Finally if you feel your kids are overly dependent on screens and spend far too much time indoors, come along to a free screening of the acclaimed film Project Wild Thing at Firstsite on the 30th August. ‘This film will change your life’ claims The Guardian!

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May & June 2017 news

Just a brief newsletter this month as we have just had news of our funding and need to sit down and work out our summer plans! Funding is limited this year so if anyone was some spare time to volunteer with us please get in touch!

To celebrate National Bike Week, the Colchester Travel Plan Club is running a Colchester Cycle Challenge between the 10th and 25th June. The challenge is open to any Colchester workplace and is free to take part. Use the challenge as an opportunity to encourage your colleagues to try the cycle to work or to cycle at the weekend.

Happy Handlebars will be at the Young Children’s Festival on the 17th June with all sorts of bikes to try out and help and advice on hand to help families cycle more.

Andy and his team at ATW Cycles are offering three led rides from their shop on the Seedbed Centre on Severalls Business Park every Saturday. Rides include a relaxing countryside ramble, a ladies only ride and a faster ride.

Reminders of the Bike Kitchens opening times and Re-Cycle’s bike sale.





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April 2017 news

With the longer days and summer ahead, lots of bike activities are coming up!

Why not think about taking part in the Cake Escape, a fun local initiative to encourage you to combine eating cake with getting out on your bike! New participating cafes have been added.

Like to support your local independent bike shops? – check out a list including the newest Rough and Road Cycles in West Bergholt.

Find out more about new Essex cycling initiative Happy Handlebars, who will be offering help to get people back on bikes and enjoying cycling

The Colchester Bike Kitchen is now opening on alternate Wednesdays at 6:30pm.

Colchester based national charity MS-UK helping and supporting people living with multiple sclerosis have a number of gold places available in the Ride London event on the 30th July.

We hope to offer some Bikeability sessions in the May half term and summer holidays, however you can now book Bikeability Learn to Ride directly with Safer Essex Road partnerships.

Re-Cycle has a new patron and we update you on some changes to the sort of bike donations they are now looking for plus they still need more volunteers for the summer!

Is your school part of the EcoRace? If not, find out more about this termly competition between local schools to encourage children to walk, scoot and cycle to school.

If you fancy a cycling adventure slightly further afield, why not check out the Adventure Cycle Festival in the Lake District over the first weekend of June or #racethesun17 on the 23rd June?

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