newsletters

April 2016 news

Spring is in the air and we have had some glimpses of things to come with some lovely balmy days. If it has reenergised you to get on your bike then here are a few thoughts for April.

With spring typically a time for new life, we share Breeze’s advice on cycling when pregnant.

Every Saturday during April, there is a Sky Ride around Alton Water suitable for all the family.

With the better weather, we have ordered and are excited to have received our Cake Escape log books. Find out more about the Cake Escape an exciting activity to do with your family on your bikes this summer.

A heads up on two charity rides coming up in May with varying length routes from 6 to 60 miles, to cater for any level of cyclist, whether you are a family with young children or a serious cyclist.

8 May – Ride for Helen – in Hatfield Peverel

15 May – Tour de Tendring  – from Dovercourt

If you have pulled your bike out of the shed only to find it isn’t ready for the road, take it along to one of the Bike Kitchens for FREE help and advice to get it up and rideable again.

The new cycle path alongside Colchester road linking upper Wivenhoe with the University opens this month.

Ifyou are interested in keeping up to date with Colchester’s air quality, then you can sign up for a new free alert service offering daily information on air quality in the borough.

 

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March 2016 news

Bikeability Fix and Bikeability Learn to Ride sessions held in the February half term were a great success with 22 kids taking part. Below we give feedback from a couple of parents whose children went on the Learn to Ride course

We are really pleased to be working again with Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) to offer further Bikeability Learn to Ride, Combined Levels 1 & 2 and Level 3 sessions in the Easter holidays. Demand is likely to be high so book soon.

SERP are looking for more Bikeability instructors particularly in Colchester! If you would be interested in teaching Bikeability, mainly to children via schools find out more below. .

This month we talk to Dr Elmer van der Hoek, GP tutor for North East Essex, about why he sees cycling as the transport mode of the future to combat obesity and climate change

If your kids enjoy cross country riding then join the Rovers second youth Go_Race Cyclo X event in Hilly Fields on Saturday 5 March. Novices welcome.

If you love the Wivenhoe Trail and have some spare time on Sunday 6 March morning, could you help the Wivenhoe Society with their Spring clean-up of the trail?

A quick reminder of the consultation on CBC’s Healthier Air for Colchester Air Quality Action Plan, which closes on the 11 March.

If you support Sustrans work and have spare time on your hands, they are looking for a group coordinator in Colchester and Tendring area to bring together and motivate local volunteers and to coordinate the group’s activities.

Interested in taking part in Ride London? Locally based national charity MS-UK still has places.

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February 2016 news

This month we feature the Eco Race Essex and The Big Pedal, two opportunities this term, for your school to promote active travel and reduce the traffic around their site.

In support of our Eco Race theme, we interview local teacher Paul Arrowsmith, about why Home Farm where he teachers takes part in the Eco Race and how it works.

Get an update on Re-Cycle, their monthly bike sale and plea for more bikes.

We find out more about Col Velo’s coffee and canvas rides

Air pollution represents a serious public health challenge for Colchester . Healthier Air for Colchester is an opportunity for you to contribute to Colchester Borough Council’s Air Quality Action Plan before it is finalised.

Do you regularly use the path between the two halves of Norman Road (linking Prettygate to Lexden Road)? If you or someone you know does, Cllr Sue Lissimore wants to hear from you, particularly if you have used the route for twenty plus years.

Wondering what to do in the February half term? We still have places left on our Bikeability Fix course, a one and a half hour session to help you and your kids (8+) learn how to fix your bike.

Finally an update on CTC activity in Colchester.

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January 2015 news

*NEWSFLASH*

During the February half term, Cycle Colchester have teamed up with the Colchester Travel Plan Club and the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) to offer more courses to help you get (and stay) on your bike. Both courses will run on Thursday 18 February at Thomas Lord Audley school in Monkwick.

Bikeability Fix is a 1.5 hour session for kids 8 years and older and adults to learn the basics of fixing their bike.The course covers:

  • Learn and name parts of a bike
  •  Adjust saddle height (and knowing what height to set)
  • Repair punctures/change an inner tube
  • Adjust their brakes
  • Learn how gears work
  • Understand when to get a qualified mechanic to fix their bike instead

Bikeability Learn to Ride sessions are for children or adults who are unable to cycle. This includes those struggling to master the skill, adults who have never learnt to cycle or children making the transition from cycling with stabilisers to cycling without. Each session is 1:1 and lasts 45 minutes.

The sessions are all provided FREE by SERPS, however there is a £5 charge per learner to cover the hire of the school.

To find out more and to book a place visit the Colchester Travel Plan Club Website

We will also be offering Bikeability combined levels 1 and 2 and level 3 in the Easter holidays on:

Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 April 9:15 to 13:15 or Wednesday 6 and Friday 8 April 9:15 to 13:15 for Levels 1 and 2 combined and Wednesday 6 April 9:15 to 13:15 for level 3.

Watch our for more details in the February newsletter along with a booking form.

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Season’s greetings and Happy New Year! As the 1st January is traditionally a time for New Year’s resolutions, we thought we would share ten ideas for local bike-related resolutions!  As one of our suggestions is to consider joining the St Helena Hospice London to Paris 2017 fundraiser, this month we interview Hospice Ambassador, Graham Miller.

  1. Can’t ride a bike? – learn with a FREE session funded by SERP, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership.
  2. Been a long time since you rode a bike? – get in touch with Colchester CTC Cycle Champions for some refresher training, support, encouragement and to join a gentle ride.
  3. Want to start cycling further, but not be left behind? – check out local social cycling groups like Colchester CTC and ColVelo
  4. Thinking about taking up a cycling sport? Colchester Rovers offer cyclo cross, turbo training, time trials, and grass track racing for all ages.
  5. Up for a real physical or mental challenge? – Go along to St Helena Hospice’s open evening to find out about their fundraiser London to Paris 2017 ride.
  6. Want a new local bike-related business opportunity? – Would you like to see a social-enterprise bicycle-station at The Hythe? Find out more about RadStadt.
  7. Are creative challenges more your thing? – Visit the Octagon Gallery for some inspiration from the winners of this year’s “24 Snapshots of Bikes” international photography competition – and enter your own picture next year?
  8. Spare time on your hands, could you volunteer? – Re-Cycle would love to hear from you, as would Colchester and Wivenhoe Bike Kitchens, plus we could really do with some Breeze champions to lead rides for women.
  9. Learn to repair your own bike – Wivenhoe and Colchester Bike Kitchens are here to help.
  10. Support a charity that promotes cycling.  CTC and Sustrans both do great work, have a strong local presence and offer good benefits for members.

And most importantly for Colchester, if you love your cycling, please take on the personal challenge of persuading a colleague, friend or family member to get on a bike this year!

 

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December 2015 news

It’s December, the Christmas lights are on, it’s dark by 4pm and the temperature has definitely dropped to a more wintery feeling.

This month we interview Roger Springett, teacher at The Gilberd and lifelong cyclist.

If you are thinking ahead to Christmas, and a bike or some useful cycling accessories is on your wish list, why not support one of our local independent bike retailers who can give you friendly advice on what would suit you best.

If a new bike is too pricey, pop along to Re-Cycle for a great refurbished second hand bike. They are open Monday to Friday 08:30 – 4:30pm, closing 23rd December for the Christmas period and reopening on the 4th January.

We haven’t mentioned the Colchester Rovers for a while; they have lots going on in December, read more below.

Plus there is all the regular support available, with the Colchester and Wivenhoe Bike Kitchens open to help you repair your bike and the regular CTC rides, for gentle rides with others.

Do you live in the Stanway area? Funding has been awarded for cycle route improvements and ECC are holding a public consultation to get residents’ views on their proposed plans for Stanway on the 10th December.

Do you know someone who has never learnt to cycle, but would like to? Good news this month is that the Safer Essex Roads Partnership have funding to offer 15 adults and children a ‘Learn to Ride’ session.

Velo Cycling and Coffee is closed until January, due to major electrical work being undertaken, keep an eye on their facebook page to find out when they are open again.

Looking further afield, we have picked out three national and international stories of interest to share with you.

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November 2015 news

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.

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October 2015 news

Julian Greaves, keen cyclist and Colchester CycleTech mobile bike mechanic talks to us this month about his passion for cycling.

As the evenings draw in we thought it a good opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of lights and high viz and to highlight the sessions Sustrans and Cycle Colchester are offering schools and the University to promote being seen.

October is a month of updates on last month so…

More information is available about the closure of the Wivenhoe Trail.

Find out what new cafes have joined the Cake Escape this month, including another Colchester cafe.

A reminder about ECC’s cycling strategy consultation which ends 30 October.

Dates, times and venues have been confirmed for our pilot Bikeability sessions during the October half term, if you and/or your kids want some training, check them out.

Colchester Bike Kitchen tells us more about its plans to expand to two Saturdays a month

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September 2015 news

This month, we don’t just have one cyclist of the month, as there are lots of you we want to thank for cycling to the Colchester Free Festival, as well as the organisers, our funders and all the volunteers and partners who helped to make Cycle Town such a success. Thanks to everyone who chatted to us and signed up to receive this newsletter.

Just a reminder that for those we met at the Festival, we are keen to hear your views on the Cycle Town we provided. Our short survey is open until the 21 September, so please give us your feedback if you haven’t already!

Colchester Free Festival Cycle Town feedback

This month CTC host a 100km competition through Essex’s beautiful countryside.

Have you tried the Cake Escape? A fun challenge to explore the local countryside by bike while incorporating those all-important tea breaks at cafés that cater for cyclists needs! Colchester now has three Cake Escape cafés  making it easier for the whole family to take part.

Are you interested in free Bikeablity sessions for you and your family to increase your skills and understanding of how to cycle on today’s roads? Find out more below and get in touch as there is an opportunity for Bikeability sessions during the October half term.

Use the Wivenhoe Trail? Sustrans are doing some maintenance repairs in the coming weeks.

Will you be starting at the University of Essex later this month, or know someone who is? What do they offer to support cyclists?

Colchester Bike Kitchen is now in its third month and growing in popularity, why not come along next month and learn how to do some simple bike repairs plus a reminder of Wivenhoe Bike Kitchens drop in sessions.

Essex County Council’s Essex Cycling Strategy is currently out for consultation. Find out how you can have your say on this important document.

Now school’s back, find out what Sustrans can offer your school to help promote sustainable travel for the school run

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August 2015 news

*NEWSFLASH*

We hope to see you for a fun filled two days at the Colchester Free Festival on the 29 and 30 August 2015. Just a reminder that if you travel by bike and use our Cycle Town bike parking you will receive a FREE Dr Bike check, FREE refreshing smoothie and a FREE prize draw ticket.

Prizes include a:

Kask helmet worth £125 courtesy of Velo Cycling and Coffee

£100 voucher to spend in the BikeHut courtesy of Halfords

£75 voucher to spend on a bike courtesy of Re-Cycle.

Remember to bring your lock, enter through the main entrance of Lower Castle Park by the boating lake, and walk your bike through the park following the signs to our Cycle Town bike parking. 

Cycle Town will include CTC Colchester Cycle Champions, Colchester and Wivenhoe Bike Kitchens, ATW Cycle Repairs, Colchester Cycle Tech, St Helena’s Hospice, Walk Colchester and NHS Health Checks.

In the Earth Tribe Family Field, Sustrans and Cycle Colchester will be offering a fun acitivity for kids to decorate their own travel themed festival glasses.

Volunteers needed!

If while you are there you can spare an hour or two to help out on one of our stalls please get in touch! No great experience needed just a willingness to chat to people  and muck in! Please email cyclecolchester@gmail.com

See you there!

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We hope you have been out on your bike enjoying the great weather. It looks set to continue in August so here’s a few ideas for you and your bike!

The local Colchester CTC group is looking to encourage new riders to join them. Give their 40/40 ride on 9 August a try and see whether group riding is for you?

Is your 7 – 11 year old interested in bike maintenance? Halfords are hosting maintenance workshops for kids every Wednesday during August.

Colchester hosts its first vintage bike ride on the 29 August.

If you are heading for the Colchester Free Festival in Castle Park on the 29 and 30 August, travel there by bike, park at our Cycle Town and you could be in with a chance of winning lots of cycling goodies, plus other freebies including a Dr Bike check, refreshing smoothie and more. If you haven’t heard about the Colchester free festival then it’s definitely one to check out!

In the next few weeks we will be re-launching our Cycling Centurion Treasure Trail in High Woods country park. More on that later in the month.

Is your school a Sustrans school encouraging pupils to travel sustainably? if not find out what your school could be doing to help reduce the impact and traffic congestion caused by the school run.

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July 2015 news

NEWSFLASH – Unfortunately the Bums on Bikes festival has been cancelled. CTC will still be at Greenstead fun day.

With the arrival finally of some summer weather, there are all sorts of bike activities to get involved in this month. Here are the headlines:

This month we interview new Mayor Cllr Theresa Higgins, find out why her bike is her preferred method of transport for travelling to civic ocasions.

If your bike is still languishing in the shed, Velo Cycling and Coffee are offering another Free Dr Bike check this month on 3 July.

Wondering what exactly a Free Dr Bike check is? Find out a bit more so you know what to expect.

Colchester is launching its very own Bike Kitchen at the Waiting Room on the 5 July.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but on the 11 July Colchester is hosting its first Naked Bike Ride to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and as a protest against car culture.

Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen are offering lots of fun activities at the Wivenhoe Summer fete on the 12 July

Visit Cycle Colchester on the 18 July in Castle Park as part of the Carnival celebrations.

The 25 July is a busy day for cycling in Colchester,  ‘Bums on Bikes’ Colchester’s first ever bike festival is taking place around different locations around the town (no nakedness involved in this one!)

The 25th is also an opportunity for you to get your hands on a quality refurbished second hand bike, with Re-Cycle holding bike sales at both Wormingford and the Waiting room as part of the Bums on Bikes celebrations.

The annual Essex Castle Bike ride is also taking place.

Find out more on CTC’s summer programme

Cycle Colchester website developments – see the latest updated version of our Get on your Bike leaflet. Plus a newHelp’ page with quick links to advice and support.

Full details below…

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