Christmas feels like a lifetime ago, but we hope you all had some restful time off and maybe even got out for a ride or two!

With another lockdown upon us, don’t despair! We’ve got lots of news from local cycling groups to share with you.

Keep local, keep riding, come back smiling!

British Cycling have put together a three-point plan on how to make the most of your local rides each day. As we’re not allowed to travel too far at the moment they suggest keeping local, but exploring new lanes or parks nearby. They also remind us to keep riding – the weather might be a bit colder or wetter at the moment but getting out is really important for our mental and physical health, and even more so at the moment. Finally, keep smiling: Getting out for a ride to clear our heads made such a huge difference in the first lockdown last year, so we should do the same now – it’s hard not to come back from a ride smiling!
Read more at the British Cycling website

Wheels for All
Cycling Projects will be creating Essex’s first Wheels for All centre in Colchester through replicating a successful model which has developed 50 centres across the UK.  The Essex Local Delivery Pilot has funded Wheels for All, which is a permanent inclusive cycling setting whereby people of all ages and abilities can have easy access to a broad range of cycling activities. After two years the centre will become sustainable with the development of a constituted club with accountability and ownership by the community.

Please speak to Hayley Chapman (Hayley.Chapman@ActiveEssex.org) for more information.

Bikeability
Unfortunately, Bikeability training from Safer Essex Roads Partnership has been suspended due to the current lockdown. The good news is it will resume once restrictions are lifted!

Colchester and Wivenhoe Bike Kitchens
While their DIY workshop is closed, Colchester Bike Kitchen are running FREE Dr Bike servicing in partnership with Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival! They’re offering safety checks and basic repairs including brake pads and gear adjustments.

To find out more or book a slot, email drbike@colchbk.org.uk

Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen are taking a much needed break in January after a very busy 2020 offering free safety checks and repairs thanks to Cycling UK. They’re spending the time planning what they can offer in February and beyond, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates

eCargo bike Library Launch
You may have seen some of the Colchester eCargo Bike Library bikes whizzing around town already, but if not then you will soon! As well as the ten Champions who are trialling their own eCargo bikes for the next few years, there are more eCargo bikes and trailers available for local businesses and organisations to trial for free on a short term loan of 1-3 months. If that’s something you’re interested in, you can find out more on the eCargo bike library website or by emailing the team

VCR
Given the current COVID-19 lockdown, VCR is organising weekly virtual club rides on Zwift, which are open to non-members too. The Colchester-based club does have plans to organise sportive, road race and cyclo-cross events in 2021 but these are subject to the pandemic and the easing of restrictions. New members are always welcome and for more information on the club please visit http://www.vcrcyclingclub.uk

60 Day Challenge continues into the new year
The Stop.Swap.GO!  60 Day Challenge continues into 2021 with lots of opportunities to win weekly prizes, especially in the month of January.   All Essex residents aged 13 and over are invited to swap a short usual car journey for a walk, cycle or scoot (or mix it up) as part of the 60 Day Challenge.

While we are continuing to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic the need to keep healthy is as important as ever. Many of the 60 Day Challenge participants have taken the opportunity to dust of their bikes and walking shoes to get out for their local daily exercise and essential activities. The 60 Day Challenge is a great motivator to help you build a more active habit as you begin to consider which of your usual short car journeys you can swap for a more sustainable travel mode.  The Stop.Swap.GO! website is also a handy resource for local walking and cycling information across Essex.

All active participants could win fantastic prizes weekly and will be entered into a golden ticket prize draw on completion of their 60 days.  All you need to do is join the 60 Day Challenge on the Stop.Swap.GO! website and download the app to log your daily trips to be in for the chance to win.  You could win Love2Shop or Amazon e-vouchers and even the chance to win up to £1000 worth of walking or cycling accessories, if you complete your 60 Day Challenge.

Give it a try today and join the 60 Day Challenge. Also, don’t forget to follow us and stay up to date via our InstagramFacebook and Twitter channels.

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