Spring is in the air and the promise of warmer days ahead looks more likely.
This month we talk to Anne Dew and her husband Bodo, a local couple who have cycled all their lives.
On a local level this month the ‘24 snapshots of bikes’ exhibition at The Octagon continues until the end of March.
There is a new up to date Essex County Council cycle map for Colchester.
If you use the High Woods County Park NCR1 route into Broadlands it will be closed for maintenance for two weeks from the 12 March.
If you haven’t cleaned your bike for a while (or ever!) now is probably the best time as the winters mud, grit and debris could be damaging your bike and impeding the smoothness of your ride!
Local charity St Helena Hospice is looking for local cyclists to join their Volunteer Planning Committee to help them prepare and grow their local charity bike ride that takes place in September.
Re-Cycle are also looking for volunteers to help them out during their really busy period, mid May to September.
Would you be interested in joining a Car Club offering pay as you go driving? If you live in Colchester, cycle for many of your journeys and either don’t own a car or use a first or second car infrequently (drive less than 6-8000 miles a year) a car club could save you money and hassle.
If you are concerned about local air pollution, find out more about Healthy Air, a campaign group including Sustrans and Cycling UK who are calling for a new Clean Air Act for the 21st Century.
‘24 Snapshots of Bikes’ International Photography Exhibition
Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at The Octagon Gallery at Middleborough, the photographs come from an annual competition arranged in San Vito Dei Normanni in Italy titled 'The Bicycle and Mankind' and details can be found on the Tiptree community website (it is twinned with a neighbouring village to San Vito in Italy).
ECC Cycle Map
Essex County Council have produced a new up to date cycling map of Colchester which includes new developments and recent route improvements. You can access it via the Cycle Colchester website.
Temporary closure of High Woods County Park NCR1 route into Broadlands
Part of National Cycle Route 1 (NCR1) in High Woods Country Park will be closed for up to 2 weeks from week commencing 12th March. The area approximately 500m north of the country park’s Broadlands entrance (off Ipswich Road)will be closed to repair a short section of stream bankside running alongside the NCR1 that requires stabilising due to erosion. Without the works there is a real threat to the integrity of the surface of the adjacent cycle path. Closure and diversion signs will be provided at both ends of the section of the path. If you want to work out your own alternative route, use the ECC cycle map mentioned above.
Spring clean your bike and enjoy a smoother ride!
If cleaning your bike doesn’t feature highly on your list of priorities, now might be the time to change that!
Any dirt or grit that’s on the moving components of your bike can start to wear and damage them. You’ll also notice how much quicker and smoother your bike feels to ride after giving it a good clean and oiling the chain.
Sustrans provide some good straightforward tips on an effective and quick clean for your bike. Sustrans tips for a bike spring clean.
Could you help St Helena Hospice with their September charity bike ride?
Local charity St Helena Hospice, which helps local people with an incurable illness to live well and die with dignity and choice is currently planning its September charity bike ride where 400 plus riders participate. If you are a cyclist and can get involved in their Volunteer Planning Committee to help organise this ride, there are a number of areas St Helena Hospice need assistance with.
Can you help Re-cycle from mid-May through the summer?
Another important local charity also needs help.Re-Cycle are looking for volunteers to help with preparing bikes to send to Africa at their warehouse in Wormingford during their really busy time from mid-May throughout the summer. For more information about how to volunteer look at their website at www.re-cycle.org or ring them on 01206 617865.
Colchester Car Club
If you have a car sitting at home unused most of the day, you might be interested in joining a car club on a pay as you drive basis. Car owners driving fewer than 6-8000 miles a year could save up to £3500 a year, and avoid the hassle that comes with car ownership, through swapping a first or second car for car club membership. A car club is interested in setting up in Colchester, so if you would like to know more about car clubs just click here and complete the survey.
National campaign Healthy Air wants a new Clean Air Act for the 21st Century.
Air pollution affects us all, from the womb to old age. It triggers strokes, heart and asthma attacks, increasing the risk of hospitalisation and death, and causes cancer. It is linked to premature births and stunted lung growth in children.
National campaign group Healthy Air, which includes several cycling charities such as Sustrans and Cycling UK, states, ‘It doesn’t have to be like this. We have the technology and the tools to clean our air. We now need a new Clean Air Act that is ambitious, fair and far-reaching enough to clean up our air across all of the United Kingdom.’
As well as trying to persuade the UK government to take action so that the UK fully complies with legal limits for air quality, the Healthy Air campaign also wants to encourage behaviour that helps cut air pollution and our exposure to it.
In Colchester we have a number of air quality management areas where the levels of pollutants are unacceptable. Find out more about Colchester’s air quality problem and action plan to improve air quality from the Colchester Borough Council website.
If you are concerned about air quality and want to find out more about the risks to you and your family’s health and how you as an individual can help reduce air pollution visit the Healthy Air website.
FREE airText service reminder
Also a reminder of the free airText service that will send you alerts when pollution levels are elevated in Colchester.This free of charge service offers alerts to your smart phone, home phone, or by text or email.
If you download the app you can also get a daily update on UV levels, pollen count and temperature as well as air pollution.
Sign up to airTEXT by downloading the airTEXT app to your smart phone, texting AIRTEXT to 78070* or visiting the website www.airtext.info
*You will be charged at your standard text rate
Please share and like this page on Facebook, you can also join our Facebook Group
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.'