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.
One week only - Up to 20% off Sold Secure locks
PC Rosanna Walker has recently joined Colchester’s Community Policing Team and is working on a project to reduce bike thefts in Colchester. Today (Monday 22 January 2018) she is launching a bike lock campaign. Cyclists have a week to claim up to 20% off Sold Secure locks at Colchester Cycles Stores, Cycle Evolution/Revolution and Globe G Sports. This will be in store and online at the latter two stores. They can claim with the code BIKEWEEK.
PC Walker says, ‘As Essex Police, we advocate Sold Secure due to their rigorous testing process. In my experience, all too often people buy cheap locks for an expensive bike and kick themselves after it's been stolen! So I'm hoping this discount week will encourage people to think twice about the lock they use.’
We also share an article from Cycle Scheme about what you can do to protect your bike from theft in addition to having a decent lock.
How to acquire some better, safer cycling habits
Many adults who take up cycling for work or pleasure find that if they haven’t cycled for a long while, their confidence on the roads is a bit shaky. Cycle training is the ideal way to regain confidence and get the skills you need to cycle among traffic - and it costs as little as £10 per session.
So if you’re new to cycling, or just want to improve your confidence or road skills, you can book a private lesson with a qualified instructor. Sessions can be tailored to any level of experience. For more information please contact Safer Essex Roads Partnership
Colchester wins Sport England funding to increase participation in sport and physical activity
Colchester is one of three districts in Essex which are set to benefit from a major new funding stream from Sport England aimed at increasing participation in sport and physical activity. Essex beat off competition from over 100 other bids to become one of only 12 places in the country to be part of this game changing initiative. Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in the 12 Local Delivery Pilot schemes over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.
Currently 22% of the population across the county is classified as inactive, at a cost of £58 million per year to the NHS in Essex. To create real impact requires whole system change – that is the need for strong vision and leadership at the highest level and the collaboration of all stakeholders at all levels. The pilot will not follow a ‘one size fits all approach’ but instead investigate the individual needs and requirements of local communities in Basildon, Colchester and Tendring especially those with older people, those with a disability and lower socio-economic groups.
The Essex bid was submitted by The Essex Health and Wellbeing Board, Active Essex, Basildon Borough Council, Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council, the University of Essex and other partners.
In order to meet the targets of reducing inactivity, Essex has committed to a new whole system change, meaning that close working between central and local councils and grass roots organisations will be at the heart of the approach. This will ensure that the programmes developed within the pilot meet the needs of each local community and create a lasting legacy of increased participation in physical activity and sport.
Keep the Wivenhoe Trail tidy – Sat 3 March
Everyone loves the Wivenhoe Trail, but help is needed to keep this stretch of the River Colne tidy. On Saturday 3 March a group of volunteers including local residents, students and canoe clubs, will be doing their regular spring clean as part of Anglian Water’s RiverCare project. Run in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, the project encourages local groups to tackle litter, carry out wildlife surveys and make habitat improvements in a safe and rewarding way.
Last year’s event saw them recover 40 bags of rubbish from in and around the water, with over half of the rubbish being plastic, in particular plastic bottles. At a previous event these litter fighting heroes have even hauled a motorbike from the river.
For more information, contact David Wallace, RiverCare Programme Officer, on 07918 625646 or firstname.lastname@example.org
When is it safe to overtake a cyclist?
If you are a regular cyclist you will have a view on whether cars pass you leaving a comfortable distance or whether they pass too closely.
You probably feel there is a wide disparity amongst drivers with some leaving you plenty of room and others barely moving out to pass you.
Cycling UK believes the phrasing in the High Way code advising drivers to give cyclists “plenty of room” is too open for interpretation, and wants greater clarity and guidance on the gap drivers should leave when overtaking cyclists.
Close passes, sometimes referred to as 'near misses', account for a third of threatening encounters cyclists have with motor vehicles according to research by Dr Rachel Aldred’s Near Miss project. They present a significant barrier for people new to cycling, or who cycle at a more sedate pace (< 8mph). The project found close passes are particularly a problem for women, who on average cycle more slowly than men, and experienced a 50 per cent higher rate of close passes.
Cycling UK’s Too Close for Comfort campaign, has been taken up by many police forces across the UK.
Surrey Police have produced a short video demonstrating how to safely overtake a cyclist, we recommend you share it with family and friends who drive to help spread the message about how to safely pass a cyclist.
Have your fingers and toes been suffering in the cold weather?
Your hands and toes feel the effects of cold weather the most. Whilst cycling to work or school is a great way to warm up your body, it’s difficult to keep your extremities toasty. Find out which accessories will help your hands and toes stay warm this winter with Cyclescheme’s handy guide: Your Winter Cycling Saviour: Gloves and Socks.
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