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Back for its fifth year, Ride Helen promises to be one of the region’s biggest and best cycling...
You can buy a good second hand refurbished bike from Re-Cycle to help with their fund raising.

Everyone loves the Wivenhoe Trail, but help is needed to keep this stretch of the River Colne...

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June 2018 news


This month we talk to an old Cycle Colchester friend, former Cycle Colchester Cycle Star Daniel Colaianni.

Bikeability Learn to Ride and Levels 1 & 2 are back this summer holidays at Queen Boudica primary school in Mile End.

Essex Police launch a new cycle security campaign with a 20% discount during June and July in participating local bike shops. We also share their recommendations on what lock to buy.

We update on the bike kitchens, their part in the Big Bike Revival, the workshops they are offering, recap on their standard opening times and share some sad news from Colchester Bike Kitchen.

We are pleased to hear that Colchester Station now have a new stock of fobs for their secure cycle compounds, find out more if you are interested in getting one.

Clean Air Day is on the 21 June and offers an opportunity to raise awareness of the harmful effects of air pollution. Cycling is a great way to reduce your contribution to air pollution, so please help spread the message! Find out more about the campaigns and events taking place in Colchester

We highlight a Sustrans major review of its walking and cycling routes.

Finally if you are interested in buying a preloved but barely used e-bike, get in touch. An elderly cycling enthusiast is selling his two practically new e-bikes as unfortunately due to ill health he is no longer able to use them

Summer Bikeability training courses for children

Bikeability sessions are being offered during the summer holiday at Queen Boudica Primary School in Mile End. See details below and email saferessexroads@essexhighways.org if you are interested. Please note you will be asked to pay a £10 non-refundable deposit.

Level 1 and 2 Bikeability training (8 hours over two days)

9am to 1pm on both Thursday 2 and Friday 3 August, or 9am to 1pm on both Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 August

First of all new riders spend a couple of hours learning to control and master their bikes in a playground. Then they move onto local streets, to learn how to deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school or the local shops.

For more details about the components of the Bikeability levels 1 and 2 course, visit www.bikeability.org.uk/what

Learn to Ride sessions (45 minutes)

Sessions are available at the following times on all four days (Thursday 2, Friday 3, on Monday 20 or Tuesday 21 August):

  • 1.30-2.15pm

  • 2.30-3.15pm

  • 3.30-4.15pm

These playground sessions are for children or adults who are unable to cycle. This includes anyone from those struggling to master the skill, children who are ready to make the move to riding with pedals, or adults who have never learnt to cycle.

Essex Police cycle security campaign – 20% off Sold Secure locks in June and July

You can get up to 20% discount on Essex Police approved Sold Secure locks during June and July at the following Colchester cycle retailers:

  • Colchester Cycle Stores, St John’s Street
  • Cycle Evolution & Cycle Revolution, Peartree Road*
  • Globe G Sports, Military Road*

* also includes online offers. Use the code BIKEWEEK

It’s well worth having a look at the Essex Police website which has comprehensive advice on cycle security including these recommendations about locks:

  • Invest in good quality locks. Hardened steel D-shaped locks and sturdy chain locks are recommended. Be prepared to spend 10% of the value of your bike on locks.
  • It is always best to use two locks. Go for two different types of lock, for example a strong D lock and a sturdy chain lock. This means that a thief will need different tools to break each lock, making theft less likely.
  • There are many different security products on the market; price and resistance to attack are the main considerations so try to choose products with a Sold Secure logo, as these are police-approved products.

News from our Bike Kitchens, with thanks to Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival

Few things in life are better than a cycle ride, whether it’s to visit friends, a daily commute or a trip into the countryside. Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival has been running for four years to inspire the 42% of people who own bikes, but who don’t cycle, to start riding. Free events across England and Scotland have included cycle checks, servicing, cycle maintenance workshops, cycle training and accompanied rides, and both of our Bike Kitchens are taking part.

Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen

Free Big Bike Revival classes continue in June and July at WBK, so book soon for ultimate happiness! Or just turn up for the free bike checks at the library.

  • Bite Sized Thursdays 7.30-9pm: Punctures 21 June; Brakes 5 July; Chains 19 July

  • Beginners Maintenance Saturdays: 10-1pm, 30 June or 28 July

  • Free bike checks at Wivenhoe library 10am-1pm, Saturday 23 June

Open every Monday 7-9pm & Saturday 2-4pm. No need to book, just drop in. We operate on a donations basis. We’re just off St John’s Rd on the Cooks estate. Nearest postcode CO7 9DR. For more information email bicyclewiv@gmail.com or ring 07926 463568 

Colchester Bike Kitchen

CBK has also been running some special maintenance skills sessions with their Big Bike Revival funding:

  • Bearings Primer, 10.30am-12.30pm Saturday 7 July (making sure that anything that should spin, does!)

  • Tubeless workshop, 10.30am-12.30pm, Saturday 15 July (learn how tubeless tyres work, and how to set up your tubeless ready rims)

Regular Bike Kitchen sessions are held four times a month (first and third Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons), so the next sessions are as follows:

  • 1pm-4pm, Saturday 16 June

  • 6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday 20 June

  • 6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday 4 July

  • 1pm-4pm, Saturday 7 July

  • 6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday 18 July

  • 1pm-4pm, Saturday 21 July

Email hello@colchesterbikekitchen.org.uk or ring 07812 209862.

Sad news from the Colchester Bike Kitchen

Some of you may have heard already that Stuart Welham, one of the founders of the Colchester Bike Kitchen and a dear friend, sadly died last week after a period of illness.

Although he wasn’t as active in the workshop recently, Stuart was working hard behind the scenes to keep the bills paid, the shelves stocked, and the show on the road.

Stuart was there right from the start when CBK was just a couple of us and a toolbox at The Waiting Room. With his vision and drive the bike kitchen has expanded to the workshop we use today at 15 Queen Street, we’ve gone from opening just once a month to four regular workshops each month as well as specific classes.

When he learned of his illness, being the pragmatic guy he was, Stuart donated a full set of workshop tools to the bike kitchen (paid for with his own money). We were slightly taken aback by such a huge gesture, but he wanted to ensure the Bike Kitchen would be around after he’d passed on, and would continue to grow.

We’re going to miss Stuart terribly, but we’re looking forward to growing CBK, running more classes, and most importantly continuing the vision we share with Stuart of empowering more people to ride their bikes.

We hope to see you all in the workshop soon.

Mike, Phin, Pam, and all the Colchester Bike Kitchen volunteers

More secure cycle spaces available at Colchester station

Cyclists using Colchester railway station are set to benefit from more secure cycle parking. A total of 150 new fobs have been issued for the two secure cycle compounds – one at either entrance to the station. There is space for 141 cycles on the London-bound compound and 202 on the Norwich-bound side.

As well as encouraging people to sign up for a fob, Greater Anglia is asking those who have one and no longer use it to return it to the ticket office, where they will be able to reclaim their £25 deposit. Fobs which have not been used since 1 December 2017 will be deactivated.

The train operator is also asking cyclists to remove any bikes which are no longer used. All cycles will be issued with a sticker, which cyclists should remove if they still use their bikes. Any cycles which still have stickers after two weeks will be removed from the compound. If they are not claimed for a further four weeks, we will assume they have been abandoned and they will be donated to charity. This will enable us to free up space for people who are currently on a waiting list.

Clean Air Day – 21 June 2018

National Clean Air Day is taking place on 21 June and is a great way to find out more about air pollution - and highlight how cycling can improve air quality and improve our own and other people’s health!
Locally, CBC and the Colchester Travel Plan Club will be promoting this national event and encouraging staff as well as local residents and business to make a pledge to reduce the amount of air pollution by encouraging "no idling" and asking drivers to switch off their engines whilst their vehicle is stationary, where possible.

Clean Air Colchester, a community group passionate about making the air we breathe in Colchester safer, have arranged a number of fun and awareness raising events in Firstsite on the 21st June. Activities include a bling your bike/scooter competition for the kids with some fabulous prizes donated by Microscooter, information stalls, a free jazz band and a talk by Café Scientifique. Visit the Clean Air Colchester website for further information.

Sustrans major review of its walking and cycling routes

Sustrans has announced that the National Cycle Network (NCN) will undergo a major review of its walking and cycling routes to ensure they meet the highest design standards and offer the best experience to the millions of families, commuters, and tourists who use it every year. As part of the review, Sustrans calls on governments and local authorities for dedicated and consistent investment in the development and maintenance of walking and cycling routes including the NCN.

Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO says "With this review, we want to further build on the success of the National Cycle Network and achieve a network of safe, fully accessible and high-quality routes and paths that will make walking and cycling easier for everyone, regardless of their age and abilities, and inspire a new generation to get on their bikes."

Two e-bikes for sale

An elderly cycling enthusiast we know bought two e-bikes a couple of years ago in the hope that it would extend his cycling years. But as his ill health is slowly getting the better of him he has finally decided he will never be able to get any use from them and is willing to consider offers:

Sparta (price new £2000)

Haibike (price new £1700)

Both bikes were bought within the last two or three years and both are virtually unused. Pictures here and here

If you’re interested, please contact Pam Nelson (pam.nelson@colchester.gov.uk or 01206 282762).

Please share and like this page on Facebook, you can also join our Facebook Group

local riders

This month we talk to Dan Gascoyne, who’s recently joined Colchester Borough Council as Assistant Director, Policy & Corporate. Whilst he’s not an obsessive cyclist, bikes have always been part of his life, as the best way to get around. More

View previous interviews