New cafes added to Cake Escape – With the better weather just a reminder that new cafés are being added to the Essex Cake Escape, a fun way to visit different cycle friendly eateries across Essex by bike and receive a free piece of cake! If you are cycling with kids there are four Colchester based Cake Escape cafés plus the café at Abberton Reservoir and the Nightingale Tearoom in Fingringhoe.

If you are a longer distance cyclist, there are lots of lovely cafés on board all across Essex. Find out more at

Rough and Road Cycles – are a new local independent bike repair company in West Bergholt. For a full list of local independent bike shops offering bikes and parts for sale, repair services and hand built frames visit Colchester Cycle Campaign’s list of repairers.

Happy Handlebars – is a new cycling initiative in Essex helping to get people cycling.

They will be running cycle rides and training courses in Braintree, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester and Maldon areas and making cycling FUN. They will be encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds, all abilities and any bike that works for you to get on a bike, they will link up with lots of friendly cycle groups in Essex and they also have bikes that people can use.

Like their Happy Handlebars Facebook Page to find out more as rides and courses get publicised.

Colchester Bike Kitchen – is now opening on alternate Wednesdays at 6:30pm in addition to the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month at 15 Queen Street. Check their Facebook page for more detail and to sign up for regular updates.

Summer Bikeability – Cycle Colchester hope to set up some school holiday Bikeability sessions in the May and summer holidays. However if you are keen for your child to receive a Learn to Ride session, you can book these directly with Safer Essex Roads Partnership for just £10.

Fundraise for locally based charity MS-UK – MS-UK is a national charity, based in Colchester, that provides professional, high quality services to support people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition which affects the central nervous system. Approximately 100,000 people in the UK are affected by MS with 100 people diagnosed every week. There is currently no cure for this disabling condition.

If you would like to raise money for MS-UK, they have gold places available in Ride London which takes place on the 30th July. You will need to be over 18 and raise a minimum of £450. The deadline to register is the 24th May.

Ride London is a fantastic mass participation event starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and incorporating the Surrey hills including Box Hill and Leith Hill before finishing on the Mall. This event requires high levels of fitness and participants must be able to complete the route in under 8.5 hours, so if you’re up for the challenge, do it for MS-UK!

For more information contact Jenny Poulter at

New patron for Re-Cycle – Exciting local news is that Chris Boardman MBE, British former racing cyclist has just become local charity Re~Cycle’s Patron. 

Chris Boardman is a highly acclaimed British former racing cyclist champion and advocate of policies to increase utility cycling in the UK.  In 1992, he was awarded an MBE for services to cycling.

Merlin Matthews, Founder and CEO of Re-Cycle said, ‘We are thrilled to have Chris on board. As a cyclist, he really understands what we do and the positive impact it has on thousands of people.’

‘Transport in parts of rural Africa is either non-existent or too expensive. Riding a bike allows people to cover four times more ground and carry five times more load in weight than a person on foot and is the only affordable transport choice for millions of people across Africa. It means children do better at school, nurses can visit more patients and famers can get their produce to market.’

If you want to support Re-Cycle you can volunteer for them, buy a bike, donate money or donate a bike! If you want to donate a bike Re-Cycle accept only complete adult bikes (not full suspension) in working order. Bikes can be delivered direct to Wormingford, or via Halfords stores, who also accept children’s bikes for the Krizevac Project (the people who make Elephant Bikes). Volunteers are still really needed from May onwards and throughout the summer as this is their really busy time.

Join the Eco Race Essex – a FREE and exciting initiative aimed at promoting ACTIVE TRAVEL – The Eco-Race Essex is an easy to run competition, which encourages every pupil to note down how they travel to school, with those who choose active travel to school (cycling, walking and scooting) receiving higher scores. Instructions and score sheets are supplied.

The Eco-Race is FREE and is open to ALL Essex infant, primary and junior schools.

How does it work? – Class Score Sheets (preferably stuck on the classroom wall) are used by pupils to circle the score relating to the way they travel to school: 5 points for cycling, scooting or walking, 4 points for taking the bus, 3 points for parking at least 1km away and walking/scooting to school, and 1 point for taking the car/taxi/moped. This process is repeated every day for three weeks per term. Class Score Sheets are then collected and sent to the Sustrans Schools officer who collates the data and allocates prizes.

More info and to register online

Born to adventure? – If you’re looking for an adventure then why not make for the Lake District and the Adventure Cycle Festival? Running over the first weekend of June, the festival aims to inspire would-be adventurers with an array of talks, kit demonstrations and rides.

Or what about #racetthesun17 to experience the sun set and sunrise on the Friday after the longest day of the year at Stonehenge. Bring food and drink for 8pm on Friday 23 June, watch the sun set then set off from the start points below to watch the sun rise at Stonehenge:

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