Well, what a year it’s been!

A lot of us have completely changed the way we live and work, be that working from home or getting used to having partners around the house more. It’s been a great year for cycling too –  with a 63% increase in bike sales over the lockdown period and a 300% increase in the number of people cycling.

Essex have benefited enormously from the government’s investment in walking and cycling improvements to the tune of over £8million with Colchester one of the towns in Essex that will receive the majority of this funding. Look forward to more improvements in 2021 as Essex County Council roll out phase 2 of Safer Greener Healthier

We’ve seen the launch of the Colchester Orbital cycling and walking route this year, and just last week an interactive online version of the maps went live including interactive click-through tours and points of interest across the borough. Check it out for yourself at ColchesterOrbital.org

Safer Essex Roads are now offering a new pilot Bikeability course called Bikeability Family. There’s 26 household spaces on offer until the end of March. The course aims to enable a family group cycling and is a tailored package over 2 sessions totalling 3 hours and completely free.  It begins with an assessment on line, including route planning before off-road cycle training commences. This is followed by on-road cycle training, the riders must be able to cycle (i.e. Set off, pedal, slow down and stop) prior to training.

Find out more and book a place for your family by emailing SaferEssexRoads@essexhighways.org

Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen has secured funding from Essex County Council to purchase a static pump for installation outside the workshop for public use at any time – this will complement the tool station and pump outside the William Loveless Hall. The team continue to offer free comprehensive safety checks (these include essential minor repairs and adjustments) at the workshop just off St John’s Rd near the waterfront. Bikes should be dropped off just before 7pm on Mondays or 2pm on Sundays and are ready for collection two hours later. The workshop will be closed 27 and 28 December. More info on Facebook or email bicyclewiv@gmail.com

60 Day Challenge now open to ages 13+
The Stop.Swap.GO!  60 Day Challenge has now been extended to allow eligible Essex residents aged 13 and over to participate. Now you can include your walk, cycle and scoot to school or college in your daily log for the challenge. Hundreds of people across Essex have already joined and are swapping their usual car journeys for a walk to the shops or cycle to work.

Keeping active in the winter months needn’t be a concern if you’re well prepared for the changing weather.  Many Essex residents have been motivated to keep cycling and walking with the 60 Day Challenge despite the conditions outside.  As we wind down the year, a trip outside in the fresh air will help you clear your head, digest your turkey dinner and set your intentions for the year ahead.  Why not start walking, cycling or scooting to school, college or work in January?

All active participants could win fantastic prizes and will be entered into a draw for a golden ticket prize on completion of their 60 days.  Young people walking, cycling or scooting on their daily journeys to school or college can start to log their trips in the dedicated app and could win Love2Shop e-vouchers, Amazon e-gift cards and even the chance to win a bike and cycling or walking accessories to the value of £1,000!

Get walking or cycling (or both) and join the 60 Day Challenge today, it’s never too late to start.  You can also join our community and share your active travel stories, tips and tricks. Stay up to date via our InstagramFacebook and Twitter channels.

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