Can’t ride a bike? SERP, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership are offering FREE Bikeability ‘Learn to Ride’ sessions for children or adults in Colchester who are unable to cycle. This includes those struggling to master the skill, children who are ready to make the move to riding with pedals after Bikeability Balance, or adults who have never learnt to cycle. There are 15 places available on a first come first served basis. The single session (for one or two learners) will be for 45 minutes. If you or someone you know would be interested in this please email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote reference “Cycle Colchester”.
Been a long time since you rode a bike? – Colchester’s Happy Healthy Bikers (CTC Cycle Champions) can give you refresher training, support, and encouragement – and they are always ready to welcome newcomers. Their rides start from the skate park at Leisure World and are led by a great team of trained leaders and volunteers. Contact Richard Monk for details (Tel 07717 724089, 01206 506412 or email: email@example.com).
Want to start cycling further? – Check out Colchester’s social cycling groups, where the emphasis is on enjoying the scenery and no-one ever gets left behind. Colchester CTC meets at the skate park at Leisure World twice a week. The 10am Friday morning ride is aimed at improvers, with the route and lunch destination decided on the day depending on who turns up. The distance is usually between 20-30 miles but if a new rider isn’t sure of the distance they can do, a shorter ride isn’t a problem. The 9.30am Sunday ride has two breaks for refreshments: elevenses at a café or nursery, and lunch usually at a pub. Routes for both groups are mostly along quiet country lanes and while the pace is easy, the conversation is lively!
ColVelo is a relatively new collective of like-minded cyclists who are not purely motivated by speed, but more concerned about the route, the ride and the experience! They have interesting and varied routes, away from the racing scene, every Saturday and Sunday, as well as occasional tours in the UK and abroad.
Thinking about taking up a cycling sport? Colchester Rovers provides a range of events throughout the year, including a time trial series from March to September; cyclo cross during the winter months for juniors and adult members; grass track racing for juniors from May to the end of August, plus two annual road races.
Up for a real physical or mental challenge – Go along to St Helena Hospice open evening on 5 January to find out about their fundraiser London to Paris ride 2017.
Want a new local bike related business opportunity? Would you like to see a social-enterprise bicycle-station at The Hythe? Have you got spare money and spare time to contribute to bringing this concept to reality? The search is on for enthusiastic Colchester Bicycle Folk who fancy a go at setting up such a station, ‘Rad Stadt’, at The Hythe which pays for itself via an income-generating cafe. If you’re interested, please first consider the concept as outlined here, www.gandish.com/radstation, then get in touch with Howard for more information (howards.macintosh at greennet.org.uk)
Are creative challenges more your thing? – Visit the Octagon Gallery for some inspiration from this year’s “24 Snapshots of Bikes” international photography competition. After a preview in Italy in May, and a long tour in Chicago, the photographic exhibition dedicated to the relationship between mankind and the bicycle came to Colchester in November, and is open till Thursday 7 January. If you’d like to enter the 2016 competition, have a look at the rules and make sure you send your photo before the deadline – 24 February 2016.
Spare time on your hands, could you volunteer? – There are so many ways you can volunteer to help cycling organisations in Colchester! Re-Cycle would love to hear from you as would Colchester and Wivenhoe Bike Kitchens (see below), plus we could really do with some Breeze volunteers to lead rides for women.
Re-Cycle send bikes and spare parts to 7 African countries, where their partners run social enterprises that empower local communities. Based in Wormingford, they need volunteers of all shapes and sizes, from young people on work experience to young at heart but maybe retired people. Many of the volunteers enjoy good health but some are not so fortunate and come to Re-Cycle as part of their journey to recovery.
Learn to repair your own bike – A bike kitchen is quite simply a place where you can come and use tools to fix your bike, under supervision from experienced mechanics. If you know what you’re doing, that’s great; if you’re a total newbie then that’s fine too, they’ll teach you how to do it yourself. You just need to make a donation for any spare parts used. So if you haven’t visited one of our local Bike Kitchens yet, then please try them out in the New Year. Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen is open from 7-9pm on Mondays and 2-4pm on Saturdays, and Colchester Bike Kitchen is at the Waiting Room from 1-4pm on the first and third Saturdays of the month but not 2 Jan!).
CTC, the UK’s largest cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling. Whatever age, ability, or cycling discipline, CTC will enhance the experience. Third-party insurance and a bi-monthly magazine are just two of the many membership benefits.
Sustrans is a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of their everyday journeys. They work with families, communities, policy-makers and partner organisations so that people are able to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys and their vision is that by 2020 4 out of 5 local journeys will be made by bike, foot or public transport, that’s double the current figure!