I sat down with Re~Cycle volunteer and all round bike lover Richard Harris to chat about what got him back into riding, why Re~Cycle is the best place to work, and what he’s planning for his next bike… Read the full interview here

We’ve also got plenty of news this month including Re~Cycle’s upcoming sportive with local cycle club VC Revolution, Bikeability training, Ride to work week, Bikewise cycle security campaign and lots more.

Colchester Cycling Club partners with local charity Re-Cycle for Spring Sportive
VC Revolution, a Colchester-based cycling club, is partnering with local charity Re-Cycle (Bikes to Africa) to run a Spring Cycling Sportive.

The event is taking place on Sunday 19th April 2020 from Re-Cycle’s base at Wormingford, just north of Colchester, and is open to individuals over the age of 16 who have a keen interest in cycling.  There are two routes covering 40 miles and 65 miles (68km/105km), which will take riders through the rolling Essex and Suffolk countryside before finishing at Re-Cycle’s HQ just outside Wormingford.

All funds raised from the event will go to the charity and help with sending re-cycled bikes to rural communities in Africa.  There, they are distributed by Re-Cycle’s African partners, who also teach recipients and local people bike repair and maintenance skills.

Places are limited so it’s advisable to register in advance. Pre-registration costs £10, entry on the day is £12.

To enter or for further information head over to the British Cycling website

Re-Cycle is a UK charity committed to providing cheap, sustainable transport in Africa. For further information visit www.re-cycle.org.

VC Revolution is a friendly Colchester-based cycling club with members involved in all aspects of the sport. As well as the regular social club runs that typically take place on Saturdays, club members are also active in sportives, time trials, road and track races, on-road and off-road challenge rides and a wide range of social activities.  Visit www.vcrcyclingclub.uk  for more information on the club.

Bikeability in the Easter Holidays
Safer Essex Roads are offering Bikeability Level 1 and 2, as well as learn to ride courses in Colchester over the Easter Holidays on 6th and 7th April. All courses are just £10. Check out the SERP website for details, and book your place or find out more by dropping them an email to SaferEssexRoads@essexhighways.org.

Re-Cycle Saturday Bike Sale
It’s always nice to remind you that Re-Cycle have many fully refurbished bikes for sale that all come with a 60 day warranty! They’re open from 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday and if you can’t make it during the week, they are also open on the last Saturday of every month from 9am – 1pm. The next Saturday sale is on Saturday 28th March 2020. Re-Cycle are a non-profit organisation, meaning 100% of the sales goes back into our core funding to enable the charity to send bikes to Africa.  For further information about the charity visit www.re-cycle.org

The Cake Escape
The Cake Escape is back for 2020, helping you find the best of local café culture on your bike! Make sure you subscribe to their facebook page so you don’t miss news of upcoming events and offers and share your photos of your cake escapes to be featured on the page.

Bikewise launch + competition
This month the Safer Colchester Partnership re-launched their Bike Wise campaign, encouraging people to keep their bikes secure and providing guidance on effective security methods.

The campaign, which first launched in 2014, will see police officers carry out audits of bikes parked in the town centre, at Leisure World, the University and other areas. Cyclists will be confidentially informed on how well they have parked their bike via a tag which will be placed on their bike. The tag will also include suggestions on how they can improve security.

Stickers will also be placed on cycle racks to remind users to lock their bike, and police will carry out extra patrols to deter thieves. Local cycle shops will also be involved and will be happy to offer advice on bike security.

There will also be a competition held on the Enjoy Colchester Facebook page in which participants can win one of ten high quality bike locks available.

The re-launch of this project is being partly funded as part of Colchester Borough Council’s Better Colchester campaign, underpinning work to make the borough an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.

Further information about the Bike Wise campaign  (including how you can enter the competition!) can be found on the Bikewise Website

Ride to Work Week
Are you ready to ride to work? From 23-29 March we want as many of you as possible to ride to work, and log your rides on the love to ride website to show just how many people are cycling in Essex!

There’s prizes every day (including gloves, lights and £600 local bike shop vouchers), including a grand prize at the end of the month: a Ribble e-bike! Just share your #NoCarbon story during March to be entered.

Winstree Road Community Engagement Project

The Winstree Road project has been in an analysis and recruitment phase since the November trials. We have now recruited a new project officer who starts at the end of March, their focus over the coming months is refreshing momentum with the community, and then working together to shape the main trials we plan to deliver prior to the school summer holidays.

100 Women in Cycling
The Women’s Festival of Cycling is happening on 11-31 July 2020 and Cycling UK would like YOU to nominate extraordinary women who promote cycling and encourage others to take part. Last year our very own Pam Nelson was recognised as one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling, but we know there’s lots more amazing women in our town… so get your nominations in!

It’s really simple, just fill out the short nomination form on the Cycling UK website

Things we’ve found

Schwalbe tube recycling – Did you know Schwalbe recycle their inner tubes? Just return your busted tubes to a participating bike shop and they’ll do the rest. Of course, it’s always better to reuse so get practicing with that repair kit! Find out all about Schwalbe’s recycling scheme on their website

15 Best Sunday Lunches on the NCN – Now this is more like it! Sustrans have compiled a list of the 15 best Sunday lunches located along the National Cycle Network. Nobody’s going to check how far you rode to earn that lunch, so we’ll leave it up to you! Find your nearest roast dinner on their website

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