We hope you’ve been enjoying some cycling on the quieter roads, especially as the weather’s been so nice! Sorry this month’s newsletter is a little bit late but there’s plenty for you to read.

This month’s interview is with Rick King. Rick told us about his time volunteering with Colchester Bike Kitchen, Route 51, the Colchester BOMA as well as plenty more. Cycling has helped Rick recover from a serious illness, as well as giving him the freedom to get around after he had to give up driving. We had to chat over email due to social distancing, but Rick’s story makes for a great read and is really inspiring.

Read his interview here

eCargo Bike Project
Colchester Borough Council have been awarded £136,000 from the Energy Saving Trust to by 25 electric cargo bikes and electric trailers to be used across the Council’s teams and by 10 community champions. The Council and champions will using the bikes to carry out daily activities and make deliveries and collections around town, replacing journeys that would otherwise have been made by car.

The eCargo bikes are obviously zero emission, so will help reduce air pollution and congestion in the town by replacing short journeys and showcasing the role green transport can play in the supporting a healthier workforce.

Look out for the eCargo bikes on the roads soon!

Key Worker Big Bike Revival
Cycling UK are supporting two local organisations in Colchester to help key workers.

With the money from Cycling UK, Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen are providing key workers with a free bike services for those who have bikes that they may not have used for a while and making them road safe. This is to enable them to commute to work or deliver essential items.

If you are a key worker and would like to get in touch with Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen Simply TEXT 07926 463 568 with your name + job title to arrange a drop off time at the workshop or visit their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/wivenhoebikekitchen/

Route 51 are using donated bikes to give to key workers who do not have a bike. If you or anyone you know has any bikes they can donate no matter what state they are in Route 51 would appreciate your help, they can use spare parts from bikes to use on others and hopefully get as many people as possible on bikes.
To contact Route 51 visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Colroute51/

Visit their website to see where the centres are across Essex and the Country for any friends and family we may be able to help. https://www.cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival
For local updates follow Cycling UK – Essex on Twitter and Facebook

Bike Week 6-14 June
For 2020 Bike Week will be held online, so what does that mean? Cycling UK are encouraging you to take part in their #7DaysofCycling by making cycling your daily exercise – how many days can you ride? By using the hashtags #BikeWeek and #7DaysofCycling we can still join up with each other to virtually celebrate! Find out more at the Bike Week website

Local charity Re~Cycle, Bikes to Africa have now reopened for bike sales and donations, all socially distanced of course! However, they are low on stock at the moment so it’s worth calling ahead.

If you’ve got a bike or spares you no longer need (no matter the condition) then please consider donating them to Re~Cycle so they can continue their amazing work supporting partners across Africa.

Their warehouse in Wormingford is open Monday-Friday from 9-4, and we’d thoroughly recommend grabbing a bargain from them to get on the road and make the most of the quiet roads and summer sunshine.

Quiet Roads and a highway revolution
Speaking of quiet roads, official Essex County Council counters have shown that during the lockdown there was 50% less traffic on Mersea Road and Ipswich Road, and a massive 60% less traffic on Cymbeline Way! We’ve certainly noticed the roads have been much quieter over the last couple of months, and we hope that there isn’t a rush to jump back in the car now we’ve got the roads back.

Essex County Council have recently announced their plans for a highway revolution for walking and cyling across the county, with Colchester and Chelmsford at the forefront of trials. Keep an eye out for reallocation of road space to make your journeys by bike and on foot easier, safer, quicker and with more space. Read their full announcement here.

Love to Ride Essex
The UK Government has placed cycling at the centre of plans to get the country moving again. Cycling is recommended for daily exercise and as the best mode of transport to maintain distancing and avoid congestion for essential journeys.

Join Bike Month to help the UK recover from the coronavirus crisis, support Bikes for Key Workers initiatives, have some fun and win prizes.

Wivenhoe and Colchester Bike Kitchens
While Wivenhoe Bike Kitchen’s usual ‘do-it-together’ sessions are suspended they are carrying out repairs for key workers (it’s an extensive list). So far the team have carried out a wide range of repairs for charity and care workers, food retail and NHS staff and teachers. This is a free service funded by Cycling UK until August.  Just text 07926 463 568 with your name and job title to book your bike in and arrange a drop off time at the workshop and it will ready to collect within 48 hours – physical distancing to be observed of course.

Colchester Bike Kitchen are still closed, but have been awarded a grant of £1200 from Sport England to help cover their costs until the workshop reopens.

Sustrans Space to Move

Local authorities across the country are making changes to our streets to give more space for walking and cycling. Active travel is not only good for the environment, it’s going to be an essential tool in getting back to work. With social distancing in place on public transport and the roads already beyond capacity before the pandemic, there’s simply no way we can just jump in our cars and all drive to work (even if everyone had a car!). Sustrans have made an interactive map showing all the changes made across the country so you can find out what local authorities are doing, and maybe put some pressure on your own local authority to make changes locally. If you live in Colchester, that’s Essex County Council.
Find their map online

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