This month we chatted with Liz Bethell from St James’ Primary School about her work as a bikeability instructor, growing up on her bike as a bit of a tomboy and how she’s held onto her favourite bike for a long time. We might be slowly drifting into autumn but there’s still plenty happening in the Colchester cycling world, so without further ado, let’s get going…

Alan Palmer Obituary
It’s with great sadness that we learned recently that Alan Palmer, a much respected Colchester cyclist and campaigner has died. Alan was a long time member of CTC and helped to re-establish the Colchester Sunday rides about 10 years ago, with the group becoming the best supported in Essex. This was largely down to Alan’s experience and patience, not to mention his encyclopaedic knowledge of every road and lane within 70 miles. When new ride leaders came on board they would try to plan a route with a lane that Alan was unaware of – and very few succeeded!

Alan was very supportive of new riders, and when ill health meant he couldn’t manage the pace and hills of the main group, he set up “Alan’s Sunday ride” with an easier route and steadier pace that was ideal for newcomers. Of course, he planned the route to join the main group for elevenses and lunch and his timing was usually spot on! Alan also became a regular at Colchester Cycling Campaign’s monthly Bike Drinks meetings and made great contributions to debates about local cycling infrastructure.

Alan’s funeral will be held at the chapel of rest, Wimpole road on Friday 13th September at 13:30, followed by burial at Oakfield Wood, Wrabness at 14:30.

He asked that any donations in his memory be made to CCC, c/o East of England Cooperative Funeral Services, 89 Wimpole Road, Colchester CO1 2DB.

Colchester Bike Kitchen Big Bike Revival celebration ride
Join Colchester Bike Kitchen for a 5, 10 or 15 mile social ride on a loop of some of the off-road paths in Colchester to celebrate another successful summer of activity with Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival. Meet at 10 at the CBK workshop in the square opposite firstsite on Sunday 22nd September. They’ll also be available for FREE Dr. Bike health checks all morning, even if you’re not riding! Book your spot and choose your distance on their event page.

Cycle County Active County Conference
Earlier this month we spent a couple of days at the Cycle County Active County conference in Chelmsford to learn about what’s going on in the world of active travel and how we can work together to make the world a better place. Over the two days we heard from councillors, charity leaders and innovative new companies about how they’re all working towards encouraging active travel. From bike share schemes in Glasgow to data crunching in Oxfordshire there are all sorts of approaches to tackling the joint problem of car dependency and inactivity among most people. There’s a bright future, we just hope it’s not too far off! Find out more about the conference on their website

Updated University Cycle Map
We’ve recently updated the University of Essex’s cycling map of their campus and surrounding area. We’ve added new cycle parking, updated some of the routes and now include the new student accommodation that’s been springing up around the Hythe. You can find this map and all our other maps of Colchester’s cycle network on our website

Colchester Wheels for All Festival
On Sunday 29th and Monday 30th September national inclusive cycling charity Wheels For All are holding their Wheels for All Festival at The Garrison Track, Circular Rd North (CO2 7TL). They are offering people of all abilities the opportunity to cycle independently or with family members and try out a range of adapted cycles, find out about training and even to get involved as a volunteer or supporter of the project. It’s also a chance to find out a bit more about what Wheels For All will be offering at the new Northern Gateway Sports Park when it opens in Summer 2020. To find out more or book a spot contact IanTierney on 07709140910 or at

Northern Gateway Sports Park
Leisure World’s Northern Gateway Sports Park will be a 76-acre site providing both indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities, opening Summer 2020. We’re particularly excited about the mile-long closed road cycle track, bike hire and learn to ride area, as well as the new indoor changing facilities and cafe with connections to National Cycle Route 1. If you’d like to find out more or have any enquiries then you can visit their brand new website to find out more.

Cycle September
Compete with other individuals and businesses to see how far you can ride this September, climb the leaderboard and earn prizes! You can earn points by riding yourself, or encouraging others to get on their bike. You can take part as an individual, or encourage your organisation or workplace to register and see how you stack up against colleagues. Register and find out more at

Interesting things we’ve found:
How much can you carry on e-bike? You’d be surprised! Cycling UK have some great information about what you can carry, how much and what kind of e bikes there are. (spoilers: at least 110kg of concrete apparently) Find out more on their website.

Feeling like an adventure? Cycling UK have just launched the Great North Trail – 800 miles of bridleways, single track and trails from the Pennines to the tip of Scotland through moorland and national parks. Don’t worry though, if you don’t fancy the full 800 miles (fair enough, really!) then they’ve split the route into shorter sections that can be tackled over a weekend. Check out the full route and some more information about what you can find along the way on the Cycling UK website

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