The January issue of CTC’s monthly campaign news looks at: road maintenance; modelling - the cycling kind; pavement cycling; the latest publications and much, much more.
Julie Rand, CTC Information Team
Let them eat cake!
And enjoy a wonderful bike ride, Marie-Antoinette might have added. Belles on Bikes developed from a CTC project in 2011 to get more women cycling in Scotland. With a focus on inclusive leisure rides that include plenty of cake stops, the Glasgow Belles are now enabling hundreds of women to take part in bike rides. Last week, the fledgling Edinburgh Belles took their inaugural ride. During 2014, CTC hopes to establish Belles on Bikes groups across Scotland and would like volunteers to get involved. Contact CTC Development Officer for Scotland Suzanne Forup if you’d like to help.
More top stories
This week, CTC met with officials from the DfT to discuss their prediction that cycling levels are due to fall over the next 20 years. We believe this forecast doesn't take into account recent changes in cycle use - or the dramatic shifts in behaviour that can occur due to social and cultural factors. In Tuesday's meeting, officials agreed that an alternative model scenario would be sensible.
Where's the proof?
One factor that may affect future levels of cycling is the success of the government’s pledge to ensure that major new road schemes are ‘cycleproofed’. But many councils are still failing to do so. CTC campaigners in Coventry are urging a rethink of a new junction that would increase risk to cyclists, while bringing only marginal benefits to drivers.
Look mum, no hands!
Fixing a flat tyre is something most of us hate. But the chore is even harder if you are a double arm amputee - many people might think it virtually impossible. Not triathlete Hector Picard, though. He has made a video showing how he manages the task using only his hands, teeth and stump. In 2013 Hector completed a 3050 mile charity ride across the USA.
He's gone to Iceland
No, not the shop but the country of course. Horace Dall was an English optician who lived in the twentieth century. He was a cycle tourist, who in 1933, made an adventurous trip across the remote and volcanic Sprengisandur region of central Iceland – the first by any wheeled vehicle. Happily for us, he documented the trip with some stunning photos and handwritten notes.
Gone to pot
In some parts of the UK, the roads are little better than they were in Iceland in 1933. Which is why CTC is calling on councils to use the annual £50m the Government has just earmarked for walking and cycling facilities more efficiently: resurfacing works are a highly cost-effective opportunity to improve cycle provision. If you agree, please let the Department for Transport know by completing a short survey.
Looping the loop
A bike without spokes would be a very uncomfortable ride, you might think, especially on today's roads. But the British inventor of Loopwheels would disagree. His 20-inch wheels are made in the UK and use an innovative integral spring suspension design to absorb impacts. Just another gimmick or a long-term market staple, only time will tell…
Barbie doesn’t have any springs in her wheels as she tries to get some air on her ‘Bike Stylin’ Ride’. But at least she isn’t defying the laws of gravity too much - unlike the rider in ‘Grand Theft Auto’, who apparently can ride down a vertical building! They both might enjoy the bizarre Brap - bike rap for beginners from real-life riders Adventurely, who are trying to teach us the names of bike parts...
Wheels of steel
Sheffield District CTC is introducinga series of half-day, easy-paced rides on Saturday mornings, starting in the spring. The routes will lead cyclists out into the open countryside using quiet lanes and include a café stop before returning by lunchtime. Average distances will be around 20 miles. The rides will start on Saturday 8 March and continue on every other Saturday until the autumn.
Julie Rand has edited CycleClips since 2011 and has been working at CTC in various guises since 2001.