Cycling news from Bristol and beyond

June Rides Announced

This June we’re busy with a three day trip in the beautiful countryside around Birmingham, a series of fascinating evening rides for Bike Week and some gentle off-roading south of the Avon taking in the National Trust property at Tyntesfield. Up-to-date details can be found on our Diary page and printable poster can be downloaded below. BCyC June 2016 A4 poster…

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Riders wanted for annual challenge

The Great Weston Ride (GWR) is an annual challenge ride of 56 miles, this year on Sun 17 July. Starting in Bristol, the ride winds through the lanes of Somerset to the seafront in Weston Super Mare. The event is very well marshalled and effortless to follow, with the route direction being signed or stewarded at all appropriate points. In the five years of its association with the GWR, over £130,000 has been raised for Prostate Cancer UK. It would be great to see an enthusiastic turnout from BCyC regulars for this thoroughly enjoyable, well organised and satisfying ride through some truly scenic countryside. Just sign up online or by post. Details are available via the official website  

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Help plan our Space 4 Cycling campaign for 2016

Your chance to help make a difference to cycling in Bristol – find out how, bring ideas and enthusiasm to the ideas and planning meeting for Space 4 Cycling Bristol campaign 2016 –– Boston Tea Party Park Rd, upstairs, Mon 7 Dec, 5.30pm Fed up with: Cycle lanes that just stop, vehicles parked in cycle lanes, Having only 1 mile of dedicated cycle lane (compared to nearly 600 miles of road in Bristol city), No dedicated space for cyclists on ‘shared ‘paths e.g. centre of city, getting to Temple meads Trying to find somewhere to park your bike Do you: Want your kids to be able to cycle safely on the roads? Want to be able to ride safely to get to mountain bike tracks? If you want any of these then here is your chance to help make change.

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New local book “Cycling the Severn to the Thames”

We were interested to be sent details of a new book by Chippenham based Robin Summerhill. He produces books on long distance cycling and walking around the country but broken down into easy manageable sections of about 5 miles each way. Routes are mainly on former railway routes and canal towpaths. The books also have a strong flavour of local transport history about them “Cycling The Severn to The Thames” looks at the cycling and walking opportunities between the M48 Old Severn Bridge and central London. The first part of the route between Aust and Bath follows the river bank…

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Proposed new routes discussed at Nov’15 Bristol Cycle Forum

At the Bristol Cycle Forum on 19th November there was news of two big and important topics. Firstly, finally, there seems to be some movement on opening up The Downs for more walking and cycling. Secondly, James Coleman of Bristol City Council took us through proposals spending the next round of Cycling City Ambition Fund (CCAF2). This is the main source of government funding for the next couple of years. It is now proposed to be spent on:

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Bike Life – Taking the pulse of bike life in Bristol

The Bike Life 2015 Report for Bristol is out (Bike-Life-Bristol-2015). Inspired by the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, this is an assessment of cycling development including cycling conditions, new initiatives and satisfaction with various aspects of cycling.

Overall this is an interesting and useful report which will be of great value in making the case for cycling improvements. It’s no surprise that the lack of safe and comfortable cycle routes is the main thing that stops more people riding. When asked what measures will help them cycle more, people say they want real Space for Cycling – protected lanes and traffic-free routes. It appears they weren’t asked about 20mph and slower speeds but we know these are very popular and already cover 80% of Bristol streets.

Bristol people also have a very positive view of cycling with nearly three quarters already thinking positively about people riding bikes. There is a big mandate for change across the city. The survey of 1,100 also confirmed strong support for more investment (70%).

We are particularly pleased to see that it’s now been calculated how much cycling is worth to Bristol. For every mile cycled instead of driven there’s a benefit of 62p in savings to the individual and local economy (wipe that annoying smug look off your face, just feel it inside). This works out at over £26 million every year at current levels of cycling. Then there’s a further £28.5 of benefits to health in the city, every year.

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Community Speedwatch in Bedminster 2015

There are a number of Community Speedwatch groups helping to make the 20mph areas in Bristol more effective. The group in Greater Bedminster is made up of BCyC members and they have shared the results of their observations. Figures from 2014 showed that 20mph limits were having an effect but with some specific problem areas. In 2015 over a thousand vehicles were checked with 14% going over 25mph (including one at 46mph!). There is a noticable improvement over 2014, however the threshold for recording has increased in 2015 from 24 to 26mph. The group is not going to monitor Raleigh Road any more…

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CTC-Cyclenation conference 2015 – lessons for Bristol

On 25 October four BCyC members joined campaign groups from across the country to share ideas and hear from professionals and politicians at the 2015 CTC-Cyclenation conference in Liverpool. It seems the UK is waking up to the benefits of cycling for all, albeit very slowly. And it’s up to us to keep pushing that message to politicians and policy makers. We need to be framing the message in broader terms than just cycling. To get their attention we need to be arguing that making our streets better for cycling makes them better spaces for everyone. Here’s a running story of the day. Presentations can be found here. Don’t miss the astonishing Propensity to cycle tool’, or Building high quality space for cycling (including junction animations), or Brian Deegan on the  pace of change in London. Finally, everyone interested in cycle campaigning should reflect on Matt Turner’s Effective Campaigning.  There’s also a detailed report of the conference from Birmingham Push Bikes.

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Separation between pedestrians and cyclists in a ‘Living Heart’

Guest blog from member WJH I suspect we could be in danger of being sold a pup by agreeing to the Living Heart separation proposals. The general principle of separation is good, even essential, for reasonably fast cycle travel. Broadmead is a problem, and the proposal is good, especially if they add cycle stands near the central cross roads, and if the contraflow is sensibly arranged, but many continental cities do have pedestrian areas in which cycles and people on foot mix quite happily. For example, mixing seems to work well in these areas: Grenoble– old town pedestrian…

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Bunker Bikes and their new home at Temple Meads Bicycles

One of the more unusual outlets listed on our list of bike shops is Bunker Bikes. Situated at the end of the Chocolate path and just before the Create Centre many Bristol cyclists will have seen the mass of interesting pre-loved bikes being carefully restored and made roadworthy at affordable prices. Harvey and his team can also fix just about anything that’s wrong with your bike. The construction of Metrobus and closure of Ashton Avenue Bridge for a year (a year!) will have a major impact on their business. During earlier stage of Metrobus consultation we were told that the bridge would be kept open…

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