Now that May is here all the news about the Summer of Cycling in Bristol comes pouring in.

The very wonderful Bristol Cycle Festival are back for their 6th year with a busy programme including our famous Discover Bristol Rides. Programmes should be in all your favourite venues shortly, or see the website now.

Also, Bristol Council through their Better By Bike brand announce that Bristol is again competing in the European Cycle Challenge. Anyone who rides a bike is encouraged to sign up and start clocking their bike miles for Bristol on a leader board of 39 other towns and cities across Europe.

There is also the National Cycling Challenge, from Bristol based Love to Ride which is backed by CTC and Cyclescheme. Same basic idea but UK based. Oh, and Jam Busting Challenge from TravelWest.

Meanwhile Big Green Week is promoting their Bristol Grand Prix cycle race and activities on a circuit round inner city streets. See our blog for some thoughts on this.

There is no Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride this year as it’s been taken over by SkyRide. We understand that while the Portway will be closed, the three routes will be different and may well involve Bridge Valley Road and the Downs, but not Portishead or Clevedon.

Finally, this is the year of Portway Sunday Parks where the whole Portway will be kept open for all sorts of activities on five days including the Sky ride, triathlon, 10k run, half marathon and the Bristol Bath Marathon. There will also some further Cycle Sunday dates on the Downs.

One interesting aspect of the two data gathering challenges is what they can tell us about which routes people are choosing. Of course, not too much should be read into this due to the self selecting sample. As they say, “you don’t choose where to build a bridge by looking at the number of people swimming”.

Even so, the Bristol heatmap style imaging from the European Cycling Challenge, and from Strava, and from our work with Rideable Bristol in 2013 does provide evidence to support our Bristol Strategic Cycling Network.

Bristol Heatmap