St Elizabeth’s Hospice Cycle Ride – On Yer BIke!

Here are the details of another community cycle ride, this time around Shotley Peninsular – or a longer one down to the Stour and Constable country. These details are from the organisers:

Registration is now open for a fundraising cycle ride called On Your Bike!

For serious cyclists there are 100 mile and 50 mile routes and shorter distances for those wanting a family morning out or leisure ride. Whichever you choose all will be welcome to take part in the event on Sunday 12th September.

All routes start and finish in the beautiful grounds of the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, Suffolk, IP9 2RX, and weave through the picturesque countryside:

• The Constable Country 50 – a 50 mile circular challenge taking in Boxford, East Bergholt and historic Lavenham. Those wanting to do 100 miles can do the route twice – but please let us know when you register.

• The Peninsula Pedal 5.5 mile – a fun ride for all ages and abilities around the Shotley peninsula with wonderful views of the River Orwell

• The Peninsula Pedal 11.5 mile – for those wanting a longer route around the Shotley peninsula

The Constable Country 50 and 100 start at 9.30am and is £15 to register; the Peninsula Pedal costs £5 and starts at 10.30am. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult and wear a helmet.

Cyclists are asked to raise sponsorship and all proceeds will help St Elizabeth Hospice, an independent charity which costs £6m a year to run, provide specialist care for patients throughout East Suffolk as well as support for their relatives and carers.

To register for On Your Bike! download a form at http://www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk, or email fundraising@stelizabethhospice.org.uk or call 01473 723600. Once registered you will be sent a sponsorship pack, map and guidelines.

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Ipswich Cycling Festival – some feedback

When I left the show was barely getting started but it was already promising well.

The road closure was a modest success with about twenty or thirty cyclists enjoying the freedom of the road. The only road that was actually closed – as far as I could see – was Upper Orwell St – and even so a bus suddenly lurched into view just as I pulled out! The normally pedestrianised section of Westgate St was also closed but not to pedestrians of course.
Ipswich cycling festival - the closed road

Many of the children present were enjoying circling round the track repeatedly. As Westgate Street filled up with Sunday morning shoppers you could see that the decision to close the road early (9 am to 10 am) was sensible, though a longer and more ambitious route that did not conflict with pedestrians would be great for next time – as would some better weather! After 10 am the focus changed to the try-out bikes and the other attractions.
Kids having a go on the Get Cycling mini track

There were loads of takers for the try-out bikes supplied by Get Cycling. Lots of children of all ages were enjoying having a go on a huge variety of human powered vehicles of all shapes and sizes. I had a go on the reclining bike and a folding bicycle – but came unstuck on the penny farthing type bike. The modern penny farthing is not enormous like its 19th Century predecessor but it has a fixed wheel arrangement that means you are both controlling the speed and steering with the large front wheel. I found it a bit disconcerting and suddenly became uncannily aware of how precious my teeth were!

I was impressed by how easy the reclining bike was to get going and manoeuvre. You could also see how it could be tippy if you cornered too fast. I was glad of the chance to try one but I cannot see myself going out to join the traffic on one. I can definitely empathise with insects on footpaths!

Get Cycling is a Community Interest Company which travels about the country to give people a taste of what is possible with bikes and other human powered vehicles (HPVs). Their pièce de résistance is an enormous great red octopus of a vehicle which can hurtle about the street carrying 7 pedallers. Their team of two – plus dozens of weird and wonderful bikes – did a great job engaging the interest of shoppers and cyclists alike.

We took some Transition Ipswich leaflets to the people from the road safety team – Suffolk Roadsafe and had a go on their reaction time tester which was fun. This device was something akin to those things at fun fairs where you have to mallet frogs or gremlins more and more quickly as they pop up. You are given a score which by itself seemed a bit meaningless – but we perhaps not concentrating properly by this time. Everything was widely spaced to allow peripheral vision to be tested. I also found it tested out joint and muscle flexibility… which was perhaps not what was intended.

There were other attractions which I did not get around to sampling. Someone was glorifying bikes with some kind of bike art – unfortunately I forgot to take a closer look. And the Green Bike Project was hiring bikes and selling them too. I heard afterwards that they had quite a successful day. The Green Bikes Project is based in Holywells park. They are organising the Giant Green Bike Ride on June 26th as part of IpArt. You can find out more about them on their Facebook page. I don’t think there is a website yet.

The First Ipswich Cycling Festival seemed to me to be a great success and I hope it will be repeated in coming years – as part of an overall push to make Ipswich and its surrounding areas far more cycling-friendly.

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Ipswich Cycling Festival – Yay!

Ipswich Borough Council has clearly being listening in on Transition Ipswich planning meetings! The Ipswich Cycling Festival sounds like just what we might have tried to plan ourselves – if we were bit “for’arder”.

They are going to close some roads and there will be a big mass cycle ride followed by other cycling events.

You can find more details here: http://www.teamipswich.com/events/ipswich_cycling_festival

OK… I’ve added it -somewhere – as a link…hope you can find it.

The event starts with a bike ride from the Cornhill in Ipswich – from 9 a.m. There’s a traffic free route for all ages to use and Genesis’ Green Bike project will hire people bikes. There’s also a chance to try out all kinds of different bikes – maybe state of the art stuff (or perhaps those bent and contorted things you find at festivals – who knows!)

Come along and join the party. Lets hope it doesn’t rain….

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Better transport for Ipswich UK

Ipswich, in common with many towns has a transport problem! Too many cars, not enough space to park them, congestion, noise and smells from polluting traffic – and pedestrians and cyclists pushed out by the ever expanding needs of the car.

Ipswich is a smallish market town in structure and the streets do not lend themselves easily to the rule of the car. Our modern culture promotes the idea that everyone can have their own private living space on wheels – and car ownership is a necessary part of becoming a fully functioning adult.

Public transport is perceived to be for the very young and elderly and anyone else who has not quite yet made it to the status of car owner!

Transition Ipswich is trying to look at new solutions for the 21st century. We are very aware of the twin dangers of peak oil (the fact that oil supplies are peaking and due to decline in the foreseeable future) and climate change. Transport as it is in 2010 is plainly unsustainable. Oil prices are very likely to rise – and transport in the UK now accounts for around 22% of carbon emissions.

We now have a Transport Group which hopes to promote low-carbon travel in all its forms and somehow work towards curbing the car – at least from the worst excesses!

This will be a collaborative effort by a few people from Transition Ipswich. Guest articles are always welcome. We hope that what we write will help inform and promote discussion of the issues and result in a better deal for Ipswich citizens, through working with the councils, community groups and organisations such as Sustrans, and Cycle Ipswich.

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