Cambridge Cycling Campaign
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Arrive by Bike

The Cambridge Festival of Cycling ran from 17th to 25th June 2000. This page reviews the events we laid on.

Events in June 2000

There were a variety of events from free safety checks on bikes, a free breakfast for cyclists and a cycling fair. The events are listed in the calendar below and can be clicked on for more details, including the review and photos.

The events were publicised with this version of our colour leaflet.

For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here. We hope the events help you Have Fun, Get Fit and Feel Free.

Day CCC Event CTC Event
Promotional Event Cycle Awards “Fix that bike up” press articles
Events to run all week Banner, Arrive by Bike Photo Exhibition by Donnex
Saturday 17th Dr. Bike (Jointly) Dr. Bike (Jointly)
Sunday 18th Reliability Ride 100 miles
Monday 19th CTC ride to Shuttleworth Museum
Tuesday 20th Free Cyclist’s Breakfast CTC Retired Persons ride and Mountain Bike Evening Ride
Wednesday 21st Cycling in Cambridge: Past, Present and the Future CTC Dawn Ride and Longest ride , Sustrans Ride the Net and Convergence of cyclists on Midsummer’s Common.
Thursday 22nd CTC ride to Welney Bird Reserve and CTC Evening Mountain Bike Ride
Friday 23rd Awards Dinner CTC York Rally
Saturday 24th CTC York Rally, CTC Visit to Houghton Mill
Sunday 25th Cyclethon
and finally…
Midsummer’s Night Dream
CTC York Rally, All day ride, Afternoon ride

Bike Rides

ctcMost of the Bike rides in this events list have been organised by the CTC Cambridge District Association. Except where mentioned they start from Brookside, which is near the Trumptington Road end of Lensfield Road. For those in the know, its right next to Hobson’s Conduit monument.

For a suggested cycle ride around cambridge take a look at click here – but this is not part of the festival.

Cycling Advice

Before taking part in one of the rides listed certain preparations need to be made.
The bike needs to be suited to the type of ride you intend to undertake. This is not so critical for short rides but on longer touring rides Mountain Bikes will be hard work. Similarly road bikes will perform badly off road.
The Bike needs to be well maintained, particularly with regard to brakes, tyres and moving parts. We strongly recommend you to have your bike checked at the Dr. Bike Session on 17th June in Market Square.
Last, but most important: Are you fit enough for the distance you intend to ride. If you are not in the habit of riding medium to long distances then train gently before taking part in such rides. We want you to enjoy yourself and not be excessively tired by your day out.

Chocolate Chain and Golden Bell Awards 2000

When: Nominations closed at noon on Thursday 22 June
Where: There were nomination forms and a ballot box at the Cycling Photographs Exhibition in the Central Library, or they could have been emailed to, or via the form on our web site, or posted to PO Box 204, Cambridge, CB4 3FN.
These are Cambridge Cycling Campaign’s very own awards for the best and worst aspects of cycling in and around Cambridge. Three people or organisations will receive Golden Bell awards for services to cycling, and three more will receive Chocolate Chains – for dis-services!

For example, when we ran these awards in 1997 the winners of Bells included the designers of the Cattle Grid’s for cyclists and Anglia Railways for their cycle carrying racks. On the other hand a chocolate chain (actually a rusty bike chain painted chocolate color) was awarded to Cambridge railway station owner’s WAGN for lack of cycle parking. More details of the winners of our 1997 awards can be found here.

The winners were announced at our awards dinner – go there to see the list.


Banner flying over Dr. Bike, click for full size picA banner advertising the existence of Cambridge Cycling Campaign and that it is National Bike Week flew between Guildhall and River Island clothes shop at end of Guildhall Street all week. This year, because bike week was a week later than normal we had to compete with Cambridge Midsummer Fair’s banner!

Arrive by Bike

When: Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 June
Where: All over East Anglia
All week, to help promote cycling, many East Anglian tourist attractions are offering free or discounted admission to those who arrive by bike, including Welney Bird Reserve, etc. Enjoy a great family day out by bike, and save money too. For a complete list of attractions offering discounts can be found here.

Photo Exhibition

When: Monday 19 June to Saturday 24 June during Library opening hours.
Where: Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
Admission: Free
Display of Cycling related Photographs some dating back to the 1930s and other books and posters. Covering 70 years of cycling by local cycling legend Donnex Claydon.

A glimpse of the photo exhibition at the central library. Click for bigger picWe had the use of the small exhibition area on the first floor of the central library for the week of June 19th through 26th. The heart of the exhibit was the collection of photos by William Claydon, aka Donnex, a 90-year old CTC regular who has taken photos of cycling for most of his adult life. These photos gave us a glimpse of cycle riding in the 1930s, when all the young men rode bikes with drop bars in wool shorts, and there wasn’t a helmet to be seen.

One of the photos - click for bigger picIn addition to this, we put up information about the Cambridge Cycle Campaign (newsletters and a description of what we do), the CTC (including the CTC magazine), and Sustrans (including maps of the National Cycle Network). We had display cases filled with cycling books and magazines, Golden Bell and Chocolate chain awards, and some cycling paraphernalia. The exhibit seemed to go down well with those who took the time to look it over. We don’t know how many people looked at it, but usually when we stopped by, someone was perusing the photos.

Dr Bike – free cycle health checks

Doing Dr. BikeWhen: Saturday 17 June, 10am to 3pm
Where: Guildhall Street, Cambridge (near the Petty Cury corner of Market Square)
Does your bike creak? Do you feel like you’re always going up-hill? A well maintained bike is a joy to ride! For a free 29-point safety check, bring your cycle to our Dr Bike event, where we will tell you what needs to be done to get your bike back in shape again.

A typical Dr Bike check. Click for full pic.The 17th of June was a warm and sunny day, a perfect start to the Cambridge Festival of Cycling. We set up a corral of scaffolding in the street between River Island Clothing store and the Guildhall.. Three doctors and as many helpers checked over bikes. We got all kinds of bicycle, from ancient three speeds, to brand new full suspension mountain bikes. Each bike was treated to a thorough inspection, and the owner was made aware of any problems. Although we are not allowed to make any repairs we did do a few minor things, like oiling chains and pumping up tyres. The owners went away satisfied, having a better idea of the state of health of their bikes.
We got a steady stream of customers, often having a couple people in the queue. When we went away at the end of the day, we were tired, but felt we’d performed a useful service.

Reliability Ride – 100 miles in 8 or 9 hours.

Date: Sunday 18th June at 8am for the 9 hour ride, or start at 9am and do it in 8 hours).
Start: Meet at Brookside, which is near the the Trumpington Road end of Lensfield Road.
Route: will be issued to riders. Visits Linton, Saffron Walden, Buntingford, Ashwell, Potton to finish at Caxton where tea will be available.
Note: This is a challenging ride and is not suitable for inexperienced riders. In the event of your being unable to keep up with the group you will be expected to make your own way back to the Cross Keys at Caxton or find your own way back to Cambridge. 100 miles in 8/9 hours. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Ride to Shuttleworth Museum

When: Monday 19th June 9:30am
Where: Meet at Brookside, which is near the the Trumpington Road end of Lensfield Road.
Route: Barrington, Bassingbourn, Ashwell, and Biggleswade to Old Warden. Return via Sandy, Waresley (café), Caxton and on to Cambridge. Distance 55 miles, we expect to be back in Cambridge by 6pm.
Notes: The Museum houses a collection of vintage aircraft, there is a charge for admission (sorry they are not taking part in Arrive by Bike). There is a good café outside the museum. A fairly easy ride with just a few hills. Requires moderate fitness. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Free Cyclists’ Breakfast

Travelwise logo

Cambridgeshire County Council LogoSupported by Cambridgeshire TravelWise.

When: Tuesday 20 June (note the different day this year)
Time: 8am-9am (while stocks last!)
Where: Hobb’s Pavilion Restaurant, on Parker’s Piece, Cambridge

The free breakfast a very popular event. Click for bigger pic.Tuesday 20 June is National Bike to Work Day. To mark the occasion, Hobb’s Pavilion Restaurant, on Parker’s Piece, are again offering a free breakfast to anyone arriving by bike between 8am and 9am (while stocks last). There will be free Cambridge cycle maps available, and Cycling Campaign members will be on hand to advise about cycling to work. Come early for this very popular event.

The Cyclists’ Breakfast this year had to be held on a Tuesday instead of the traditional Wednesday, perhaps confusing some who were planning to show up the following day. Hobbs Pavilion on Parker’s Piece hosted the event as before. The owners, Stephen, Susan and Polly Hill, have sold the restaurant, and this year’s breakfast was their final event there. There are many Cycling Campaign members saddened by this news.

Breakfast2000 - Click for big pic.The weather cooperated, giving us a warm, occasionally sunny morning. As usual, large numbers of cyclists turned up to enjoy the food, while other cycled on past, probably wondering what the do was. We ate rolls and croissants, cheese, jam, salami, and drank juice, tea, and coffee and filled out some questionnaires on cycling in Cambridge.

University of the third Age (U3A) Ride

When: Tuesday 20th June
Where: Hobb’s Pavilition on Parker’s Piece just after the Free Cyclist’s Breakfast at 9 for 9:30am.
Route: past Brookside, and then via the meadows to Grantchester. Then to Burwash Manor café. Lunch at the Wheatsheaf, Harlton, return via Harston and Newton. Distance 20miles – we expect to be back in Cambridge by 4pm.
Notes: A leisurely ride to a pub which provides an excellent pensioner’s lunch. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Mountain Bike Evening Ride #1

When: Tuesday 20th June
Where: Brookside 7:20pm
Where to: Red Lion at Swaffham Prior arriving at about 9pm.
Return: 10:30pm approx.
Notes: Bring Lights. Round trip of approx 20miles. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Longest Day, Greet the Dawn

When: Wednesday 21st June
Where: 4am from Brookside, lead by Mike Stapleton
Where to: Wandlebury arrive 4:30am. Dawn is at 4:40am, continue to The World Famous Comfort Café for breakfast at about 5:15am.
Return: Approx 7am. The ride leader will ride to Bury St. Edmunds for the Sustrans Ride the Net Event.
Note: Bring lights and warm clothing for early morning start. A relatively easy ride of about 20 miles. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Sustrans’ National Cycle Network won’t make it into this area for a few years yet, but on the 21st we had a go at “breaking the ground” by cycling towards Cambridge from four directions. I (Rachel) joined the ride from Bury St Edmunds to Cambridge. The weather was kind to us, not too windy or too warm, and the pace was comfortable even for the relatively inexperienced participants like me. At Newmarket we were given a reception in the Tourist Information Centre – 2 enormous platters of sandwiches and some chocolate marble cake to match. Later on at Anglesey Abbey, cream tea was order of the day. The majority of the route was on quiet, pleasant roads and gave us plenty of good views to admire. Sadly, after such an enjoyable day, the end of the Ride was rather disorganised (through no fault of Sustrans), although we did have a brass band to welcome us at Midsummer Common.

The Mayor of Ely, who unlike Cambridge's mayor is allowed to ride her bike while wearing the mayoral chain. The Ely to Cambridge route is not built yet, so we had to take a specially laid on ferry across the Cam at Upware.
Nigel Brigham (of Sustran's), Councillor Shona Johnstone and Brian Smith with their plaque's commemorating the opening of the National Cycle Network. At the reception the diasppointment of the absence of the mayoral party was more than offset by this wonderful brass band.

Ride the Net

When: Wednesday 21st June
Where: 9:45am from St. Edmundsbury (Church?) in Bury St. Edmunds.
Alternate Start: Mike Stapleton will lead any riders from The World Famous Comfort Café at 6:30am.
Route: Ickwell Park, Moulton, Newmarket, Anglesea Abbey, Cambridge. The ride finishes at Midsummer Common in Cambridge at 4:30pm.
Note: This is a Sustrans ride and is part of their major Ride the Net event. Sustrans are arranging rides over every part of the 5000 miles of routes now open and the 5000 miles it is intended to open by 2005. There will be various receptions and photo opportunities at town on route. About 75 miles with a fairly hard ride from Wandlebury to Bury St. Edmunds. The ride from Bury to Cambridge is 36 miles and is likely to be relatively easy. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

For the review see Longest Ride

Cycling in Cambridge – Past, Present and Future

When: Wednesday 21 June 7pm-9pm
Where: Anglia Polytechnic University, Helmore Building, Room 803
Further information: Paul Rosen 01223 363271 ext. 2423
The cycling landscape in Cambridge has changed dramatically over the years. Are we heading in the right direction? Local historian and Cambridge Evening News columnist Mike Petty will provide a glimpse of the past, Paul Rosen from APU will assess the state of cycle commuting today, whilst our third speaker, John Stuart Clarke (aka Brick, the bike cartoonist) will suggest what might be in store for the future. Join us for a lively discussion on Wednesday 21 June.

3 fascinating talks given at Anglia Polytechnic University showed us that ultimately nothing is new in Cambridge. Mike Petty’s pictures from the Cambridgeshire Collection enlightened the past – to the days when cycle parking provision was just a kerb. One picture of Sydney Street showed the road was almost completely fenced off from the pavement by bicycles. There was also a story about gangs of thieves taking stolen bikes on the train to London in 1910.

Paul Rosen described the research he is conducting into the requirements of the commuting cyclist. Although the research is not yet conclusive, there are number of provisional findings. These include the suggestion that the health benefits of cycling are the main motivator for the vast majority of commuter cyclists. He also finds that users of bicycles for commuting are rarely just cyclists – their sense of identity defies the notion that cyclists are hostile to car drivers – on the contrary, cyclists often ally themselves with car drivers against what they see as irresponsible cycling.

Finally cartoonist Brick (a.k.a. John Stuart Clarke) gave us a rather battle-hardend, but almost cynical view of what we can look forward to (in terms of cycle provision) in the future. His forecast was rather gloomy, but on the other hand he was generally surprised about the level of commuter cycling in Cambridge. When he suggested that we charge the relevant authorities for providing consultation on behalf of cyclists on proposed road junction alterations there was a general murmur of approval around the room!

Ride to Welney Bird Reserve

When: Thursday 22nd June 9:30am
Where: Brookside.
Leader: G Lumbers.
Route: Histon, Cottenham, Wilburton, Coveney to Welney.
Return: Manea, Chatteris, Earith, and Willingham. Back in Cambridge by 7pm.
Distance: 60miles
Notes: The ride will visit the famous reserve at Welney which, as we arrive by bicycle, offers us free entry. The reserve is particularly interesting in Winter when the swans are in residence on the Ouse Washes. The visitor centre and café will be open. This is a fairly long ride and conditions in the Fens can be difficult if the wind is strong. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Mountain Bike Evening Ride #2

When: Thursday 22nd June 7:20pm
Where: Brookside
Where to: Hare and Hounds Harlton arriving at about 9pm.
Return: 10:30pm approx.
Notes: Bring Lights. Round trip of approx 20 miles. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Cambridge Festival of Cycling Dinner

When: Friday 23rd June 7:30pm
Where: La Margerita Restauant, Magdalen St. Cambridge.
We extended an invitation to campaign members to join us for dinner at La Margerita restaurant on Friday 23 June, at 7:30pm, and for the Chocolate Chain and Golden Bell awards.

We awarded three Golden Bells for positive measures for:

  • Keeping the Downing Street contraflow cycle lane clear (Cambridge City Council Planning Department) – for effective enforcement, by ensuring that the cycle lane is kept free of delivery vehicles after 7:30am in front of the Rat and Parrot pub. The problems caused by parked vehicles were a theme in many of the nominations, and this award recognises the efforts of one organisation to reduce the scale of the problem.
  • The winning arrangement had gone by the time this photo was taken. Click for bigger pic.The developers of the entrance to Cambridge Retail Park, Newmarket Road (Cambridge City Council Engineering Services, Mowlem and May Gurney) – for ensuring the safety of cyclists when the road was narrowed, by laying temporary sleepers.
  • Grange Road Traffic Calming (Cambridgeshire County Council) – for listening to the concerns of cyclists in the recently revised traffic-calming proposals.

Chocolate Chains for the not-so-good were awarded to:

  • WAGN Railway – for discouraging cycling by banning cycles on peak-hour trains into Cambridge instead of providing safe carriage for bikes, and also for the supply of misleading and contradictory information to cyclists affected by the ban.
  • Its just no fun being on a bike and having to compete with this sort of thing. Click for bigger picMaid’s Causeway (Cambridgeshire County Council) – for doing absolutely nothing to reduce the conflict between cyclists and motor vehicles at the existing buildouts on this road, for creating conflict by narrowing the carriageway and introducing new central islands, and for putting in short lengths of pointless cycle lanes that not only encourage cyclists to ride in the wrong position on the road, but invite them to ride into the back of a row of parked vehicles.
  • Hobson Street Contraflow cycle route (Cambridgeshire County Council) – for doing nothing to reduce the problems caused on this street by width restrictions, and parked vehicles, leaving southbound cyclists on this vital cycle route vulnerable to oncoming traffic.

Ride to Houghton Mill

When: Saturday 24th June 10am
Where: Brookside.
Leader: Mike Stapleton.
Route: Comberton, Bourn, Hilton (Visit the turf maze) to Houghton. The Mill is open in the afternoon. There is a café.
Return: Fen Stanton, Longstanton, Girton, back in Cambridge by 6pm.
Distance: 35miles
Notes: A relatively easy ride to a delightful location.There is a café beside the mill. A reduced rate entry of £2 to the mill is available to cyclists. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Bard on a Bike

When: Sunday 25 June 5pm (note: this is the revised date)
Where: Arts Picture House, Regent Street Cambridge
What has Shakespeare’s comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ got to do with cycling? Come along to Cambridge’s Arts Picture House to find out. There will be a special showing of Hoffman’s light-hearted film version of the play. Starring:Kevin Kline, Rupert Everett, Michelle Pfeiffer. USA 1999. 115mins. Contact the box office on 50 44 44 for bookings.

All day Invitation Ride. Open to interested cyclists.

When: Sunday 25th June 8:50am
Where: Start at Brookside, which is near the Trumptington Road end of Lensfield Road.
Leader John Lumbers.
Route: Fulbourn, Balsham, Ashton, Radwinter, Great Sampford, (Lunch at Red Lion). Then via Thaxted to Wendens Ambo for tea at the Fighting Cocks. Back in Cambridge 7:30pm.
Note: About 65 miles, a moderate distance for fit riders. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.

Afternoon Invitation Ride. Open to interested cyclists.

When: Sunday 25th June 2pm
Where Start at Brookside, which is near the Trumptington Road end of Lensfield Road.
Leader: Mike Sleep.
Route: Villages south of Cambridge to Wendens Ambo for tea at the Fighting Cocks. Back in Cambridge 7:30pm.
Note: About 40 miles, a moderate distance for fairly fit riders. For general information about the many bike rides on the list click here.


This event is part of CyclethonWhen: Sunday 25 June 2-4pm
When: Destination Midsummer Common, Cambridge

Have fun. Get Fit. Feel Free.

Cyclethon – a ride through Cambridge to a Cycling Fair on Midsummer Common

From the Grand Ride 1996The Cyclethon will be a gathering of riders at the Maids Causeway / Victoria Avenue corner of Midsummer Common where entertainment will be provided by jugglers, and unicyclists from Cambridge Community Circus. There will be cycle postcoding provided by the police, a variety of unusual bikes for you to admire and Ben Hayward’s will be offering free cycle safety checks. Bring a picnic, sit on the grass and enjoy the entertainment.

Schools are invited to plan a cycle ride from their school to arrive at the Cyclethon after 2pm. The ride is for cyclists of all ages and we particularly encourage parents to take part with their children. Cambridge Cycling Campaign is unable to take responsibility for unaccompanied children on the ride, or on Midsummer Common. This year Midsummer Fair is being held for the first time on a Sunday and we’ll give away some children’s tickets for the rides. The Cyclethon entertainment will finish at 4pm and riders will need to make their own way back to the starting points or home.

Schools taking part should plan a route to Midsummer Common and arrange for stewards who know the route to accompany the riders. Larger groups tend to move more slowly as they are more likely to spread out.
We think that the youngest riders (less than 12 years) should be accompanied by their parents on the ride. In that case the Steward simply becomes a person who co-ordinates the ride and I would think that one person could manage about 10 riders. Any more than this and it’s good to have one lead rider and one sweeper who stays at the back of the ride to assist people with difficulties and ensure that no-one gets left behind. If you have more than 2 dozen riders then you have to be careful not to let the pack spread out too much, and a third middle steward may be necessary. If you would like help planning a route, or would like a free cycle map of Cambridge, just ask us.

Cambridge Community Circus

Cyclethon was almost the last event in the Festival, and as a new event, the one we were perhaps least prepared for. The idea was to get as many people cycling as possible, without organising a grand ride. So we invited schools and groups around Cambridge to organise their own rides to the event. Each would start from their own part of the city. To enthuse people to come we laid on 3 attractions at the destination: a Dr. Bike event provided by Ben Hayward’s cycles, secure marking of bikes by the police and entertainment from Cambridge Community Circus. The venue was a corner of Midsummer Common left vacant by the sprawling Midsummer Fair. On the day we had very little idea of how many were going to take part. We guessed anywhere between 20 and 200 would show up, and of course it would depend on the weather. The promised marquee wasn’t there, but thanks to the initiative of the Ben Hayward’s crew we built a table out of galvanised barriers. These also made for a good cycle parking corral. The police were next on the scene and bicycles were soon being marked with UV pens by PC Anil Soni. Then a large party of riders from Newnham Croft School arrived and at last it felt like we had an event. The rest of the Dr. Bike team from Ben Hayward’s Cycles swooped in quickly on the arriving bicycles and suddenly all our fears about a successful event were over. The recumbent bikes were an ample source of entertainment for the children who each took it in turns to go round and round the event. John from near Ely had bought along what I have termed a “wobble bike”. It had an extra “headset” or hinge just in front of the seat. For packing the bike away this made it very practical as it folded into a Z-shape, but to ride was a bit of a challenge. The bike felt very unstable at first, but due to clever design the rider could swing the front wheel to one side and ride it leaning over. This was more stable than trying to keep the bike straight. I would need a degree in English to be able to explain in text how the bike worked, but I hope the adjacent picture will help. Eventually a few jugglers and unicyclists turned up to provide some entertainment. However the biggest source of entertainment was undoubtedly the inverse bungee jump, part of the Midsummer fair. All in all we had jolly good fun on the day.

The riders from Newnham Croft school. One of the very unusual bikes at Cyclethon. When you do a Dr Bike on a unicycle, are you deailing with a front or a back wheel?

How can I help?

Take part in organising.

Final Comment

It seems that we have provided virtually everything for the wanting cyclist during the Cambridge Festival of Cycling. There has been history, safety, tourism, trailblazing, discussion, debate, fun, entertainment, and activities for children. We haven’t had any commercial involvement so far, or much in the way of fundraising, these remain possibilities for future National Bike Weeks in Cambridge.