Editors Letter: It’s a great time to share the joy of cycling

This article was published in 2019, in Magazine 145.

Adam (left), Rosie (center)
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With a new year nearly upon us, we’re looking to expand our horizons, to see how we get from where we are to the place we want to be. And where’s that? Glimpses come from our continental neighbours who continue to inspire our local campaigns. We want a more integrated and inclusive future for cycling, where it’s safe and easy to travel by bike regardless of fitness, age or ability.

It’s a prevalent myth that cycling doesn’t work for older people and those with mobility issues. Two local riders challenging the claim present their cases in this issue. Cambridge as a whole manages to challenge assumptions too. It bucks the trend with regards to female participation in cycling: unlike other UK cities, it’s close to even in terms of the percentage of men and women cycling. We’ve taken a look at why that’s the case, and how to build a strong female cycling culture.

Critical to an inclusive cycling culture is infrastructure that works for all people and all their cycles. We’ve been hearing from Cambridge riders whose adapted cycles make it difficult for them to travel around safely and easily, with a view to pinpointing places which need our attention. In some areas of the city, for example in Chesterton and Histon, smaller campaign groups have formed to focus on localised issues and possible ways forward.

Good ideas can be found in Europe where, for example, Frankfurt is pursuing its ambition to enable everyone to use a bike. In the Netherlands, a strong cycling culture with quality systems not only benefits cyclists but also seems to be great for drivers. Drawn to the ease of cycle touring on the continent, as well as bikes adapted to their needs, an inspirational Cambridge family of five share their experience of holidaying on wheels. But it isn’t just us looking to broaden our horizons: last month, we welcomed visitors from the Faroe Islands who came to Cambridge in order to expand theirs.

In 2020, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary so invite you to share your stories with us – which of our campaigns has had the most impact on your cycling? It’s amazing to see that our membership has now grown beyond 1,400 members; we’ll be aiming even higher in future! We begin 2020 with the Camcycle AGM on 18 January. Please do come along for an afternoon celebrating Camcycle’s successes, with interesting speakers and opportunities to find out what we’re doing next year and how to get involved.

Adam Jenkins & Rosie Humphrey, Camcycle editors