Cycling Shorts

This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 24.

Chris Lloyd of Chris’s Bikes is still mobile. On Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm he’ll be outside the Trinity Centre on the Science Park , with a mobile cycle repair, hire and accessory service .

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It is a shame that when Scientific Generics is trying to encourage cycling, the road past their site in Harston has been made much less cycle friendly with a dozen or so central islands

Harston-based company (and member of the Cycle-Friendly Employer Scheme) Scientific Generics has said it is prepared to offer salary increases worth several thousand pounds a year for staff who use buses or bikes to get to the site. The company said it would introduce the payments if it received permission to go ahead with a £5M project to increase its laboratory and office space at Harston.

Cambridgeshire County Council has begun the long process of reviewing and updating the Structure Plan. The process will be chaired by Councillor John Reynolds – a familiar name, because he has been leading the Evening News’ campaign to widen the A14. The first ten months will be spent refining the strategic options. Consultation will begin in February 2000, with final adoption scheduled for December 2002. We have said before that we would like to see two-way participation locally, rather than consultation on a pre-defined list. It will be interesting to see how much involvement of interest groups is planned in advance of February 2000. In the meantime, though, the 1995 Structure Plan has been made available on the County’s web site: www.camcnty.gov.uk/sub/structure/title.htm.

The Ordnance Survey’s Explorer series of 1:25,000 leisure maps has now reached as far north as Cambridge. These are more detailed than the 1:50,000 (pink) Landranger maps, and so make use of both sides of each sheet. The new maps are recognisable by their orange covers, and cost £5.50. No prizes for spotting that Girton College has been renamed Girton University. The sheets of interest locally are: Cambridge (Number 209), Newmarket & Haverhill (210), Bury St Edmunds & Stowmarket (211), and Huntingdon & St Ives (225).

Sustrans have Graham Elliott as Eastern Region manager of Ride The Net – their headline week of Millennium cycling events in June 2000.

Anyone noticed the sudden increase in ‘investigative’ TV programmes which take a family of two adults + two children + two cars, and then subtract two cars, and say ‘go on then, see how you manage’? Followed shortly afterwards by ‘Ahah – we knew it wasn’t going to work!’ I don’t suppose it would make very exciting viewing to see people gradually making less use of the second car, or occasionally going by bike when the weather’s nice, or occasionally hiring a car for longer journeys, or using a bus when it was convenient. I confidently predict there’ll be a few more such quality productions before the Millennium’s out. Meanwhile, On Your Bike magazine was recently looking for a family of non-cyclists to receive good-quality bikes, cycle-clothing and advice, to take part in a low-pressure, year-long trial to see how they got on gradually trying out bikes. That’s the way to do it.

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This metal cover was slippery when wet for a long time. It was recently given a non-slip surface. At least one of our members is grateful for this small change every time it rains. Could cattle grids used by cyclists be given a similar treatment?

Speaking of On Your Bike magazine, they’ve launched their web site, www.onyourbike.com, with some very helpful sample articles containing advice on diverse subjects such as bike-buying, avoiding sore bums, and learning to cycle from scratch.

Another Web site well-worth a visit is Workbikewww.workbike.org – which aims to be the definitive source of information on carrying loads by human power, all over the world. Here you’ll find definitive lists of operators and manufacturers of load-carrying bikes, trikes, quads, taxis and trailers.

There’s votes in bikes . Publicity from Labour Party candidate Rob Horne included a carefully-worded statement that Labour is ‘reviewing the cycle lanes on Gilbert Road to see if one side of the road can be made enforceable so that it is safe for cyclists to use.’ Please do let us know if you spotted any transport-related comments in any election flyers from successful candidates in your area.

Stop Press: we’ve just discovered that the Liberal Democrats are also promising to look at Gilbert Road.

Clare Macrae