Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Push Bike! Cycling What's On

The Push Bike! 2015 ‘What’s On Guide to Cycling Events Around Worcestershire’ is now available. So far we’ve pulled together details on over 50 cycling events for you to either take part in or watch. If you know of any we’ve missed, do let us know!

Highlights for 2015 are a welcome return of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to Redditch and, for the first time, the Friend’s Life Tour Ride Sportive will be coming to Worcester.

The Tour Series returns to Redditch on 19th May. You’ll be able to see some of your favourite British and International riders as they race around the town centre.  After Worcester hosted the Tour of Britain last year the Tour Ride lets you cycle parts of the route for yourself.  Starting from ‘The Arena’, rides of 35, 75 and 100 miles will be on offer. There’ll also be a short family friendly ride around the riverside.

Want to set yourself a challenge and raise money for charity?  There’s plenty of choice. The ‘Easter Epic Sportive’ takes place at Top Barn on 5th April. Pershore Leisure Centre has a ‘Spinathon’ on 12th April. On the same day there’s the ‘Mad Malvern Team Challenge’. Evesham’s hardy perennial the ‘Blossom Bikeaway’ takes place on the following Sunday 19th April.  The Worcester Classic Bike Ride returns on 12th July.  To help you let off steam the Severn Valley Cycle Challenge arrives on 16 August. On 23rd August there’s the ’Malvern Mad Hatter Sportive’. To celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary this year’s Evesham Cycle Festival includes a 3-day fund raiser taking in Runneymead and Salisbury. If you want to make up your own challenge and visit some of Worcestershire’s historic churches there’s the annual ‘Ride and Stride’ on 12 September. Prefer to dress up in Edwardian costume – then why not join the ‘Elgar Vintage Cycle Ride’ on 13th September. Finally in mid October the ‘Bredon Hill Bikeaway’ returns.

So where can you get a copy of the ‘What’s On’? Thanks to sponsorship from local cycle training and event company, ‘Just Ride’ you can pick up a printed copy from your local bike shop. We’ll also be regularly updating a more comprehensive listing for you to download from our blog on our What's On page.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Roads were not built for cars

There’s an unfortunate and sometimes dangerous ‘two tribes’ mentality between motorists and cyclists. It’s often based on the myth that cyclists don’t pay ‘road tax’ and therefore have fewer rights to be on the road.

The quote above is the title of a best selling Kindle book by Carlton Reid. www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com In it he explains why it was cyclists who pioneered the highway improvements that subsequently made it easier for the growth in car use.

The truth is that the vast majority of our roads weren’t built for cyclists either.  Yet if we look back in history the motorist has a lot to thank cyclists for.

It the 1880’s and 1890’s, when mass production led to the first cycle boom, organisations such as the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) successfully campaigned for roads to be paved. Even by the outset of war in 1914 cars were still a rarity on our roads.

There are other ways in which motorists benefitted from the growth in cycling. At least 64 car brands can trace their roots back to bicycle manufacturing. Differential gearing, pneumatic tyres, ball bearings, road maps, road signs and mass production techniques all emerged from the cycling revolution of the late 19th century. Even the Automobile Association was formed from a group that broke away from the Cyclists’ Touring Club in 1905.

As our roads become more congested hopefully cyclists and motorists can learn to share the road better. There is certainly a collective interest in encouraging more to use their cars less and cycle more.

After 137 years, the Cyclist’s Touring Club is still around and working closely with the Automobile Association in lobbying Government to make our roads safer for cyclists.

Locally 25% of County Councillors have already signed up in support of the CTC’s ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign.  You can find out more about the campaign and check whether your councillor supports it at www.ctc.org.uk

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