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Two little ducks explore route 22

two little ducks

Tomorrow we’re off to explore the Sustrans route 22 along the western side of Portsmouth.

The local ranger has been working hard to sign this part of the national cycle network so come along and see where we fit into the national picture.

Hope to see you at the Hard (near the station) at 10.30 tomorrow morning.

Big Bike fix at the Stacey



Get your bike ready for summer….

On Saturday we are all going to be at the Stacey Centre checking bikes and helping anyone who comes along to mend their bikes

If you want your bike checked over or want some help and advice on mending it come along and we’ll gladly help out.

See you Saturday




Bike week rides

Bike Week leaflet-final version is out now and available to download. We are running some of the rides as are Friends of the Earth and The Community Cycle Centre is offering to check bikes over and help repair them on the first Saturday of Bike week on the 16th. Have a look at the full programme and come along and enjoy some of the rides. There’s a Treasure Hunt ride and one that looks at the work of Thomas Ellis Owen in Gosport. We’re looking forward to our annual Fish and Chip ride on Friday and the Two Little Ducks, NCN 22 ride on the last Sunday.

The rings ride looks interesting and you can use the map to collect your own rings too!

Winter Trees Ride


This coming Sunday, 8th January, is the first group ride of the year.trees ride poster
An easy paced look at the trees of Gosport and an attempt to identify them without any leaves on.

Our rides are for anyone that wants to come along and enjoy a bit of sociable cycling.
The pace of the ride depends on the riders, the distances are manageable and the routes follow quiet, low traffic roads and cycle ways and are designed to appeal to a wide range of people including families and less confident riders.
We will meet at the Gosport ferry at 11 and hope to be back by 2.
An excellent way to start the new year and reduce the impact of some of those little Christmas excesses!

For the price of a bike helmet…

This article has been cross-posted to the progressive and collaborative We Left Marks blog here.

Recently I went on a work ‘risk assessment’ course where we had to identify measures that could reduce the risks in a given activity. We were instructed to start ‘with the most effective safety measures that helped all of the participants‘, and then work our way through to the most ineffective measures.

The ‘measure of last resort‘ – considered the least effective, most expensive and recognised that the risks could not be reduced in any other way – was to mandate safety gear such as goggles or helmets.

The UK’s approach to cycle safety is the measure of last resort by default. It’s one that is heavily focussed on safety gear – such as cycle helmets, fluorescent clothing and bike lights. Yet we have failed to create adequate cycling infrastructure or provide consistent cycle training which would be more effective and help everyone.

Continue reading For the price of a bike helmet…

James Callaghan Drive – we’ve invited Councillors and MPs to take a look on 25th November

view west along james callaghan driveYou would be forgiven for not immediately recognising the name of James Callaghan Drive, but many of you may have tried to walk or ride along Portsdown Hill Road. As you travel west the hill road changes into James Callaghan Drive and it is one of the scariest roads to ride along in Portsmouth. On the south side you have a Site of Special Scientific Interest and on the north side, old forts and farmer’s fields. Its almost in the countryside – birds are singing – grass, wildlife, trees and flowers are all around you.  Sounds like a lovely place to take the family for a picnic?

Wrong, it is used as an alternative route by people in rapid and often large vehicles that wish to get between Havant and Fareham but would rather not use the Southampton Road or the motorway. The speed limit is 40mph but often people are doing more than that! A vehicle passing you at 40mph is really very frightening especially on an extremely narrow road with no footway at all when you are on a bike, walking or riding a pony or horse. This is especially true if the road is less that 5 m wide for two-way traffic and has bends and undulations that mean the vehicle approaching at speed from the rear cannot see what is coming towards it on the other side.portsdown hill road

The result is that if you are trying to use the road and you aren’t in a vehicle you may have a hair raising time of it with lorries cutting you up, cars swerving towards you to avoid a collision with an on coming vehicle or simply a very impatient person behind you just waiting to take a chance with your life to get passed.

So just imagine you have a disability of any kind and then imagine you want to enjoy the gorgeous countryside on Portsdown Hill and look out over the fabulous views along the hill road, you would not have any opportunity to do so.  Just imagine you have a family and you and an elderly relative want to go out to the countryside and have a nice walk or ride along the hill.  Or maybe you work on the hill and don’t want to take a car or you want to visit some of the interesting places on the hill like the Peter Ashley Centre, the Equestrian Centre or the forts. You’ll have negotiate the busy road first, then make your way along the narrow and lumpy verge, if there is one, trying not to trip into the road. This is not for the faint hearted!

However, all of this could be changed and the area opened up to many more visitors and families if a simple amendment was made….. create a multi-user hard wearing path on the northern side of the road that bikes, walkers, the disabled and horses can all use easily, like the billy trail, made of compacted gravel maybe. There must be a material that would be suitable for all to use?

portsdown hillThen we can promote this as somewhere that visitors and residents can go to have a family day out, portsdown hillenjoy the view, walk or ride along the hill looking out over Portsmouth or the fields and the downs in the distance the other way. This simple solution is better value for money and more beneficial to all types of road users, especially the vulnerable ones, than the majority of the projects funded last year by the council.

second view of JCD

We are inviting all ward Councillors and MPs to come and meet us there on 25th November at 8.30 am  (although the traffic is fairly non-stop all day) to judge for themselves and formulate their own opinions on what it is like along this road if you aren’t ‘protected’ by a metal casing. Come along too and support us, or just express you point of view. If you can’t make it write a quick email to your councillor and MP


Fish ‘n’ chipper this Sunday

Fish n chip Cycle RideThis Sunday we’ll be getting the ferry for another of our popular fish and chip rides, you don’t even have to eat fish to enjoy it, several regular attendees don’t! This time we are going Gosportwards to enjoy our feast at Lee overlooking the Solent. The ride begins at the Hard at 11 on Sunday 25th September and the ferry costs around £4.

Once you’ve ridden to Lee you’ll have earned your chips.

A Frames and Slaloms ride coming up – 11 September

cyclist dismount signsOn Sunday 11th September we are meeting at the Guildhall at 10 for a tour around some of the harder to pass features around the city as well as some of worse designed cycle routes. We have some fantastic barriers to cycling in Portsmouth and they aren’t all psychological. We’ll show you the ones we have found and we’d love to hear about any more that you have discovered around the area.  This ride was inspired by a tour around similar lovely features in Manchester

September news update


Open meeting this Thursday – 8 September

Everyone is welcome to our open meeting this Thursday the 8th September at 7pm. We have two guest speakers from Portsmouth City Council who will be talking about the Local Transport Plan 3 implementation plan and the Eastern Road Congestion Relief scheme with a focus on the implications for cyclists and pedestrians. Chris will be giving us an update on the Community Cycle Centre. We’d like to hear about your experiences of cycling around Portsmouth too, if you’ve got any issues maybe we can help.

A Frames and Slaloms ride coming up – 11 September

On Sunday 11th September we are meeting at the Guildhall at 10 for a tour around some of the harder to pass features around the city. We have some fantastic barriers to cycling in Portsmouth and they aren’t all psychological. We’ll show you the ones we have found and we’d love to hear about any more that you have discovered around the area.  This ride was inspired by a tour around similar lovely features in Manchester

Fish and Chip ride – 25 September

We are also planning another of our popular fish and chip rides, you don’t even have to eat fish to enjoy it, Fishy Friday Cycle Rideseveral regular attendees don’t! This time we are going Gosportwards to enjoy our feast at Lee overlooking the Solent. The ride begins at the Hard at 11 on Sunday 25th September and the ferry costs around £4.

longer lorries

CTC ‘longer lorries campaign’

If you want to oppose the plans to allow even longer lorries onto our roads then use the link on the CTC website to register your disapproval.


roller racingRoller racing at the Dog

On the last Thursday of every month Solent Bike Hub run a roller racing session at the Dog in Elm grove. Go along and test your cycling speed.

Community Cycle Centre

Don’t forget on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 10-12 we are at the Stacey Centre repairing and recycling bikes.

cycle chic on Sunday

Dress up in your finery and show off your beautiful bike.  Get out the bike you love and join us for a bicycle promenade around Southsea. Dressing up is optional, but for some cycle chic inspiration check out London cycle chic, Cycle Chic Sundays, Copenhagen cycle chic, cycle chic on flickr or just google it and take a look.

Ultimately Cycle chic is about riding in everyday clothes rather than helmets or specialist clothes it  is especially prominent in cities, with many bicycle-commuters such as Amsterdam (Netherlands), Basel (Switzerland), Berlin (Germany), Paris (France), Berne (Switzerland), Bristol (England) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

The route for this Sunday’s ride will follow mostly quiet residential streets and cycle ways.We start at the Kings Theatre at 11 and will take a leisurely ride around Southsea. On this ride style is all speed is nothing!





Download a copy of our current ride programme.

Bike Bus to Lifeboat Station Open Day

All aboard the bike bus to the lifeboat station open day.

Join us for a ride to Ferry Road for the fun on Sunday 14th August. Check out the Lifeboat station website for more details of the day. We will also be there checking bikes over

bike bus
it'll look nothing like this!

(in return for a small donation to the lifeboat station fundraising)

Bike Bus Timetable:

11 at The Hard
11.15 Guildhall Square
11.30 Palmerston Road (o/s Knight and Lee)
11.45 South Parade Pier
12 arrive at the Lifeboat day

We will return people at 3pm if they express a wish.

Hope to pick you up along the way!

‘nip around the back’ ride

Jothe george inn portsdownin us on Wednesday evening for a ‘nip around the back’.

A lovely evening ride with spectacular views over the city and countryside behind.

The ride takes us up and over the hill and along country lanes to Purbrook and up the back of the hill again to The George, then home.

We did this ride earlier in the year, its so good we’re doing it again.

The weather looks set to be fine so the views will be even better from the top.

We start at 6 pm in the Guildhall Square and aim to finish by 8.30.

Download a copy of our current ride programme.



Trees ride Thursday at 5 in the Guildhall

As part of Bike Week some of us will be taking part in the Trees ride tomorrow. Loop round Gosport and look

Tree in Stanley Park Gosport

at some of the lovely trees en-route then finish off with some of our own fabulous Portsmouth trees. As the Thomas Ellis Owen ride today was so well received and everyone was so interested in John and Sue Pike’s commentary we didn’t make it as far as Gosport. So it was decided that the trees ride would start with the ferry ride instead. The garden at Alverstoke Crescent is one of the first stops for the trees ride and would have been the last stop for today’s TEO ride.

We’ll be meeting in the Guildhall Square at 5, hope to see you there. Why not take a look at the trees ride leaflet here

Bike Week 18th – 26th June 2011

Bike weekbike week logo

We will be in Guildhall Square on bike to work day Tuesday 21st June where we will be happy to talk about cycling 11am. There will also be Dr Bike and a Cemex truck in the square so you can try seeing cyclists from a truck drivers perspective.

The rides during the week include those listed below and of course our own Fishy Friday Ride – back by popular demand. This time we are visiting a different chippy and taking a different route. It was really good fun last year although if we keep it up we may have to go outside the boundary of Portsmouth to find a chippy, probably not for about 20 years though.

We will meet in the Guildhall Square at 5.30 on Friday and head off north along the pilgrims way route.

Check out for more details of all the rides and Bike to Work day


urban gardens ride 

Sunday 19 June, 11 am

Art Cafe, Victoria Park

ice cream ride 

Monday 20 June , 5 pm

Guildhall Square


Thomas Ellis Owen ride

Wednesday 22 June, 5 pm

Guildhall Square


Trees tour – new leaflet LAUNCH

Thursday 23 June, 5 pm

Guildhall Square              


Fishy Friday ride

Friday 24 June, 5.30 pm

Guildhall Square


Hayling Billy ride

Sunday 26 June, 10 am at Canoe Lake (for 11 am Hayling ferry)


Danny Dorling backs the 20s and Portsmouth gets a mention

Professor Dorling is advocating the introduction of 20s nationwide in residential streets. He uses Portsmouth as an example of an Authority that has taken this step. We feel that the true benefits of the 20s will be felt when this excellent initiative is promoted and enforced in the city. If all drivers in residential roads in Portsmouth stuck to 20, cyclists and pedestrians could feel safer and be safer.

Danny Dorling is an author and professor of Human Geography who has dedicated his career to exposing the social costs of inequality. In his response to the What One Change question, Danny focuses on the Twenty’s Plentypicture of child design campaign for 20mph speed limits in all residential areas. Having been successfully adopted in several cities around the UK already, the campaign has already reported an impressive reduction in road deaths and serious injuries. However as a driver of broader social change, Danny suggests that the campaign’s benefits go further still – from the positive impact on our daily environment, to helping us re-engage with our community and campaigning for the bigger changes we want.