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Newsletter - December 2010
Christmas Cycle Quiz - 9 December
Who invented the bicycle? Where does the North Sea cycle route go? What colour shirt does the Tour de France leader wear? Join us for our fantastic cycle quiz night at the Eldon Arms from 8pm on Thursday 9 December.
Healthy Pompey Santa Sleigh Run - 18 December
On 18 December the Healthy Pompey team are organising a Santa related bike sleigh fest at the Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park where Healthy Santa will be joining in on a festive sleigh run. He will be dispensing Healthy Pompey presents, and at the final stop there will be free festive refreshments for every rider. The fun starts at 1pm! Information on this and other Healthy Pompey events can be found at http://healthypompey.com/news-events/

EFaB (Eastney Family Bike Club) Christmas Bike Party

If you've got a new bike for Christmas or if you want to cherish and love your old bike then come along to the Community Centre in Bransbury Park on the 29 December from 12 until 2.30pm for a great party to celebrate the launch of EFaB. There'll be bike games and challenges for all ages, free Dr Bike checks, looking at routes, short rides and security marking. You can improve your cycle skills and have a good laugh at the same time. Everyone is welcome: Mum, Dad, Grandma, Grandad, aunties, uncles, nephews, nieces….. you get the idea. All you need to do is bring your bikes….

Road.cc's tips for riding on ice and snow
We recommend you check this Web site which has some excellent and vital tips for riding on ice and snow (quite amusing too). Essential reading for these snowy and icy times http://road.cc/node/12090

Completing the Seafront Cycle Route

At the last Forum meeting we had a workshop to generate ideas on how to finish the route from South Parade Pier to Clarence Pier. At the moment echelon parking is a hazard due to cars reversing out of spaces 'blind' to cyclists and other vehicles behind them. On a busy day cyclists are forced to queue with traffic if it is moving slowly, or hold it up if it's moving freely.

A low cost solution would include sharing the wide footpath on the north side of the esplanade, then take cyclists up the Ladies Mile across Southsea Common to Duisburg Way.

The 'money no object' scheme would create a shared space along the seafront. Vehicle traffic would be limited to 20 mph and one-way, west to east. The carriageway would be raised to the level of the promenade, with parking switched to the north side, still facing the sea.

Although some city councillors have raised concerns about the cycle route, others would like ideas for completing it. If you have suggestions for completing this vital route please let us know - either on the website or by emailing [email protected]

Drivers at fault in majority of cycling accidents

New research from Australia has shed light on the causes of collisions and near misses involving cycle commuters. 13 adult cyclists in Melbourne were given helmet-mounted video cameras and asked to film 12 hours of commuting each over a four-week period. In total, 127 hours and 38 minutes of usable footage was obtained. 54 'events' were captured on film - two collisions, six near-collisions (where rapid evasive action by the cyclist was needed) and 46 other incidents (where some collision avoidance was required). More information at www.bikeradar.com

Meanwhile in Havant ...

The News reported on 4 November that the leader of Havant Borough Council, Councillor Tony Briggs, is now using an electric bike for many journeys to and from council meetings. The move follows the nationwide 10:10 campaign last month to encourage people and organisations to reduce their carbon footprint by 10% on 2010. Havant has completed a number of new cycle routes in the borough and an updated version of the Havant cycle map will be released next year.

The diary

o Thursday 9 December - 8pm-Cycle quiz at the Eldon Arms, Eldon Street, Southsea
o Saturday 18 December 1-3pm-Healthy Pompey Ride : Santa Sleigh Run. Mountbatten Centre
o Monday 27 December 10am-Healthy Pompey Ride 2 : Round Portsea Island. Mountbatten Centre
o Wednesday 29 December - 12-2.30pm- EFaB (Eastney Family Bike Club) Christmas Bike Party at Eastney Community Centre, Bransbury Park
o Thursday 13 January - 7pm-Portsmouth Cyce Forum meeting - Guildhall (meeting room 1).
These and other events are listed at www.pompeybug.org.uk.

Meanwhile in Sydney, Australia
A tree made of recycled bicycles is the centerpiece of The Rocks, a shopping district in Sydney, Australia.

Cycle Parking in Fratton and Cosham

A eagle eyed member of PCF has spotted that the long promised and eagerly anticipated new bike racks for Fratton station have finally been fitted. He also noticed that a new cycle shelter and racks have been installed on the southern platform at Cosham Station.

Whilst we are in Cosham, we noticed that the rack at the bottom of the precinct (opposite Costa) had mysteriously disappeared…. We asked the centre manager Colin Walker where it had gone. He said it was 'damaged' by a truck and he asked the local shop keepers if it was needed and they said "nobody ever uses it". Colin has agreed to put it back, albeit in a slightly different location to prevent its being damaged again!
Inconsiderate parking?
Roger attended the recent East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum where the new parking manager, Michael Robinson, was speaking. Michael reported that If you have an issue with vehicles parked on cycle lanes, pavements, entrances, dropped kerbs, or in bus stops, then there is a dedicated number you can call, 023 9268 8290. We don't expect its an emergency service though, so it could take some time to respond!
Polite Cycling
We were recently invited to take part in a focus group to discuss polite cycling. At the invitation of the City Council's Sustainable Transport Officer, we attended a meeting along with Hampshire Police, community wardens, SUSTRANS, CTC, Officers from neighbouring authorities, Goundwork Solent and Motiv8. The purpose was to discuss the issues around the minority of cyclists who could be encouraged to behave in a more considerate manner.

Attendees were asked to consider why problems occur and to look at ways we can try to encourage polite cycling and influence the way that all road users interact including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The outcome was a list of ways forward that could be developed into an action plan. We await the first draft of which we will share with everyone and hopefully we can all come up with some good ideas to encourage polite cycling.

Bespoke bikes to beat thieves
Having your bicycle frame designed around your name sounds like a recipe for more than just unusual handling - we suspect it might put thieves off, too. Juri Zaech bends bicycle frames to spell out the owner's name, a concept he calls 'Write a Bike'. The cycles are not yet available to buy as Juri has yet to build a fully-operational bike with brakes or pedals, but a bicycle that spells the owner's sounds like a perfect way to thwart thieves.

Bicycle hire schemes go global

There are over ninety mass cycle hire schemes in operation around the world, according to a new Wiki list of bicycle sharing systems. The biggest of the schemes include the Velib in Paris with over 17,000 bicycles whilst London's scheme has 5,000 bicycles.
Boris Bikes pay-and-go is here (well in London anyway)
The Barclays London cycle hire scheme is now open for casual users. Until now, users have needed to pre-register before taking a bike. www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx
Bicycle User Groups

Mass hire schemes will undoubtedly boost urban cycling, but many of the best products and services aimed at cycle commuters wherever they live - such as cheap bicycles through the Cycle to Work Scheme, discounted insurance premiums and reduced rates for bicycle breakdown recovery services - are most easily accessed if people at work organise themselves and lobby their employer, according to the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).

Forming a Bicycle User Group (BUGs) in the workplace puts cyclists in a strong position to speak to their employer about introducing benefits and facilities as a way of encouraging cycle commuting. Employers interested in finding out about corporate schemes to support their cycling employees should contact the ETA on 0800 212 810

Cycle Chic

Cycling is back in fashion. Whether it's on a Boris bike or on a vintage cycle people are taking to the green way of travelling once more. For all those environmentally friendly fashionistas out there, the team at Fashshot have put together some outfits for cyclists to rock. There's a video featuring the ever-stylish V.A.S. who hits the streets to meets some cyclists and find out what they're wearing and what they're riding. The stylists get to work putting together some key looks for this seasons trendy cyclists
. Watch the video at http://tinyurl.com/24lvttn

Echelon Parking - some good advice from Lincolnshire?

As regular readers of the newsletter will be aware we are currently campaigning to get a rethink on most of the echelon parking around the city. We simply feel that the safety of cyclists can be greatly enhanced if the bays were marked in the correct way to encourage people to reverse. It seems that Lincolnshire County Council agree with us!

A new scheme in Lincoln includes bays which are designed to encourage drivers to reverse into them. Les Outram, senior project leader, said "The safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians is our main priority. Therefore we've taken the opportunity to update the parking bays in line with the national Department for Transport advice that echelon bays, 'should be arranged so that drivers are encouraged to reverse into them" as it is "safer to back into an empty space than reversing out into moving traffic, particularly when visibility might be restricted by adjacent parked vehicles. This is also reinforced in the Highway Code"

Swiss Miss pop up basket

Having problems carrying stuff? Why not try the Swiss-Miss pop up basket? The Pop-Up Bicycle Basket is designed by Jaime Salm and Brian Kelly. It fits most bicycles, ships flat and can be installed in either the front or rear of any bicycle. The baskets unique design and sturdy construction are fit for urban cycling and carrying purses, backpacks or shopping bags.
For more info go to www.swiss-miss.com/2010/11/pop-up-bicycle-basket.html

Electric bike try-out

We have been contacted by Jake Lawrence who works for Green-Go Electric Bikes inviting us to try out some of their products. He may be able to take us out for a proper bike ride on the bikes rather than just riding them 'up the road & back.' If anyone is interested we would be happy to arrange a visit.
More details about Green-Go and an on line catalogue are available at www.green-go.co.uk
Twitter - Biking Toronto are following Pompeybug!
Biking Toronto are a Canadian based cycle campaign group (bikingtoronto.com ) who have found us on Twitter and have started to follow us…. sounds sinister eh? If you are a twitcher or is it Tweeter, you will know what this means. If not then maybe give Twitter a try, it's a great way to get interesting snippets of cycle blog from all over the world.
SUSTRANS launch the Quality Streets Initiative in time for Christmas
Quality Streets is a campaign to say we want our streets back. For many of us the street outside our front door has become a place of speeding traffic, rat-running, noise and pollution. It's a place for others to travel through rather than for communities to claim as their own.

Wouldn't life be great if the street outside your front door felt like your own space? Somewhere to chat with your neighbours, kick a ball with the children, get about by foot and bike? Somewhere to give us all a better quality of life - a quality street.

We have the advantage of already having a 20mph limit in Portsmouth. So lets move on to the second step. This is to get residents involved in designing their streets for living, playing, and getting out and about more. The result is better quality lives, quality chat and play, and safer more attractive places outside our front doors. Let your local councillor know that you want quality streets. Sign up via the SUSTRANS web link at

Portsmouth Cycle Forum ...

... is a voluntary group working to make cycling safer, easier and more enjoyable throughout the Portsmouth area. We'd be pleased to hear from you and perhaps you will join us. For more information contact [email protected], telephone 07787 550655 or visit our Web page at www.pompeybug.org.uk.
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