This is the first blog of THE BIKE COMMITTEE. We are the most active* members of Colchester Cycling Campaign (CCC), a lobby group in Colchester, Essex, UK.
Individual blogs reflect the personal views of the writers; they may or may not reflect the opinions of others within CCC.
The campaign exists to promote and lobby for everyday cycling — that's using a bike to ride to school, the shops, work and to see friends. This is reflected in our motto: Better Cycling, Better Health, Better Living.
We believe it is essential that the government gives a very strong lead in providing a vastly improved environment for everyday cyclists.
CCC was founded in 1990. In 2009-11 Colchester was an official government cycling town, receiving £4.2 million funding.
What have we achieved? We've increased awareness of cycling in the town and country, and helped to put in place the Wivenhoe Trail, the Garrison Trail and the Highwoods Trail, all medium-distance cycle routes that can be used by commuters. We've secured better cycle parking all over town, in particular at Colchester station.
What type of cycling do we believe in? While most of us ride on the road, we realise that not everyone is happy doing that. This is why we want to see high-quality cycle infrastructure as you see in the Netherlands; such provision can be used by anyone from eight-year-olds going to primary school to road racers in training. We support the work of David Hembrow and Mark Wagenbuur of aviewfromthecyclepath.com and bicycledutch.wordpress.com in drawing attention to best practice in the Netherlands.
What about now? Until the UK's cycle network improves, we urge people to ride safely by following these tips. You may also like to arrange cycle training with the CTC's local cycle champion Richard Monk. We're also supporting the national CTC's Road Justice Campaign and Space 4 Cycling, as well as the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.
We don't intend to use this blog to discuss the desirability or otherwise of cyclists wearing helmets. It's a complex subject and you can find lots of facts at cyclehelmets.org. The arguments are complex and even with the best brains considering the issues, the debate will go on and on. It's enough to say that we believe the choice of whether to wear a helmet should be left to individual cyclists.
Finally: enjoy your riding and stay safe.
(May 19, 2015)
* Individual authors have complete responsibility for what they write: CCC as an organisation, or other members, cannot accept any legal liability.