1st Cycle Rides For All of 2015 this Sunday in Beacon Park, Lichfield

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This Sunday morning (29th March) is the first Cycle Rides For All ride of 2015. The first of the season is always a gentle opener. This one is just 3.5 miles in a circular loop from Beacon Park. Meet at 11am by the Pavilion in the park, opposite side of the lake from the playground. Your bike will get a safety check from Freedom Cycles and the trained volunteers will take you round the route. Totally free and very friendly especially for families. All welcome.

More details can be found here.

Locked up at Lichfield City

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Liked these hefty chains on the racks at Lichfield City train station today. Obviously left there for another day to save them weighing the rider down on the way home. There was another bike that was well secured with two D Locks and three chains locking everything down. If you rely on your bike to get you about that’s one may to make sure it’s going to be there when you get back.

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Do it again! The Lichfield Jolly 2015

Last years Lichfield Jolly turned out such fun we may as well do it again. Originally conceived as a bit of a laugh with Ian from Vickers Bicycle Company it ended up as a really good event. You can see photos from the day here.

We had a wonderful mix of bikes, people and families. It finished up in the beer garden and judging by the comments and the smiles it will be worth doing again. So, Sunday 28th June 2015 meeting at Market Square in Lichfield at 4:30 (for a 5.00 start?) seems like the plan. We will work out a 3 to 5 mile ride through and round the city centre and end up at Prince Ruperts Mount.

More details nearer the time (Facebook page here) and I managed to pick up something in town the other day that might just do the job for an outfit.

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Lichfield Re:Cycle – spare part of the jigsaw

The Lichfield Re:Cycle project continues to be busy. A couple of pieces in the Lichfield Gazette and Darwin Advertiser have led to a good number of donations of usable bikes. More details of some of them can be seen on the Thank Yous page on the website.

A pattern has been emerging. The bikes we have been getting have mainly been rigid frame mountain bike types from ten to twenty years ago. The older ones are often examples of very well made bikes and though worth little nowadays, if well maintained and looked after, will work perfectly for many years to come.

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Not all of the bikes will go back out. Sometimes it’s not worth the expense or effort required but we always take usable parts. Tony, a volunteer at Jigsaw for North Lichfield Initiative contacted us to ask about parts to build up a bike. He had been given a frame and wanted a pair of wheels and some tyres. Just the sort of thing we can oblige with. Tony expressed an interest in learning more about making adjustments to the brakes and gears on his bike and we will invite him along when we start to do skill sharing workshops now the weather is getting better. This week we have helped a lady who was after a comfy sprung saddle and we had one of those too.

Now we have these generous donations and volunteers who are able to refurbish and service them, we need to make sure we can use them in the best way possible. We are working with a number of local organisations who can refer people to use the project, North Lichfield Initiative now being one of them.

If you work for, or know of a group or organisation who might be able to refer people to us, please get in touch.

Time to close the gates?

Went up Abnalls Lane again yesterday. I have written about the cycle route through there a few times now, most recently after Staffordshire County Council had done some work to clear the paths around the two gates. The gate at the Burntwood end had recently been scraped clear of mud, though it will inevitably slide back after the first decent rainfall.

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Is it now time to see the gates closed again and regular enforcement by the police? Speaking to them last year it was clear that they felt it was a good use of their time to point out to motorists that the short gated section of the lane is access only for motorised vehicles. The gates have been closed in the past then damaged either deliberately or by cars driving into them when they expected them to be open. I received the following message from someone who has been involved in the long campaign to get better enforcement and the gates and bypasses on the lane used as they were intended to be:

“I would appreciate it if you could again urge all cyclists who use the lane, be they leisure riders, commuters or club cyclists on training runs and rides, to help create a safe route by using the bypass routes now they are clear, to close the gates if they are open and if they must use a gate rather than a bypass to close it after the last person goes through.  We cyclists are always bemoaning the fact that cycling is perceived as dangerous, drivers do not respect us and that we lack proper infrastructure when compared with the continent.  In Abnalls Lane we have been given improved infrastructure and the onus is now on us to use it fully and responsibly.”

Cycle Rides For All 2015

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Just had the latest details for this seasons Cycle Rides For All. The full colour flyers will be available soon and can be found in places like Freedom Cycles, Jigsaw at Dimbles shops and from the Rangers in Beacon Park.

Now in it’s sixth year and run by trained volunteers, this fantastic programme offers on road group riding for all abilities and ages. It is free and totally family friendly. The first ride is the end of this month and a perfect introduction for those who want to do a bit more cycling round the city centre streets with the support of other more experienced riders. Our new ride this year is a Burntwood taster ride heading out to Chasewater in July.

The volunteers work hard to put the programme together with the support of Lichfield District Council, Freedom Cycles, North Lichfield Initiative and others. More details below.

www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/cyclerides

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