We’re always keen to promote cycling as means to make our borough a nicer place, by reducing congestion and pollution and making us all that little bit healthier. To help do this, as part of our ‘Better by Bike’ series, we’re sharing stories of local residents and their experiences.
This week, Mortlake resident Sarah Blackburn shares her personal experiences of cycling while pregnant, in an article she originally produced for our friends at Richmond NCT, the Richmond branch of the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) which covers Richmond, Barnes, Kew, East Sheen, Mortlake and Ham. As well as organising antenatal classes, they also provide post natal support to new mums and dads – check them out on Twitter and Facebook.
If you’d like the opportunity of a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, do get in touch.
The 'Mummy' Bike
I’m a keen cyclist, although having cycled and mountain biked as a teenager growing up in Yorkshire, at first I thought those who cycled in London a bit mad. But after living here for a couple of years, I gradually progressed from cycling short distances near home and my longer commute on light summer evenings to a stage where I would cycle daily the 8 miles each way to and from central London on busy roads without being phased or feeling unsafe: I knew how to spot traffic and how to make myself visible (bright clothes, good lights, position on the road).
So when I became pregnant I didn’t feel like I should give up cycling. Continue reading
Here in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, there’s great potential to make more journeys by bike or on foot, reducing congestion, making us all that bit healthier and generally making the borough an even nicer place to live in.
This week Richmond resident Tim Lennon shares his personal experiences of cycling with his young family around the borough as part of our Better by Bike series.
If you’d like a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, do get in touch.
Doing the school run in style
If I want my eldest daughter to do something with me, the surest way to make sure she says ‘yes’ is to ask: “Do you want to go to [wherever] with Daddy, on the bike?” With her sitting behind me we can have a conversation, point things out, stop when we want to, and enjoy the scenery – and the journey – together. (“Daddy, the fire engine’s there! Let’s watch!”) She’s even happy to sit at the barber’s while I get my hair cut if we go there on the bike.
With days getting shorter and the clocks going back soon, sadly it’s time to get the lights out. Barnes based The Bike Light Shop, who earlier this year supported our Lighten Up Campaign, has kindly offered all our followers the chance to benefit from a 12.5% discount on any lights purchased online before the end of the year. You can even benefit from their unique same day delivered by bike service.
Just type in ‘Richmond’ at check out at www.thebikelightshop.co.uk to receive the discount and we’ll literally see you on the roads!
Again, if you really need convincing that cycling like a ninja really isn’t wise, check out this humorous video (warning, Y-Front Content!):
Strategies for Getting Around Without Bike Lights (or Pants) from BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE on Vimeo.
Sadly here in the Borough of Richmond, cycle theft is a continuous threat and we’ve previously reported on the growing number of stolen bikes. While the police continue to offer valuable bike marking schemes and theft advice, here at RCC we’d like to see a more proactive approach targeting the thieves themselves.
This week Richmond resident Colin Lusk shares his personal experiences of theft in the borough. Don’t forget to check out our advice on how to reduce the chances of having your bicycle stolen.
If you’d like the opportunity of a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, get in touch.
Colin and daughter in happier times
Life sometimes feel like a long series of goodbyes. In my early teens, someone stole my manky old three-speed, leaving me only the remains of the lock to remember it by. The bike was blue and gold, the lock silver and white. Thirty years on, I can still tell you the combination. In my student days, I had a racer, held together by rust, insulating tape and willpower. One day, I thought it would be safe to leave it outside a shop for just a minute. It wasn’t. Then came a series of slightly pricier bikes, stolen in any number of ways, from brute force to low cunning: A lock cut through with heavy-duty tools outside Hounslow East station while I was working nights, and a white hybrid chained to a signpost in Preston and taken by unscrewing the sign from the top and lifting it over. I could go on.
We love cycling and we love good local food, so we thought what better way to combine both than to dedicate June to encouraging you all to visit Twickenham Farmers’ Market by bike on a Saturday morning. It runs from 9am to 1pm every week in the Holly Road Car Park in Twickenham – Map Link. Easily accessible by bicycle, it is great to see that they encourage people to cycle to the market on their info page with lots of cycle parking available, wouldn’t it be great if more local businesses did the same. Check out their Facebook Page for regular updates about the market and happy shopping! Be sure to let us know which your favourite stall is.
Twickenham Farmers’ Market Website
Twickenham Farmers’ Market Facebook Page
Here in the Borough of Richmond, we’re lucky to have an excellent array of tourist attractions right on our doorstep, and what better way to visit them with your family than by bike. This week guest blogger, OrangeBrompton1, reviews his visit to London Wetlands Centre in Barnes by bike with his family. You can check out his blog at http://myorangebrompton.blogspot.com.
If you’d like the opportunity of a guest spot on our website to write about your own favourite attraction in the Borough, get in touch.
Winter Sun at London Wetlands Centre
If you live and work in London you might, like me, sometimes get fed up with all the traffic jams, crowded tube trains and generally the fast pace that is living in a major city. There is however somewhere you can take the family; where you can unwind and experience nature at its very best. Somewhere you can recharge your batteries. Somewhere slap bang in the middle of London! Interested?
A mobile bike club called The Turning Hub, run jointly by Richmond Cycling Campaign and Twickenham Cycling Club, has been successful in receiving funding from the Cycling Fund for London (CCfL), allowing it to continue to expand its activities across the Borough.
The club started out at Orleans Park secondary school during the 2009-2010 school year (and even made it onto TV!). It then went mobile, bringing a range of cycling related activities to the doorsteps of schools and other organizations across the Borough. These included on road cycle training, off road British Cycling Go Ride sessions, playing Bike Polo and maintenance sessions.
Here are just a few examples of the wide range of activities the club has engaged in since start-up:
The club continues to flourish. If you would like The Turning Hub to visit your school or organisation, check out their website – www.theturninghub.co.uk for more details.
At the recent London Cycling Campaign 2010 Awards, Teddington Bike to Work Week 2010, was awarded the winning prize for Best Cycling Event. The Bike to Work Week, now in its second year, took place back in June and was organised by SWELTRAC who coordinate the Teddington Travel to Work Network. It provided an opportunity for staff from 10 organisations in the Teddington area to get together to learn more about cycling and take advantage of free initiatives and offers.
Nick Bailey accepts the award from LAM Jenny Jones
Nick Bailey from SWELTRAC, collected the award on behalf of the members, paying tribute to all of the businesses involved in the events and reinforcing the hope that this sort of initiative will continue to be supported by Local Authorities in future years. The judges stated that they were particularly pleased to see many businesses proactively working together to promote cycling.
The Teddington Travel to Work Network, established in September 2007, is a group of 14 local employers covering almost 4,000 staff who are working together to improve the range of travel options for their staff and to reduce the number of single occupancy car trips to and from Teddington. The organisations involved in the events were The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Haymarket Media Group, LGC, The National Measurement Office (NMO), St Mary’s University College, Tearfund, NHS Richmond, Byrne Group, Pinewood Group and Amey.