Sun rises in the Aire Valley today at 06:11 and sets at 17:41

Get On Board - the newsletter of the Aire Valley Bike Bus

Summer IS here!

Hi Folks

After a long silence, I suddenly have lots to say...

Goodbye Graham
Graham is retiring from work, and consequently from commuting on the Bike Bus. We're planning  a drink at the Boat House Inn, Saltaire, on 4th July 2012, 7:30pm onwards. Would be lovely to see folk...

...and what a nice way to end a day that could start with...

Bike Breakfast +
Blimey, yet another nosh up for cyclists. In the City Park, Bradford, 7:30am to 10am - with a twist (including a great big waggon). More info:

..and you'll need a good noshup after completing the...

SkyRide Bradford 2012
This is on the 1st July. Closed roads, fun for all the family (whether on a bike or not). Of course it's 'Murdochs' but maybe we can make the best of it! (Watch out for a bike bus plug in the video!)

..and you'll want to meet all the people you inspired at the...

Cycling Promotion Event, Keighley
Saturday 30th June, 10am to 4pm in the Arndale Centre, Keighley. I'll be there with some Bike Bus posters in the morning. If you have anything to promote, or want to pop over, etc, let me know. Richard Taylor, ( is organising.

Bike Bus News
We've passed our 2000 jouney's mark, despite me missing a load of stats in May. Thanks to everyone who tells me who was there on the days I miss, I'll get that info up asap.

We're approaching the 10,000 mile as well, and our 4th Birthday, so all good!

Keeping in touch
We once set up a google group to allow better communication between people. This has now been killed off as we have:

These are both better places to keep up with what is going on. I'll be using the cycle bradford communication channels much more in future, so get yourself signed up there!

Gearing up for a festival of cycling

July is cycling month in Bradford this year, so get these dates in your diaries:

2nd July - Cyclefest 2011 launch

17th July - Bronte Big K cyclosportive

31st July - Skyride

If you can't wait until July, then...
SkyRide local rides have been published:

and if you're a woman:
CTC are running a women's only cycle sportive in June.

Its just £10 to enter and there are choices of 25km, 50km and 80km routes on the day.

The start/finish point is Leeds Trinity campus in Horsforth. There will also be an event village with some come and try activities available during the day.

See for more details.

For even more events be sure to check out the Cycle Bradford Calendar


Safe2Cycle have a lot going on to help people onto their bikes to gain skills and confidence. From cycling for mothers and daughters to commuting tips and tricks, maybe they have just the thing you're looking for... Check out:

Grass Track Racing

One thing I recently discovered via the Cycle Bradford Calendar was this:
West Riding Track League- Grass Track - Grass track racing for U8's through to adults with a variety of competitions ranging from handicaps to sprints and points races, in Roundhay Park, Leeds, organised by the good people at East Bradford Cycle Club.

It was great! Seemed like hundreds of children from very little to very large, and a few adults thrown in, bombing round the grass track on all manner of bikes. Really nice way to spend a summers evening. Check it out if you're over that way.

...and the Bike Bus

...yeah, we're all right. We continue to amble along with morning ride numbers just around double figures, and still a few people meeting up for the return evening ride.

We've covered over 7,500 miles so far, and will be celebrating our third anniversary in August.

It was great to see Manjit back with us recently, and to celebrate the time that Steve and Chris have spent on the bike bus, as they move onto new endeavours that mean they won't be riding with us any more.

Lots going on...

Well as the lighter evenings approach Bradfrod is gearing up for a summer of cycling fun and the Aire Valley Bike Bus is part of it.

Bike Bus News First

Thanks to regular rider, Graham, we now have the Aire Valley Bike Bus Facebook group. If that's your kind of thing check it out.

We've also been putting together a YouTube channel where we've been gathering cycling related videos.
From scary helmet cam footage of downhill racing, to infrastructure planning, to pioneering cycling projects, crazy stunts and animation - we hope to have it all. If you have a video to add to the channel let me know:

Recently we were interviewed for the Cycling Info blog, who were interested to know about the bike bus. The full interview can be found here:

If you haven't seen it yet, you can see Dave prattle on about the bike bus as part of the Bradford Active Citizen's campaign. Find it on our YouTube channel or via the Active Citizen's website.

7000 miles and counting - that's how far we covered between us in the last two and ahalf years!

I've recently pulled the annual statistics together for the bike bus. I haven't thought of a nifty way of showing them off yet, but you can view them via the google spreadsheet. A quick glance would suggest numbers declined over the year, but there were perhaps more bad weather days in 2010 than in 2009 (snow and ice at the start and end of the year) - but mileage was up. These are still a work in progress as I work out what to do with the part year 2008, and the current year...

CycleBradford News

CycleBradford has been created recently as a mini-rebrand for all things cycling in the district. It's one of a number of resources that are trying to give people many ways to access the information they may need to cycle in the district. See also:, and

CycleBradford is now the home of the bSPOKE cycling forum, and has recently launced a draft cycling strategy for the district - please feel free to comment.

Other news via CycleBradford

CycleFest 2011

CycleFest 2011 is goin ahead on 2nd July with a new venue of Roberts Park, Saltaire.

The line up is growing with mobile northshore, cycle smoothies, BMX Bandits, learn to cycle sessions all already booked in.

Details to be announced soon but please email for more details or to offer your support!

Another year, another newsletter

Happy New Year

Well the January weather has been kinder to us than the December weather. December saw the lowest ever number of rider journeys on the bike bus (joint with February 2010) due to the icy conditions.

In 2011 we seem to be picking back up again, with 12 riders this week (Wed. am), which incidentally is the best turn out we've ever had for a January journey.

As ever, analyse it all using our statistics page.

Website Redesign

The site has had a minor overhaul recently due to a software upgrade. We decide to put a lot more links in the footer to try to make navigation around the ever growing site easier.

My favourite new feature is the Rider Journeys/Miles counter that gives us a running total. When will we have covered 7,000 miles? Answers on a postcard...

If you haven't been for a while, check it out:

Bradford District Cycling Calendar

A number of people have been pooling their resources to jointly administer a Google calendar to addvertise cycling events in the district. 'Cos of the way it's done, the calendar can be added to anyone's website. 

We've got it at:

If you would like to edit/add events/administer the calender, let us know and we'll see what we can do.

If you already use a Google calendar, then why not add this to yours?


Got a photograph about cycling in the Bradford district? You could do worse than upload it to the photosharing site Flickr AND tag it with 'bcycling'. You wouldn't be the only one - see what other people have been adding there recently:

In fact 'bcycling' as a tag, is catching on a little bit. You could add it to your tweets...

Cycling Tweeters

If Twitter is your thing, you might be interested to follow some/any of the following: - Aire Valley Bike Bus - a bunch of local mountain bikers - Keighley Just Ride! Cycle club

All Webbed up

New Websites for Cyclists

Two new important websites are getting under way for cyclists in Bradford. 

bSPOKE - the Bradford Cycling Forum
bSPOKE is the result of a series of meetings held by various people and organisations that have an interest in cycling in the Bradford district. This site publishes the minutes of those meetings and cycling relate news, events, training, research and so on.

Cycle Champions
The new site of the Cycle Champions Project, that was set up in 2008 to encourage people to cycle more across the region. Among other things they are behind Cycle Fest and currently have free lessons for women and adults returning to cycling or learningfor the first time.

Wanted - Cycle Techies

Bradford's rich cycling sector is slowly getting itself onto the web. There are some excellent examples of people getting their activities/news/offers published, but there is more that could be done. There are now a number of sites using common open source software (wordpress, drupal, etc) and we're looking for 'techies' that don't mind volunteering a bit of time to put people's data onto the web.

If you would like more info, or to help, please contact David Domestique -

Bradford SkyRide

5000 cyclists on the streets of Bradford - some of whom arrived by bike bus. We have an article about the Aire Valley Bike Bus at the Bradford Skyride. There are still chances to go on a Local Sky Ride - check out

Are we 2 yet?

Apparently we are. And in that time we've ridden about 1200 journeys, and covered about 6000 miles. Blimey!

We still seem to be going strong with a big enough core to mean that there are 7+ out each Wednesday morning and new riders still joining us on the road every now and again.

See you on the road!

More than Commuting

This time of year in particular, cycling is about much more than getting to and from work, so I thought for this newsletter I'd take a look at some of the other things happening around the district to do with cycling.

Summer Holidays

The good people at becycling are offering trips out for young people and families at very reasonable rates over the holiday period. Contact them on :

Sky Rides

Sky Ride Bradford is getting closer, where we hope to see around 5,000 taking advantage of the closed, traffic free streets of the city on Sunday 29th August 2010.

Before (and after) that you could take part in one of the many organised rides created to support the event. They range from 'easy' to 'strong' so there should be something for everyone. Each ride is led by a qualified ride leader, (and I think there are freebies available!). You need to register for these rides as numbers are limited.

The Big K CyKlesportive - incorporating Race The Train

Held on 18th July 2010, this ride, organised by Sue Ryder Care – Manorlands Hospice in partnership with Sport Keighley saw over 100 cyclists tackling what must be one of the most challenging cyclosportive courses in the UK. With 21 'Pennine' climbs (ranging from short and steep to long and steep!), it's destined to become a classic in this tired legged riders opinion. It also passes through some of the UK's most beautiful scenery, a world heritage site, Tour of Britain/Milk race roads, Ilkley moor (with or without cycle t'at), and I could go on.

It also managed to raise over £3,000 for the hospice as well.

The write up of the event is here:

John Rides to Malta

Have to mention long time supporter of the bike bus, who is currently riding to Malta. He started in Howarth 20 odd days ago, and you can see how odd those days have been on his blog:

It's a huge undertaking of over 2,000 miles, and his arrival in Malta in will coincide with his 50th birthday. He's doing it for fun, but also if people want to sponsor him then I believe he is raising money both for Manorlands and Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure.

Are we two yet?

Well apparently yes we are! The first outing of the bike bus was on 6th August 2008. Happy Birthday to all of the 60+ riders that have ridden with the bike bus over that time. 

Bike Week Spike

Bike Week 2010

Last month contained National Bike Week which is always good fun and the tradition of the Bike Breakfast continued, thanks to the good people of Bradford Council. It seems that someone has managed to organise a bike breakfast going back over years. I remember joining rides to the University in the past, so it's handy that the Bike Bus is now simply always there as an option on a Wednesday.

It also helps skew our June figures each year - take a look at that spike: Aire Valley Bike Bus Stats

BTW: I didn't register the ride with the National Bike Week organisers because of the 'Team Green(wash) Britain' sponsorship. This article is a good introduction to the controversy:

Cycle Fest Bradford

..was great. Nuff said. To find out more there's a blog post, the Cycle Fest Bradford website, and some pictures on Flickr...

Le Tour

July is of course the month of the Tour de France which some of us go a bit bonkers about. As a prelude, a few of the Hammsters, and it turns out a few other bike busers went to watch the National Road Race championships on our own doorstep near Colne, to watch world and Olympic champions duke it out over a route we can all try if we like! (The link is to the men's race, but the women's race was excellent, with current Olympic champion, Nicole Cook and a great performance from local lass Lizzie Armistead). The winner of the men's race, Geriant Thomas is currently the best young rider in the Tour, lying in second place!

Sky Ride Bradford

Fancy a day out on the bike, on traffic free roads, with 7,999 other cyclists? Then Sky Ride Bradford may be the thing for you.. Of course you have get past the fact that Murdoch is involved (someone else (e.g.) that feels uncertain: ), and I'm sure there will be paper, email and SMS spam to deal with, BUT - roads closed riding in Bradford - pretty amazing really!

We may look to organise some Bike Buses to and from the event. It takes place on Sunday 29th August 2010.

Anything Else

I don't think so for now. See you on the road.

June 2010 - Lots to do!

I can never work out what to call the Newsletter - it's really the June edition, 'cos that's when it's written, but it's supposed to reflect on May, but most of this is going to be about things to do in June - oh well..

Cycle Fest 2010

Cycle Fest is back! - A Great Free Family Fun Day Out, for cyclists and non-cyclists.

Saturday 26th June 2010,  11am – 3pm
Lister Park, Bradford

From professional displays and learn to ride sessions, to bike polo and a cycle smoothie maker, it’s a day packed with events for all ages and abilities in the park and Cartwright Hall. More info at:

The Big K CyKlesportive - incorporating Race The Train

18 July 2010
Sue Ryder Care – Manorlands Hospice in partnership with Sport Keighley are proud to launch a brand new and exciting cycling event to add to our well established and popular Bronte Big K Mountain Bike Challenge. 

This event is a Cycle Sportive which caters for all, from elite Cycle Sportive Riders taking on the 88 mile, 10,962 feet climb (leg 6) through to the 4.8 mile 'Race the Train' (leg 1) for beginners and families . The other legs suit all standards in between.


How's the Bike Bus Doing?

Well, we're down on numbers compared with last year, but we still have a solid core of riders that mean there's always a bike bus. Numbers have been regularly around 7-8 for the morning rides, and 3-4 in the evenings. Encouragingly there are still new faces turning up, and we do still meet and ride with some of the 50+ riders that have joined is at one time or another. More statistics..

Our riders are also involved in things like the new cycle forum initiative, Cycle Fest, and road safety matters.

If you've not tried it yet, or are looking for a good time to ride with us agian, then why not join us in....

National Bike Week

June 19th - 27th 2010
This year the on the Aire Valley Bike Bus it's business as usual. Our only plans so far are to do our regular Wednesday Commuter rides (Wednesday 23rd June). Check the timetable for times and joining points. There may be a commuter breakfast organised for us, so watch this space.

Last year we had 26 riders, so it will be interesting to see how we go this year.


On the up in March '10

Numbers up

Bike bus stats shot through the roof during March. Ok, so that's a bit of an overstatement, and March did have 5 Wednesdays in it, but it was good to see "almost 10's" on the morning rides and a good solid evening ride prescence as well. A couple of new riders in the month is encouraging, but we're not seeing as many women as we have in the past.

But that's not the only reason things are on the up...

New Cycling Forum for Bradford

A forum has set itself up to bring together cyclicat and cycling organisations across the Bradford district. It's first meeting was on the 23rd February, and the next is  11th May, 1.00pm - 3.00pm, MAPA (next door to Bradford Foyer), 1 Coates Street, West Bowling, Bradford, BD5 7DL. For more information, contact Chris from Crank it Up at


Keighley Cut Through

Good news on the potential new cycle route that would by pass 3 major roundabouts in theKeighley area.

One of the bike busers (ages ago) alerted us to the little known short cut between Utley and Riddlesden. This route cuts out the 3 major roundabouts from the old road between Croshills and Keighley and the old Keighley to Bingley route via Riddlesden, which many of us will use, not only on the bike bus, but at weekends as well.

Currently, the route is just an unofficial path, with access granted by the council, but no public right of way. It's muddy, and there's evidence that mountain bikes use it, but it wouldn't be much use for my skinny tyres.

Early one morning last year, Andy and I took some photos, you can see them here:

To see where this is on a Google Map, see: (the area is to the west of Royd Ings Ave, beneath the bypass)

After some great support from some of you(!) the Rights of Way officers at the council have committed to doing some feasability work on the route in the next financial year. I'll be meeting one of the officers on site on the 23rd April - so watch this space.

February made me shiver

Brr - another cold month. As far as I know, no-one rode at all in the last 2 weeks of February - well it was icy, and snowy. In recent weeks it's been much nicer - cold, but dry - lovely!

Traffic Talk

Traffic has been in the local news quite a lot recently.

Saltaire Roundabout

New proposals for the roundabout are out, but there's not long to talk about it. See this article:

and join our discussion:

Other traffic stuff

There is also consultation about the junction at St. Enochs - off our patch, but I know bike busers also use that junction a lot. Finally Cottingley Bar and the cycle lane have also been in the news. The best place to catch up on what we know about this can be found on the google group:

Bradford Cycling Forum

Following a few adhoc meetings over recent years, it seems a new cycling forum is being born. It met in February and the next meeting is set for: 11th May 1.00pm - 3.00pm, at MAPA next door to Bradford Foyer. 1 Coates Street, West Bowling Bradford BD5 7DL

Contact Chris ( at CrankItUp for more info.

That's all for this month - hope to see you on the bike soon.

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