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...
..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, (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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:
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: http://www.safe2cycle.co.uk/what-s-on/
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.
YouTube 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: http://airevalleybikebus.org.uk/contact
Filmed 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.
Stats 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...
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.
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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/bcycling/
In fact 'bcycling' as a tag, is catching on a little bit. You could add it to your tweets...
If Twitter is your thing, you might be interested to follow some/any of the following:
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.
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.
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 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.
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: http://sportdennis.co.uk/
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.
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.
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: http://www.lfgss.com/post804706-1.html ), 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.
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: http://www.cyclefestbradford.org.uk/
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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
To see where this is on a Google Map, see: http://ur1.ca/f0uo (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.
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: http://groups.google.co.uk/group/airevalleybikebus
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,