The e-petition calling for the Government to implement the recommendations in the 'Get Britain Cycling' report” is nearly half way to reaching the target of the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a debate in Parliament. In the wake of the report, CTC’s Roger Geffen has been holding high-level meetings with ministers all week, including one with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman has joined other stars to produce a short film appealing for people to support the petition. CTC President Jon Snow will also be making a video appeal for signatures next week so watch this space!
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The charity bike
Former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, whose run-in with police officers at the gates of Downing Street became known as ‘Plebgate’, will probably be in shock today – his infamous two-wheeler, complete with front basket, has just sold on eBay for over £10,000! The proceeds will be donated to charity Nyumbani UK, which looks after AIDS-affected children in Africa.
Banking on free repairs
Judging by the state of its chain, the new owner of Mr Mitchell’s bike may want to take it along to one of the four free Barclays Bike Clinics running across four key London routes every Wednesday for the next two months. Starting on 8 May, there will be help with repairs and adjustments from expert mechanics in Tower Hamlets, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth and Hammersmith & Fulham.
Plans have been announced for trials of Dutch-style roundabouts and low-level signals in London next year. Although standard design in the Netherlands, they are considered to be so radical and innovative, that special trials on the scheme are being carried out at a test track in Berkshire before installation.
When rider Jim Moore lost most of his eyesight in his mid-twenties, he thought his cycling days were over. Now, however, he has found a new lease of cycling life as a member of the Lisburn Tandem Group in Northern Ireland. Jim says: “I would rather cycle freely on my own, but being on a tandem is great and well worth doing. Half a loaf is better than no bread!"
The pain in Spain continues
As Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes is given just a one-year suspended prison sentence for helping cyclists to dope, the Spanish authorities still seem determined to crack down on everyday riders. Former racing cyclist Pedro Delgado has joined the battle against helmet compulsion, walking out of a meeting with the Spanish national traffic authority in protest at the move.
Stars not in cars
Team CTC takes part in the Bedford 3-Day International Road Race in the Women’s Team Race Series this weekend. Team Coach Steve Bailey says: “The race on the third day is at Millbrook vehicle testing centre, used in BBC's Top Gear – it will be interesting to ride in Jeremy Clarkson territory!” Watch the team in action at last week’s Cheshire Classic.
Last week’s Spectator magazine featured an article by Melissa Kite called ‘The Tyranny of the Cycle Track’. It bemoaned the fate of the Kenilworth Greenway, calling it “a shiny black runway” and claiming that it is now unusable by dog walkers and horse riders. After many CTC members took to the forum to take issue with piece, CTC has had a letter published in the Spectator in response.
From the bottom to the top
CTC’s Lands End to John o’Groats route pack is one of our most popular guides. If you always fancied giving this epic ride a go but are unsure how to go about it, it contains a wealth of useful information and is free to CTC members. If you would like even more support, CTC Cycling Holidays and Tours has a fully-supported Lejog tour from 31 August to 18 September 2013.
Julie Rand has edited CycleClips since 2011 and has been working at CTC in various guises since 2001.