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CycleClips 8 March 2013

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Boris's joined-up thinking; breathtaking news; songs of praise for CTC; Gardeners' Question Time; sting with a tale; making sense of the census; Stevenage - a town built for bikes; New Forest Cycling Week.
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CTC is holding a special networking event for people involved in the running of CTC Member Groups and affiliated clubs before our AGM in May 2013. If you would like to book a place, please contact Sue Cherry as soon as possible.
Boris's joined-up thinking
Cycle routes named after tube lines, better cycling infrastructure and increases to cycle parking at mainline stations are some of the proposals in the Mayor of London's Cycling Vision, which was launched yesterday. The plans have been developed in consultation with cycling groups, and have a budget of £913m. Saying he wants to ‘de-Lycrafy’ cycling, Boris Johnson said: “As well as the admirable Lycra-wearers, and the enviable east Londoners on their fixed-gear bikes, I want more of the kind of cyclists you see in Holland, going at a leisurely pace on often clunky steeds." He aims to double cycle use within 10 years. CTC's Gordon Seabright said: “The mayor’s vision shows real ambition, backed up with substantial resources, which should see huge improvements for cycling in London. We’d like to see national government following London’s lead and committing to a similar, long-term aspiration to make cycling a safe, normal and enjoyable activity for people throughout the country."
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Breathtaking news
Sadly, some politicians are not as enthusiastic about cycling as Boris: what seems like an early April Fool joke has aroused incredulity – and fury – amongst on both sides of the Atlantic. US Representative Ed Orcutt announced that he believed “bicyclists are actually polluting”! How so? Because they breathe out CO2, thus contributing to globalwarming. He later issued an apology. No such apology appears to be forthcoming in Spain, however, where alarming proposals have been revealed to strengthen helmet wearing legislation. Other anti-cycling plans announced include making it illegal for children to ride on-road unaccompanied and forcing cyclists to keep to the right hand side of the carriageway.

 

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Songs of praise for CTC
As the Get Britain Cycling inquiry in Westminster finished, members of CTC's Cycle Champions programme were invited to Parliament to celebrate their achievements. Leicester Cycle Champions, including Pastor Samuel Gapara who runs a Gospel Choir where most of the singers now travel by bike to rehearsals and performances, joined CTC Cycling Development Officer Elizabeth Barner at a reception hosted by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP. Mariyam Osman said: "Meeting all those people in Parliament was inspirational. To see so many people from different backgrounds involved in cycling - I feel part of a revolution."

 

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What can you do with an old bike?
That is not a question you would normally expect to hear on Gardeners' Question Time. Nevertheless, when the programme (from 27.0 to 29.0) was broadcast from Crickhowell last week, the panel were asked for ideas as to how a retired bicycle called Gloria could be re-used as an architectural feature or planting frame. Suggestions ranged from the sensible: creating a wind machine to scare of the birds to the silly: turning it into a ‘bicycle pumpkin’!

 

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Sting with a tale
More at home in the garden than Gloria is probably the ‘Legendary Brompton Bumble B’. The Legend - aka Andrew Barnett - writes an entertaining blog about his exploits on his customised small wheeled bike that includes discussions about his favourite commuting kit, his favourite rides and the many adaptations he’s made to his bee-loved machine.

 

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Making sense of the census
Analysis of  the  2011 Census shows that since 2001, cycle commuting has barely increased its share of all transport journeys across the country; however, there are huge local variations, as shown in an interactive map: whereas London has led the way, Hull has seen the biggest decline with cycling's mode share down 3.5% and car commuting's up 5.4%.

 

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Stevenage - a town built for bikes
In Stevenage, Hertfordshire, only 2.28% of people cycle to work, despite the town’s extensive network of cycletracks. ‘Roads Were Not Built for Cars’ examines the reasons why visionary transport engineer Eric Claxton’s plans have not led to cycling having a greater modal share in the area. But, despite the town’s car dependency, it is home to Stevenage and North Hertfordshire, one of CTC’s most successful Member Groups.

 

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Get away from the hurley Burley
CTC’s New Forest Cycling Week was founded nearly 40 years ago and it takes place again this year from Friday 26 July to Friday 2 August. It promises the usual mix of informal rides and activities for families, groups and individuals. Based at the campsite at Avon Tyrrell Manor near Burley, it is the perfect way to start the school holidays with fun for all ages.

 

 
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