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Training for Bucks Beds and Herts Bike Clubs to Lead the Trails in Wendover Woods September 27, 2011

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Learning to plan routes, assess and control risk, work out operating procedures and manage groups on Mountain Bike Trails is all part of the training that a group of 6 Bucks Beds and Herts Bike Club leaders are undertaking this week in Wendover Woods. They will also be honing their mountain biking skills – breaking them down into component parts so that they can ensure that the youngsters in their care understand the best and most enjoyable ways of biking along trails in beautiful open spaces, such as Wendover Woods.

Sharing ideas and learning together in the Wendover Woods Forestry Classroom on the first day of the course. Next morning - out on the trails!

Find out more about Trail leader and other great cycle leadership courses  at http://www.promtb.net/

And to see more information and photos of Wendover Woods and maps of the trails have a look on http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/ourwoods.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/EnglandBuckinghamshireNoForestWendoverWoodsMainentranceCyclingtrail

One of our  CTC Bike Clubs – BucksMTB – is an efficiently run, friendly, family/youth Mountain Bike Club that offers regular led/group rides in Wendover Woods and other locations too. They have a ride on Sunday 23rd October 2011 – find out more from their website, where you will also need to log in, in order to join the ride. They have lots of photos and information about their activities. http://www.bucksmtb.co.uk/GROUPRIDES.htm

Enjoying the ride! Photo from Bucks MTB website.

Bike Club Haddenham riding Bucks country roads with ease September 12, 2011

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The second group of riders along Haddenham main road, returning from a hilly ride along country lanes.
Riding from village to village is quick and easy! Haddenham Bike Club is showing their members how fast, easy and enjoyable it is to ride around their local villages by bike. A round trip of 6 miles took us through beautiful countryside, through Cuddington Village and into the Bell Pub at Chearsley for tea, squash and chips and cheery faces!These fun Bike club rides take place once per month and invite young people and their families to join in a variety of outings – to local villages, as well as further afield for special occasions, for example they travelled by train to join the London Sky ride, enjoying the busy atmosphere, which contrasts well with the local, easy-going ride that I joined in with on Saturday.The group and the rides are led by Haddenham Cycle Training staff in their own time, who are confident with cycling on the roads and lead the group competently, demonstrating good “snaking” practice – guarding junctions seamlessly to allow everyone to gain confidence and skills on the road, while knowing that they are well looked after.Good practice in Snaking enables an enjoyable, confidence-building ride along country lanes in Bucks
More details can be found about the Club’s programme and how to join in, on their website:


Plenty of opportunities to chat and get to know each other during the Tea and Chips stop at Chearsley

Bucks Young Carers enjoy their ride August 22, 2011

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Learning a few cycle sporting tips from Chris in AylesburyYoungsters from Bucks Young Carers enjoyed 2 afternoons of cycling activities over the summer holidays. One session involved learning GoRide cycle sport techniques, and a second session took them on a ride in the area, learning group riding techniques and enjoying their bikes and the freedom they bring. Many members of the group are keen to do more, so we may see the group out and about again..... Great to see you out on your bikes BYC! Getting ready for a longer ride ......

Bike Checks and cycling fun at PCSO-organised Youth Activities in Leighton Buzzard July 28, 2011

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Using the giant Jenga, or playing rounders, plus lots more to do at the Youth activities organised by PCSO's in Leighton-Linslade areaLeighton-Linslade’s PCSO’s have organised a series of one day Youth Activity events around the town’s parks and meeting points. Today, I went along to check some bikes and talk to people about Bike Club, and around me there was giant connect 4, Jenga and mini rounders matches, along with crafts and make up sessions. It was a relaxed informal atmosphere where young people could meet and play with each other and the PCSO’s were offering bike marking kits and bike locks free to anyone who brought their bike along to be checked.

If you bring your bike along for a check or to join in the cycling activities, you can take home a free lock provided by the PCSOs.

The itinerary for the rest of the Thursday afternoon events is as follows and there will be bike checks and/or cycling activities at all except the 4th August.

Get yourself along and join in the fun – come and go as you prefer during the times stated:

Thursday 4th August, Meadow Way Community Centre, 11am til 3pm

Thursday 11th August, Sandhills Community House, Kestrel Way, off Billington Road, 11am til 3pm

Thursday 18th August, Leighton Buzzard Youth Group, Vandyke Road, 1pm til 5pm

Thursday 25th August, Pages Park, 11am til 3pm

Thursday 1st Sept,  Southcott Village Hall, 11am til 3pm

The cycle check inspired a lovely "bikes on the beach holiday" picture - thank you A :-)

Avon Tyrrell in the New Forest – a great venue for cycling expeditions, holidays and more …. July 27, 2011

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While down in the New Forest, I made a detour to Bransgore to check out the new pump track, north shore and gravity track that Bike Club had part-funded and Ian Warby (CTC) had put in, as well as to see what else Avon Tyrrell had to offer. What a great place!  I would love to visit here for a group expedition or a family holiday – and great to know that it supports the work of UK Youth too!

[photos are from Avon Tyrrell’s website, as my camera decided not to function that day!]

This is a place where youngsters can really develop their wings ......The pump tracks and northshore get well used by local youngsters who sign up for a permit and have a familiarisation session, so that they know what's in store before plunging in. And of course there are lots of lovely road-riding routes, and other cycle tracks around the New Forest too.The adapted cycles are perfect for all the mountain bike trails, so everyone can ride together and exlore the lush landscape.

Lovely cabins to rent out for clubs, families, team building trips etc, enjoyable bike routes through their grounds, adapted cycles to use around those routes, zip wires, fishing, environmental area, climbing wall and so much more.

For more information take a look at http://www.avontyrrell.org.uk/page/cyclinginthenewforest.jsf?cid=842 or ring them up for some friendly advice.

The trails are kept clear for maximum enjoyment for all visitors

XC opens offering superb Skate/BMX/Scooter Park in Hemel Hempstead July 27, 2011

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A grand entrance for new Skate/BMX facility in Hemel Hempstead Herts

Yesterday I went to visit the long awaited new Skate Park/BMX facility in Hemel Hempstead’s Jarman Park – this amazing looking building houses the Skate/BMX park as well as high ropes, climbing wall, dance studio and support from Connexions team upstairs. It has only just opened and the doorway was crowded with youngsters on bikes, skateboards, scooters ….. waiting to pay for their session. We had a good welcome and watched the excellent park etiquette and action from the cafe area.

XC has a website  http://www.thexc.co.uk/ with details of opening hours, prices and how to contact them. It caters for individuals, groups and training too. They also have a Facebook Page to keep up with developments, which will surely unfold as the centre gets more and more use. This is certainly a hit with the young people – check out their facebook page for some great photos of the Skate park in full use –  http://www.facebook.com/theXC#!/photo.php?fbid=247862185232372&set=pu.177968842221707&type=1&theater 

Blueprint School in Aylesbury trains up budding Bike Mechanics July 20, 2011

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Monday afternoon saw 4 youngsters from Blueprint School in Aylesbury learning how to index the gears, mend punctures and fix and adjust brakes from Mobile Mechanic, Sam Darling of MBRS UK http://www.mbrsuk.com/.

The whole group helped replace the tyre once the puncture was fixed

Sam had a great way of using every comment to move on to the next item smoothly and effectively and the youngsters’ enthusiasm for the subject showed by the end of the session as they stood round their headteacher’s bike to sort the brakes out. They were very pleased with the results and learned how quick and easy it is to tune up a bike and make it run smoothly, with a little knowledge and patience and only a few simple tools.

Adjusting the brakes to make the bike run more smoothly

Blueprint have been running Bikeability sessions and are also planning Sports cycling sessions next term for their students.

Callibrating gears is easier than we think!

Ealing Cycling Campaign Bike Club Gears Up for Launch June 1, 2011

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Ealing Cycling Campaign Bike Club Members hard at work fixing their bikes

Ealing Cycling Campaign Bike Club Leader David Eales has been very busy running pilot sessions to gear up for their launch and says:

“Ealing Cycling Campaign’s CTC Bike Club continues to grow and grow. The initial sessions of the bicycle workshop have generated the interest planned and now a regular group of residents based on the Windmill Estate turn up every two weeks. Following talks with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, the police delivered a selection of recovered bicycles for the club to work on and the first batch are already being eagerly worked on. A Club member selects a bike that will fit them and then the bike is assessed as to what is required to make it road worthy. Parts are ordered and then fitted over subsequent sessions by the student under supervision. Students help each other too rather than work in isolation and share tools and advice during the sessions. They are also encouraged to help residents simply dropping by to get a puncture fixed or seeking some other help.”

Police bikes arrive

Police donate bikes to Ealing Cycling Campaign Bike Club

David says that even more growth of the Bike Club  is soon to come:

“The sessions are proving very popular and the club will soon expand to other another estate managed by Catalyst Housing and overtime more formal lessons are planned as well as led rides and events to promote the group and ensure the bikes earned are being used.”

Doggie watches bike mechanic session

Doggie watches Ealing Cycling Campaign Bike Club Members fix their bikes!

Thanks to the Bike Club Grant, Catalyst Housing, LondonBike Hub (for the supply of parts and advice), Ealing Broadway SNT and the hard work of David, Ealing Cycling Campaign Bike Club  looks set to be a roaring success on the housing estates. An official  launch date is soon to be advised, so watch this space

Brighton mountain bike project almost there! May 12, 2011

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After many months of organising, a group of organisations in Brighton are almost ready to launch their exciting city wide mountain bike project.

The partnership project will involve youth groups and organisations from across the city running their own regular mountain bike rides with a brand new fleet of bikes which will be owned and maintained collectively by the groups themselves.

Back in January 2010 I met with Tarnerland Children and Young People’s project to discuss their ideas for a Bike Club.  They were keen to run mountain bike rides, and the young people worked hard on a successful application for Youth Opportunities funding to buy some bikes – hooray! The problem was they had nowhere to store them! Undeterred, Tarnerland worked to build a fantastic partnership with organisations across the city to establish bike storage and make sure the bikes could be used by lots of different young people.

They partnered with the University of Sussex who have provided land, right on the South Downs, for bike storage to be located. The two organisations then joined with other youth organisations working with disadvantaged young people to make a partnership application to Bike Club to fund the storage and other elements of the project including some additional bikes. Each group also made seperate Bike Club applications to gain funding to have their staff trained in mountain bike leadership and bike maintenance.  Brighton & Hove Cycling Town provided additional funding to buy tools and parts to help maintain the bikes.

All this hard work has resulted in the beginnings of a fantastic project, bringing together organisations from across the city to share resources and work together to manage a sustainable, fun mountain biking project! Sussex Students’ Union and Sussex University will provide volunteers to support trained youth leaders in delivering sessions for a wide range of young people facing challenging circumstances. The project will give young people the opporunity to access the fantastic South Downs National Park by bike, and to make friends and learn leadership skills.

The bikes have now been purchased, and the first staff were trained over Easter. More staff will be trained in the coming months, and groups have begun booking the bikes for rides in the summer!

Watch this space!

All ability bikes at Take Part festival June 21, 2010

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On Saturday thousands of people came to the Take Part Festival in Preston Park in Brighton for a fun-filled day of free sports and activities. Bike Alley, organised by Journey On, was very popular. Bike Club supported the event by bringing along a fleet of all-ability cycles borrowed from Downs View School for people to have a go on.

Over the course of the day, 300 people had fun trying out the wide range of different trikes and bikes we had on offer. The great thing about having a range of cycles to ride is that people with different riding abilities can take part. There were cycles suitable for children and adults, including people with disabilities. They included a trike, a two seater “Side by Side” cycle, some fantastic recumbent cycles and some go-cart style Fun Racers. It was a great chance for families to have fun together.
Take Part Day, Brighton 2

The activity was a big success, and many people queued up several times to ride the bikes again and again. The success was partly due to fantastic support from cycle trainers from Bike for Life as well as hard-working young volunteers from Dorothy Stringer High School. Bike for Life also brought along some family friendly bikes which proved very popular, including a tag-along for an adult and child to ride together, and a bike trailer for children.

The cycles have been funded by Brighton & Hove Cycling Town, with money from Cycling England, and are being thoroughly enjoyed by pupils at Downs View School.

Bike Alley kicked off Bike Week in Brighton & Hove. There are plenty more chances to get involved in cycling this week – check out Journey On for more information.