FIRST held in 2008, Cycle to Solihull Day is being organised by Cyclesolihull as a simple celebration of cycling to the Solihull Town Centre. Cyclesolihull ride leader Reg Elliot explains:
“Cyclesolihull is about encouraging individuals to cycle more which in turn will also encourage other people to cycle as it becomes a more normal thing to do. We would like people to leave the car at home and head to the town centre on two wheels during the afternoon to enjoy the town centre in a new way and meet other cyclists. To help we will be organising rides from a number of starting points around the borough. There will be an information stand on the High Street and an opportunity to gather for a mass photograph at the Tudor Grange Cycle Circuit at 3 pm.”
List of Ride starting points
Ride 1: Dorridge, Knowle
Ride 2: Cheswick Green, Monkspath
Ride 3: Dickens Heath, Shirley
Ride 4: Lyndon, Olton
Ride 5: Marston Green, Elmdon
Ride 6: Meriden, Catherine-de-Barnes
All the rides will start between 1 pm and 2 pm. Full details at www.cycletosolihullday.org.uk
Driving around town it’s now unusual not to see a number of cyclists on every journey, reflecting a boom in cycling which is beginning to attract national attention.
Stephen Holt from Cyclesolihull thinks one of the biggest barriers to more cycling is fears over safety and has become a qualified cycling instructor to help address this.
“Many people do cycle every day without major problems so increasing confidence is often the greatest need but this also needs to be backed by skills and I believe some basic training can make a big difference – after all nobody thinks it would be safe to drive a car without some driving lessons!”. However, Stephen’s biggest satisfaction comes from teaching people to cycle for the first time: “It is great seeing people who missed out learning as a child starting to cycle – it really is never too late to learn.”
Stephen sees training as only part of the solution. “To encourage more cycling we also need better driver behaviour, lower speeds and a more pro-active approach to improving conditions for cyclists by the local council. There is now a lot of talk nationally about taking action but still not much happening on the ground.”
Cyclesolihull – regular short leisurely rides with some rides especially suitable for beginners and children www.cyclesolihull.org.uk.
Heart of England CTC – local CTC group providing longer rides into the countryside www.ctc-heartof england.org.uk.
Solihull Cycling Club – a range of regular club runs and a strong commitment to cycle sport www.solihullcc.org.uk.
Purrfect Pedalling – learn to ride and increase your on-road confidence locally www.purrfectpedalling.co.uk