Pedal Press Summer 2004





All articles welcome for inclusion in next issue of Pedal Press to be sent in MS Word by email or disc to the Editor


Why Cycle?

A couple of campaign members and I were discussing why we were all nuts about gadding about on bikes.

Were we environmentalists? Cycling certainly fits into this framework, being non-polluting in its use and of relatively low environmental impact in its manufacture. It is virtually silent, therefore reduces noise pollution. It des not really require an extensive street lighting system, and therefore doesn't contribute to light pollution.

Were we bike commuters? Well a fair number of us do commute by bicycle, as in town it is as quick or quicker than other transport modes, and often cheaper. But then we use it to shop, visit friends, go out for entertainment, so perhaps this is all just transport.

Are we fitness fanatics? Certainly cycling considerably increases fitness and contributes to reducing obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Cyclists generally live 10 years longer and in Copenhagen, have been shown to have 30% lower risk of heat attack.

All of these are a consequence of our use of the bicycle. Yet we couldn't pinpoint a central reason: were we merely obsessed with cycling, or was it more than this? It seemed to us that we were 'bike junkies' who enjoyed an array of advantages in return for the thrill of just getting on our bikes. In Holland this is the norm, yet here even we view ourselves as a little different. And is there anything wrong with that? I suspect not.

Derek Gould

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Muesli Eater writes from Liverpool:

Volunteers.

The golden rule of being a member of a voluntary group is, as in the Army, “never volunteer for anything”. So many thanks to all those who broke the rule to carry out Mystery Shopper visits and to person the MCC stall at the Liverpool Cycle Festival. As Tesco say - “Every little bit helps”.

Mystery Shopper.

This was an exercise carried out at the instigation of Councillor Paula Keavaney (Chair of the Cycle Forum). She was concerned that many of our cultural venues might not have cycle parking, or if they did didn’t advertise it or the staff didn’t know where it was.

So far 27 venues have been done by MCC members. A surprisingly large number had cycle parking available at or nearby, but very few had knowledgeable staff or advertised the fact. As a start, Cllr Paula got the Mersey River Festival to advertise locations of cycle parking at the Albert Dock on its Festival Guide site plan.

By the way, following the election Paula now represents the new super-ward Speke- Garston for the Lib-Dems. She will be able to pedal between constituencies on the Speke Boulevard Cycle Track (taking care not to fall into the bus bays that have been chewed out of it).

Not as Green as it looks.

Lady Muesli-Eater & I visited the National Wildflower Centre at Court Hey Park, Huyton the other day. There was plenty of room to park the Rolls if we had chosen to bring it, but arriving on our bikes there was NO CYCLE PARKING. Having found a sturdy fence to hitch them to, we were ignominiously evicted by instructions over the PA to move.

Cycle lanes Galore:

The City is working up designs for a number of cycle routes (Belle Vale to Speke - Garston via Mackets Lane, Everton & Anfield, and Vauxhall Road).They all involve widespread use of narrow cycle lanes which I believe are generally loathed. If, as a recent article in the CTC magazine suggest, people drive faster when there are cycle lanes about, cycling could become a bit hairy on these routes. The lanes in question are generally 1.2 metres wide, whereas the nationally recommended minimum width is 1.5 metres (like Woolton Road).

If like me you are a cycle lane bore contact me to discuss it on 727 0088 or at
Richard@hebden154.freeserve.co.uk

Euroland:

Thanks to the European Regional Development Fund the City has got 192,000 Euros towards the cost of the BelleVale to Speke - Garston cycle route. This route has been surveyed independently by no less than three lots of consultants, perhaps the cycling public will get something on the ground, eventually. Anyway, well done Liverpool City Council for getting the grant, we shall have to make sure the money is actually spent on the route, and doesn’t just “disappear”…..

Poachers Corner:

Wirral Squirrels have poached Liverpool’s’ cycling officer Cathy McNulty for their own purposes. Cathy has done a grand job in Liverpool, putting cycle stands where no man has dared put stands before, braving the wrath of motorised Wooltonians by laying the Woolton Road cycle lanes, organising promotional events, raising Euros (see above) and causing general improvements to the cycle route network.

Liverpool City Council have agreed to advertise the post, which will include the dreaded words “Cycling Officer” in the job description, thus formally recognising that there is a small job to be done in that line.

National Cycle Route - Festival Gardens.

The City Council agreed on 20 September 1996 to run the Route across the Festival Gardens site by means of the Right of Way linking Riverside Drive with Otterspool Prom. So it comes as some surprise to discover that the route is now signed along Riverside Drive (evidently deemed suitable for unaccompanied 12 year olds) from Priory Wood to The Britannia.

Presumably the real reason is to remove a potential obstacle to closing the footpath, in order to improve the “development potential” of the site.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter. The footpath is now blocked in the middle by a swamp. But this isn’t the first time the NCR has been moved to suit a developer, and the Sustrans (& Ordnance Survey) mapmakers are going to have a job keeping up with Liverpool’s shenanigans.

Out of Town:

If you are in the Forest of Bowland area make sure you stop to refuel at the Dunsop Bridge café. The food is fast and excellent, the tea comes in a cyclist size pot, and cake comes in just the right size to get you over the Trough!

The Permanent Way:

The Strategic Railway Authority has published its Draft Cycling Policy for consultation. You can get it off the website should you have nothing better to do with your computer or you can ring them up and they will send you a copy or two. The closing date is 14th July 2004.

It’s very supportive of cycling in theory, but when it comes to the business of carrying bikes on trains it passes the buck to the 30 train operators, saying that they are best placed to know what their customers want.

Err! would that be the train operators who shovel their long-distance passengers like sardines into 2-coach trains, without proper luggage space, and tiny compartments for bikes which are often filled with the overflow? No thanks, let’s have good national standards imposed till their subsidies squeak! They’re not all like Merseyrail or Virgin y’know!

Richard Hebden

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Cyclng in Belgium

A recent trip to Brussels revealed that the use of cycling for transport is healthy and thriving in Belgium.

Every major road has it's dedicated cycling facility and appears to incorporate joined up thinking. Cycleways are on the whole well thought out, proteced and segregated at high risk sections (bridges, high speed roads), taking the cyclist through the higher risk sections rather than displaying 'end of route' signs and leaving one to chance one's luck. There is a fair amount of functional traffic calming (speed bumps, chicanes, uniform road furniture) and there is a 30 KPH speed limit adjacent to schools at peak times. Indeed the volume of kids on bikes en routr to school at 8am is truly massive.

The high risks of right turning trucks has been recognised in legislation for an accessory nearside wing mirror. Another risk factor, speeding, has been strongly addressed by implementation in the last few months of truly Draconian speeding fines. A downside is the dubious facility whereby motorcycles share the cycleways. We should watch this with interest.

Overall, many people cycle, which is just as well as the roads are highly congested. One is left feeling that 'if you build it (properly) they will come...'

Derek Gould

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Sefton Section

Cycle Facilities - in the red.

Advanced Stop Lines

The highways department has clearly been getting a bulk-buy discount on red paint. Advanced stop lines are springing up with increasing frequency around Sefton. A great way of getting cyclists where they should be - at the front of the queue!

Pembroke Road / Merton Road.

More red paint at the junction of Pembroke Road and Merton Road in Bootle. Although Pembroke Road has been closed at this junction to motorised traffic an exemption has been made for cycles. From the direction of Pembroke Road the lights are operated by a push button. This has the disadvantage that stopping is always necessary and a fairly long wait usual - sensors and fast response times would have improved this situation. However, this is now a quiet and direct alternative to Stanley Road and, as such, is a very welcome development.

Southport Marine Way

The new £5 million bridge is now complete. Cycle paths, according to the hierarchy of solutions in the (still draft) Merseyside Cycling Strategy, were, almost certainly, not required at all. To have put them on the pavement and having shared use with pedestrians when neither of these was necessary is poor design and will lead to unnecessary conflict between cyclists and pedestrians and cyclists and motorised users. If they’d have thought to ask us we could have saved them some of the cost and effort of this dangerous white elephant.

Cycle Future

Thanks to all of you who responded to the Pedal Pressing Question in the Spring Pedal Press requesting changes you would most like to see in Sefton over the coming year.
Suggestions so far include:
I’ll be looking at ways to progress these issues, and any others, perhaps at the next…..

Cycle Forum

The next Sefton Cycle Forum is on Tuesday 9th November at Bootle Town Hall starting at 6.30pm. See minutes of the previous forum on www.sefton.gov.uk/content-3705 for an idea of the issues discussed. And if these are not to your liking come along and do something about it! For more information on any of the above or if there’s something I should know about please email me on peter_roome@bigfoot.com

Peter Roome

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Off-road riding-Sefton and beyond

On yer bike

A new revised A5 edition of this popular route guide. 12 rides within, and out from, Sefton using the Trans-Pennine Trail, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath, the coast path and promenades, quiet lanes and the National Cycle Network. Rides are between 12 and 40 miles. Available from Crosby Cycles.

On yer bike 2 - Out into Cheshire

A new A5-sized publication. 20 new rides from Cheshire towns using traffic-free trails, canal towpaths, quiet lanes and the National Cycle Network. Rides are between 18 and 36 miles. Also available from Crosby Cycles.

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Wirral News

Leukaemia research ride

Some 1300 hardy cyclists braved deluges and sunshine on the Wirral to complete this year's ride in aid of Leukaemia research. It is thought that over £45,000 has been raised for the charity despite the terrible weather encountered on the morning of Sunday, June 20th. Plenty of families rode together in the event alongside handicapped children in trailers towed by bikes and some blind people riding as stokers on tandems.

Riders included Councillor Bill Nock, Mayor of Wirral, complete with chain of office and cycle helmet. He is a cyclist of many years and was a keen racing man in his younger days. This was probably his last official duty as outgoing mayor. He had no difficulty in completing the course along with Ben Chapman, Member of Parliament for South Wirral. Amongst those helping at the event were Barry Davis, Chairman of the MCC - Wirral group and Sonia Oldershaw from Wirral cycling Group.

Support your Local Cycle Shop ( use it or lose it!)

Have you noticed that cycle shops are rapidly becoming a thing of the past? For the last couple of years Wallasey has not had a single cycle shop although I hear that this has just changed for the better with the opening of a branch of Cycle World near the Wellington public house in Liscard. However Wallasey’s gain is Upton’s loss as the existing shop there has been turned over to selling radio-controlled models.

But back to my original point; it is getting harder to find a good local bike shop where you can buy reasonably priced spares and that offers a repair service for those who are not mechanically minded. Also, along with fewer ordinary bike shops, there is now only one dealer who offers lightweight racing and touring machines. Over the last decade we have seen many shops stop trading from Longworths and Pete Toner in Wallasey to McIver in Pensby and Camerons in Neston. Just try to count up how many old established dealers have closed that you know of. Now I have heard that Alec Green of Oxton Road is finally putting up the shutters after many years of trading. The shop will no longer be a bike shop as the owner who is now 78 years old is unable to find anyone to take it on. As he said to me the other day about 65% of all bikes are sold in supermarkets or large outlets like Halfords, which alone sells one in every four new bikes. This means that small dealers are left to share out just one third of total annual bike sales amongst them. He claims that he is lucky to sell more than one bike a week now and is lucky to make more than £100 clear profit most weeks. This contrasts with ten years ago when he could afford to employ two people and draw a reasonable salary for himself. The outlook is bleak.

So, when you mutter about your local dealer being shut, don’t. Just try again when he is open as he is probably having to work part-time somewhere to keep the show on the road. So, I repeat, support local bike shops before the larger outlets.

John Cranny

Don't know where your nearest local bike shop is? See our list of Local Bike Shops

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St Helens and Knowsley News

There is no news from these areas in this edition. If you have any news for the next edition please send it to PedalPress

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Liverpool Schools Cycling Challenge….how it evolved.

Towards the end of 1997 the B.C.F. Merseyside Division Committee were exploring ways of exploiting the interest in cycling shown by a South Liverpool school. Gordon Roberts had recently taken over as Youth Development Officer and the general idea was of getting someone to give a talk at the school.

However, Gordon, who had just retired, had been the Events Officer in Liverpool City Council's Leisure Service Directorate. He made use of his contacts with his former colleagues and began work on a bolder idea. He proposed a competition based on the old BCF Challenge between city junior schools similar to the now well established, and very successful, indoor athletics competition. Of which he had been one of the instigators.

In the best traditions of Victor Khyam the Leisure Services Directorate liked the idea so much they bought a set of challenge equipment! It was manufactured by the company who supplies their other sports equipment needs. (Eveque Sports Equipment; 01606 45611)

The first year's competition didn't go as well as it could have! We set a date for the final and tried to work back from that. The result was that only one heat took place in the time available. The final was also an area heat of Challenge 98 to try to give the competitors a glimpse of a bigger picture. But information didn't go out to the schools in sufficient time.

The next year lessons have been learned and preparations began earlier. The Senior Community Sports Officer, Phil Brown became involved which significantly improved communications to the schools. Phil is directly involved in the Indoor Athletics Competition and he approached each of the fifteen schools with details of the "City of Liverpool Cycling Challenge." Ten places were on offer and eight schools responded very quickly.

Heats are held at each school during normal school hours. Competitors are drawn from years five and six with the three best boys and three best girls qualifying for the final. To save space two turbo trainers are used for the time trial. The bikes have cycle computers fitted to the back wheels. Competitors are timed and the rider who clocks up the set distance in the shortest time will be the winner of that section.

The final was an area heat of the BCF's Challenge competition while that was still running. Calderstones Park gave us enough space to dispense with the turbo trainers and have a more conventional time trial element. The competitors who have qualified to represent their school are extrapolated from the general classification to give a winning school that receives a trophy. There are individual prizes for the best boy and girl in the skills test and fastest boy and girl in the speed test.

In this years' competition (2004) we have fifteen schools taking part. As word has spread of the competition more schools have signed up to take part each year. It is now organised with the help of the Merseyside Cycling Development Workgroup, which replaced the old BCF Merseyside Division after regionalisation.

John Gilmore

The school winners in the Cycle Challenge were first Bishop Martin , second was Corinthian School and third St. John's School. Well done to all who took part in the Time Trial and the Skills Test as well.

To find out more about this event contact John at j.m.gillmore@liverpool.ac.uk

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Cuba: the bicycle still rules.

A giant bicycle adorns the central square of Cardenas in Cuba’s Matanzas Province, where cyclists and horse drawn buggies mingle with 50’s and 60’s Detroit gas guzzlers. A poorly constructed six lane highway runs from here to the faded opulence of Havana. Though traffic is not heavy by UK standards, taxis hurtle past lumbering old tucks, belching smoke, their mud caked tail lights obscured at night. Ancient motorbikes with sidecars, cyclists with two or three aboard, and pedestrians, take their chances at the highway’s edge. People bunch at intersections, hitching, with yellow suited state 'lift police' who sport clipboards and are empowered to regulate hitching. All state owned vehicles (around 70% overall, and showing blue plates) must stop if requested. These lifts are paid for at the same rate as the equivalent bus fare. Private vehicles (with a yellow plate) also often stop but can't charge. Any state vehicle which fails to stop is listed in a National newspaper, with dire repercussions from the employer. Is this the ultimate car sharing scheme?

Havana covers nearly 300 square kilometers and most of it throbs to the sound of Salsa. The long distance buses are large, articulated, rustic affairs carrying up to 350 people and colour coded for their destination. There is also a railway, the second to be installed in the world. Taxis are numerous, either the regulated Panataxis, or unregulated Detroit giants, though the comfort of the latter varies. 'Bicitaxis' are numerous, particularly in Havana: tricycle rickshaws with stretched chains, weaving between the smoking trucks. There is also a motorised tricycle taxi, a yellow bubble car, open at the front, up to two passengers seated behind the driver.

I was interested in diving here but the journey to the dive sites were as interesting. In the centre, La Boca at 4.30 in the afternoon exhibits a gentle surge of activity as school children and workers find their way home. Piled onto trucks or on droves of ancient bikes, chatting, three or four abreast, casually dressed, no helmets or lycra. On a Sunday however, we did see a group of fast road cyclists in lycra, helmeted and moving fast. Drivers of cars, buses and trucks slow right down for the more numerous cyclists, giving a wide berth, never intimidating. Perhaps their caution reflects the mandatory 5 to 7 year jail sentence for drivers involved in a fatal crash.

Many bikes are Chinese but Cuba now assembles its own, not technical but highly utilitarian. Still under the US trade embargo, and with loss of Russian support, the people embrace cycling but covet the dream cars in glossy magazines. One can only speculate as to how future politics may change all this: the people have mixed feelings. The State provides healthcare, housing, food, but demands large taxes from those salaried by foreign industries. An average net monthly wage of $15 (US) means creative measures are used by the workforce. Differences in the way of life were reflected in a chat with a citizen from Cardenas asking whether we had a fridge in England. It is difficult for Cubans to find information on alternative political scenarios as many books are unavailable and few have access to the internet.

The once towering sugar industry is now less prominent, with tourism increasingly so, though unusually few US Americans, abundant Canadians. A local source of oil is also now being exploited, though this is sulphur laden and suitable only for generating electricity. Fuel for transport is imported and expensive, an additional factor determining the transport infrastructure. Few motor vehicles conform to European emission standards and air quality in Havana is poor, a visible pall of smoke hanging in the morning air.

While this republic works well, and 'Fidel' is held in high regard, Cuba seems at a political crossroads, with pressures from wealthy Cuban industrialists, exiled to Florida, to maintain the embargo, while Cubans themselves see the riches enjoyed elsewhere in the Americas. After a chequered 20th century, there is no doubt that here, the bicycle will have a role for some years to come. Whether it could survive an economic renaissance is another matter.

Derek Gould

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Bypad....

How good is the cycling policy in your city?
Is it effective? And efficient?
How can you improve it?

There is a tool for this purpose. It is called BYPAD and was developed by an international consortium of experts between 1999 and 2001 as part of an EU project. BYPAD is based on European best practice, which means that measures recommended in BYPAD have been successfully implemented in European cities. BYPAD stands for Bicycle Policy Audit and is based on the methods of quality management, which have already been used in the business world for many years. Cycling policy is considered as a dynamic process whose strengths and weaknesses are analysed. In this context, the focus is not only on the measures and results of cycling policy, but also, in particular, on the question of how this process is incorporated into political and administrative structures. This in turn enables problem areas to be analysed, new areas for activity and potentials for improvement to be identified, strategic partners to be found and sustainable solutions to be developed.

More than 40 cities in 15 countries have already been convinced of the advantages of BYPAD and have started improving the quality of their cycling policy with simple, fast-working and above all cost-efficient measures. Everyone in the city benefits from BYPAD through increased mobility and improved quality of life.

BYPAD considers cycling policy as a dynamic process: the MCC has been a part of this!

The MCC have also been given the opportunity to comment on the draft ‘Merseyside Cycling Strategy’ . A number of members are doing this as we speak.
Comments have to be in by the 31st July, an electronic version for members is available from the secretary. Liverpool does have a Cycling Strategy as well which the secretary has a copy of if you are interested in reading.

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Bicycle Maintenance….quick notes

Fixing a puncture:

Remove Tyre:

Note profile of rim, tyre beads.
Start away from valve. Hook lever under tyre avoiding the tube. Hook onto a spoke. Push bead to centre of rim all around tyre.
Second lever. Push bead to centre of rim again. Pull lever around. Remove valve from hole.
Remove tyre completely. Check position of valve in relation to tyre.

Find Hole:

Remove tube. Inflate tube till fat. Listen and feel with side of face. (Water as last resort). Mark hole and deflate. Check tyre. Position of hole in tyre should indicate where to look on tube for possible nail, thorn, glass etc..

Fix Puncture:

Choose patch. Mark size on tube. Roughen surface removing ridges. Glue tube and patch. Leave to dry till dull. Stick. Chalk surface using grater.

Replace tyre:

Inflate tube slightly to make round. Position tube in tyre. Check direction of travel of tyre. Fit valve and 1st bead. 2nd bead by hand only. Push bead off rim and fully deflate tube in order to help getting tyre on by hand only. Ensure tyre is seated in the rim. Push valve in to avoid getting tube caught. Pump up hard.

Replace wheel:

Line smallest cog with chain. Pull back derailleur. Push in wheel. Ensure wheel fully back and straight in frame. Bolts a little on each side. Turn over then reconnect brakes.

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Readers Write

I cycle about 12 miles a day for work, three days a week, using part of the Transpennine Trail Link Route 56 south of the City. Coming home one hot August afternoon, anticipating the cool leafy shade on Woolton Road, I crossed Queens Drive and chugged sweating towards Woolton. I slowed down past the parade of shops anticipating pedestrians crossing near the Halfway House and enjoying the scenery.

Traffic was flowing past to my right, when a car pulled over and stopped in the cycle lane immediately ahead of me. I came to a rapid halt. As the driver changed gear, the reversing lights came on and the car began moving towards me. I stayed where I was, amazed.

After several attempts to reverse into me, the driver got out of the car and pointing to an empty parking space beside the cycleway said, “I need to park in that space,”
“And I need to get home.”
“I need to park there, you have to move.”

Perhaps I should have done the friendly cyclist thing and moved, even if it did mean exposing myself to a steady stream of commuter traffic & possible injury. Perhaps I should have made allowances for age, sex, and the heat. Then again, maybe it isn’t reasonable to expect to be able to cycle in a cycle lane.

Fiona Langdon

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Peace, perfect peace...

Cycling to work has one supreme advantage over all other forms of transport - it affords the possibility of experiencing a blissful interval of solitude and quietness before we enter the turmoil of the workplace. However - this is only guaranteed if you are fortunate enough to be able to use Liverpool’s Corridor of Quietness - the Trans Pennine Trail, also known as the Liverpool Loop Line but equally accurately it could be described as Totally Peaceful Tranquillity.

After 1.5 miles jousting with the traffic along Beaconsfield Road and speeding down Blackwood Avenue and Gateacre Park Drive, (hopefully catching the lights on green to build up speed on the descent and keep up with the traffic), after a hand signal the turn off into the small park at Escor Road is safely executed. And then - and then... the magic starts... Even after only a few yards along the joint-user path running parallel to the road, the hedge, bushes and shrubs have the mystical property of shielding the traffic from view - only a few yards away - and also reduce the noise to a mere rumble rather than a roar. As in the Narnia novels of CS Lewis, you have entered a different world through a very ordinary, familiar portal, a humble park entrance.

A few more yards, a slight incline to reach the access point of the TPT, through the motor-cycle restricting choke - and then you are truly in another world - any world you want to enter. On these dark, frosty mornings the rays of the rising sun may be stirring the frost, transforming it into rising swirls of chilly mist or shining through the bare branches of the trees to produce a fascinating chiaroscuro effect of vertical and horizontal lines and shadows. This personal gallery of nature is the more remarkable for being silent and empty - apart from the occasional cyclist, dog walker or school pupil - as the traffic noise has disappeared. Cars are visible through the trees - but they are now in another, alien world. We are left to our own thoughts and reveries as we pick up speed down the TPT - the very act of going to work has been transformed from the mundane into the miraculous - and contemplate all that we experience.

I have written before of the delights of the natural world that you encounter along the TPT, the animal, bird and plant life that flourish in this vessel of life that courses through the edge of our city. But there is more than all this to appreciate along the TPT on a daily journey to work - there is a sense of being part of this natural environment, of being re-united with an ancient rural heritage. It is not just the lack of traffic or noise, delightful though that it is, that is so invigorating but the gradual realisation as the tyres hum and crackle on the frost on the track that we reintegrate with our natural environment. It is only when we are a single unit on our bicycle, travelling quietly, almost effortlessly, along the track that we begin to have a sense of being but a small part in a very much bigger creation. Although much of the scenery is man-made, with houses, bridges and urban litter in evidence, the overwhelming sense in the early morning is of natural peace and of our unity with nature and our world.

So next time when you think it is just too cold or wet to cycle to work - put on a weatherproof jacket and experience another world as you journey to work - you will be surprised how addictive the magic can become as you travel along the TPT!

Roger E Thornington MCC member and Hon Ranger, TPT

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New ideas!

Public transport is part of the daily routine of millions of people, but few are actually delivered right to their final destination.
All too often journeys involve a frustrating combination of buses, trains or tubes - all punctuated by lengthy waits for a service to arrive.
Then there's the issue of what can be a long walk from your stop to the place you actually want to go. One solution might be Oybike, a new mobile phone-operated bicycle rental scheme designed to make getting around easier and faster.
It is being trialled in Hammersmith and Fulham, west London, where a number of rental stations have been set up, but its inventors hope it will soon be extended.
Read the full story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3856535.stm

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City Bike Fest!

The Company of Cyclists arrived in convoy from York, with oodles of staff, bikes for every utilitarian persuasion, bikes to amuse the old and the young and literature to bestow the advantages and benefits of cycling whether for transport, leisure, (fun) or sport.
Monday through to Friday at two venues in the city. Garston Urban Village in the south and Everton Sports Centre just north of the centre saw a programme of ‘cycling education’ being delivered to two school groups a day of between 30 and 80 children and staff. With a diversity of age and abilities the young cyclists followed a programme of three presentations from the enthusiastic team.

Firstly they heard what sort of an efficient machine the bike is. When riding you feel and function so much better, it keeps you healthy and saves you money. They heard the best ways of looking after the engine (yes..you), the body is an amazing constant- temperature fuel cell perfectly designed to power the bike. Next, the analogy of the healthy bike to healthy body was reinforced by looking at simple but essential bike maintenance from adjusting the bike to the rider through to brake adjustment and puncture repairs.
Then the real fun began with the try out session of the many and varied bike and trikes the Company of Cyclists carry around the country to similar roadshows. The teaching staff found it hard work getting the young students back on the bus and all where all very complimentary about the structure and content of the 1\2 day programme and enthusiastic that it happen again!

On the Saturday the entourage moved into the city with the try out session and stands. The weather was not brilliant so only the stands in Lord Street distributing ‘Cycling Maps’ and other essential cycling leaflets stayed busy for most of the day. On Sunday the sun shone and the queue in Croxteth Park for ‘go,s’ on the bikes was a dozen deep for most of the afternoon. Enthusiastic families were keen to try tandems or consider whether a ‘Pedicab’ could replace the family car. For myself the week had been fantastic we had seen kids from primary, special, junior and excluded schools but all had been attentive and enthusiastic throughout their visit to witness the work of the ‘ Company of Cyclists’

Don Thompson

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Photo Opportunity

New NOF route Leeds -  Liverpool Canal Sefton Council are implementing a new route, funded using New Opportunity (lottery) Funding. Although parts of the route have been well contructed the canal sections are poorly made and, north of Fleetwoods Lane (see photo left), not made at all. Nothing has been done for weeks to resolve this. Are we to assume that this is a new Mountain Biking route?

If you have any interesting, amusing or informative photos please send them to Peter Roome peter_roome@bigfoot.com

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All articles welcome for inclusion in next issue of Pedal Press to be sent in MS Word by email or disc to the Editor

© Merseyside Cycling Campaign 2004