Newsletter of Greenwich Cyclists Issue No.7 February 2001
Greenwich street festival for walkers and cyclists?
Greenwich Cyclists campaign to get Greenwich Council to actively support Car Free Day in September 2001 is gaining ground.
Last October, Greenwich Cyclists wrote to the Council proposing that Greenwich Town Centre be closed to cars and lorries on 22 September 2001.
Our idea was to organise local events throughout the Town Centre including outdoor theatre, street theatre and dance, cafes and restaurants and extending the market. This would attract people to Greenwich and also be an opportunity to see the effect of reducing car traffic through the town - a stated aim of the Council.
The day coincides with Open House Weekend when many historic buildings in Greenwich will be open to the public. We have proposed a day when people would come to Greenwich without their cars to enjoy various activities in the streets and visit the various Open House properties.
Greenwich Cyclists are prepared to help to organise the day including a childrens cycle assault course similar to the one we organised at Charlton Athletic. Some GC members have considerable experience of organising similar events on Car Free Day in 2000.
Nick Raynsford MP has given in principle support, and several local councillors have said they like the idea. And, in a small snapshot survey, a majority of local traders expressed support too. In January Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of the Council wrote to us saying that he was interested in possibly extending the idea to the whole weekend.
Greenwich Cyclists plans to approach many local institutions to develop schemes for the day including the local traders and the market, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Theatre, the Laban Dance Company whose new headquarters will open on Deptford Creek shortly, and Connex, DLR and local bus companies. Our idea is to try and animate the day with local street events. Cyclists, pedestrians and buses would have priority along streets.
We are hoping to arrange formal links with the Council to examine options for the day. Experience from the closure of The Cut in Southwark, Coldharbour Lane in Brixton and Seven Dials in Camden in September 2000 will be useful.
Anyone who is interested in the idea and would like to help or just comment should get in touch.
International Women's Festival
Were running a full programme of events to mark this years Greenwich Womens Festival in March. Full details in next edition of Pedal Power or check the Greenwich Womens Festival brochure. Alternatively ring 020 7232 0444 for further details.
ß The Absolute Beginner's Ride: Saturday 10 March 2001, 10am 12 noon: For learners and improvers. Meet Greenwich Forum (177 Trafalgar Road, SE10) and along the Thames path. Please bring a bike with you.
ß Cutty Sark to Flood Barrier ride. Sunday 11 March 2001, 10am-2pm: For women and girls who want to start exploring the area and who want to improve their cycling skills. 6 miles total.
ß Road skills ride. Saturday 17 March 2001, 10am-1pm: For women and girls who want who want to get onto the roads with their bikes but who need road skills, assertiveness and safety training. The session includes basic bike maintenance and a bike once-over check.
ß Docklands tour. Sunday 18 March 2001: 10am-4pm: A relaxed 20 mile tour of Docklands for women and girls who can ride a bike and want to explore much more of the area. The session will include safety training and bike touring and commuting advice.
ß Bike maintenance workshop: Thursday 8 March (2-5pm) and Wednesday 14 March (7pm-10pm). Two self-contained 3-hour sessions to introduce the basics. By the end, participants will be able to fix punctures, adjust brakes and other essentials, and be able to carry out routine maintenance jobs.
International Women's Festival (cont)
ß Dial a Workshop. Were also be running customised workshops for existing women's group or organisations.
British Cycling Federation
Neil Simpson of the British Cycling Federation attended our last meeting. BCF is the governing body for cycling sport in the UK, road racing is their main speciality. They have 10 regional development officers and Neil covers Greater London.
A key BCF aim is to encourage youth cycling and under 14 competition via schools, clubs and child friendly innovations. Much London work is done at Herne Hill velodrome, in Ealing, Hillingdon, Crystal Palace Park and with interested local authorities. BCF can offer cycling groups fund-raising help, with, for example, Awards for All applications.
Neil particularly wanted to get groups involved with "Get Set" a new initiative aimed at 7-12 year-olds with both basic and progressive training. BCF designed the programme and arranges training sessions for potential trainers. It is all about the enjoyable learning of cycling skills via a card based set of games. One trainer teaches 10 children at once. It takes 3 hours to train a trainer, 2 more for training managers. BCF supplies all the necessary cards, handbooks and kitbag of equipment. The intention is to get kids interested via Get Set then progress them on to Road Safety training.
Greenwich Cyclists agreed that the programme was an important way to introduce kids to bikes and that we may be interested in taking things further. Neil plans to talk to Greenwich Council and progress matters.
The full spin bike events
Our regular rides on the last Sunday of every month are now well established. Each ride commences at 10am at Cutty Sark Gardens (CSG) and distances vary, allowing flexibility for the wide range of riders we hope will join us.
Thursday 8 February:: 7pm
Greenwich Council Transport Policy open meeting. Forum
Sunday 11 February: 10.30am
Clockhouse Pub, Barry Road, SE22: Leas Dozen Parks ride. Gentle 20 miles with Southwark Cyclists
Sunday 18 February:
10am: Locks, docks and one smoking ferry: gentle much stopping tour. 20 slow miles and loads to see. CSG
Wednesday 21 February:
Friends of Greenwich Park annual lecture by CE of Royal Parks Agency. Greenwich University. £7.50 from 020 8463 0275
Friday 23 February: 6pm.
Critical Mass. National Film Theatre, Southbank.
Sunday 25 February: 10am:
Regular Last Sunday ride, 30 steady miles, CSG.
Wednesday 7 March: 7.30pm:
Our Monthly meeting. Forum
If you want to suggest a ride, well consider leading it, or if you know of any other existing rides well be pleased to swell the numbers.
ß Mark Sesnan of Greenwich Leisure attended our last meeting. GL are a co-operative currently running 9 Council leisure centres on a not-for-profit basis. He said that cycling is not currently a priority sport for GL or Greenwich Council but he said he would consider how to encourage cycling to leisure centres as well as cycling generally.
ß Were planning a joint Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich meeting with Transport for London, the Capitals new transport authority more news to come
ß Weve submitted a Greenwich Pride application for a £1000 grant of the first in a series of local cycle route cards to be launched at the Mayor's charity ride on 29 April.
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The Council has successfully bid for funds to appoint an officer to work with local schools and business in developing local measures to improve pedestrian and cycle routes, and teleworking to reduce the reliance on car travel. This represents a major investment by the council in sustainable transport and Greenwich Cyclists look forward to working with the Council, particularly on working up new cycle routes. More details next month.
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