Readout from October 2017 Meeting

We tried a new venue, the Atherton Leisure Centre.  Once the disappointment of coffee not being available from the cafe was overcome it was deemed a success by our turnout of 11.

  • The main concern was the poor to outright dangerous temporary provisions for cyclists on CS2  at the Stratford Gyratory,  Letts Rd, and Strand East works.

We decided to invite TfL, local Councillors and Newham officials on a ride to experience the difficulties for themselves.

  • We will respond to consultations concerning planned works at Dames Rd, Tollgate Rd and Pier Rd.  All illustrate the lack of a coherent approach to cycling in the borough; and the TfL plans for Pier Rd are simply poor quality, with token and ineffectual cycle provision.
  • We had a preliminary discussion on LCC proposed campaign around the local elections on living streets and areas without through traffic.  Both are significant issues in Newham.
  • We discussed and progressed our ride programme for 2018.
  • We welcomed two cycle workshops in and around the borough, at Leytonstone Road and in the Community Garden at the eastern corner of Honor Lea Avenue.
  • The bike maintenance training for women is fully subscribed and will go ahead this autumn.
  • Our next meeting will be primarily social.  watch this space for details

Newham Heritage Ride 23 October

A band of 12 defied  a horrid weather forecast to set off from the View Tube in their search of knowledge of some, at least of Newham’s rich heritage.

We were aided by some interesting sound clips provided by Eastside Community Heritage, some Wikipedia and other material (see earlier post), and – best of all the knowledge found within the group itself – historical, architectural, football etc.

8 stops over 11 miles of relaxed off road riding included Three Mills …

the Gas Works  Memorial Garden …

Cody Dock (where we were given an update of future developments by Simon – not the cat) …

the Royal Docks …

and Abbey Mills Pumping Station.

Miraculously neither the umbrella, nor the rescue float, nor even the repair kit was called upon.

Thanks as usual to Robin our photographer whose full album of the ride can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm7Bau54

with some bonus material from the interior of the “Temple of Sewage” (opened for guided visits the previous weekend) at:  https://flic.kr/s/aHskqdw8F9

Arnold

Newham Heritage Ride 23 October

This is a leisurely ride with stops.  It is part of  is part of Newham Heritage Week and is taking place with the assistance of Eastside Community Heritage, which has provided material, including sound clips relevant to the history of the area.

Those coming on the ride are encouraged to bring a phone or tablet to give access to this document, Newham Heritage Ride Oct 2017,which provides more detail on the sights  to be visited.

Arnold

Cycling in Newham

We have prepared a paper on Cycling in Newham.  It starts with evidence to show that Newham lags behind other boroughs in reducing traffic accidents and public health; and its long  recognised high potential for cycling has not been realised.

It seeks the adoption of an effective cycle strategy to underpin a coherent approach – giving priority to walking and cycling over motor traffic.

The paper  provides examples where past and current deficiencies in this regard have exacerbated our road safety and health problems.

Arnold

Rainham Ride 8 October 2017

Traditionally our October ride to Rainham RSPB is blessed with fine weather and this  year was no exception.  A record turn out of 16 gathered at the Greenway Common Cafe

and we picked up 3 more as we started along the Greenway.  Fortunately we had two of the group’s ace photographers (Robin and Steve) to capture it the day.

Braving the A13…

brought the reward of an open day at the national Trusts’ lovely Rainham Hall and a quick stop to inspect the beautiful gardens.

The Thames was as atmospheric as ever.  

A coffee stop at the RSPB centre (which now has bike hire and other outdoor activities) and a visit to the site of a house stayed in by Dracula led us to the Ingrebourne Valley and the train back from Upminister.

On my calculation 25 miles, almost all off road.

Arnold

Our Ride Season Continues

On 30 September Newham Cyclists  had a crack team of marshals on duty to lead the latest in the regular Bike from Boleyn rides, from the statue at Green Street to the London stadium, along the Greenway. This is a partnership with “Bike from Boleyn”


A joyous occasion, which started in glorious weather and was blessed, this time, with a win by West Ham – much appreciated by those who obtained tickets in the draw or for marshalling.

A range of bikes took advantage of the refreshed Greenway, including unicycles….

and a cargo bike.  Here we are at our destination:

On Sunday 1 October three of us braved an adverse (but mistaken) weather forecast and were rewarded with a beautiful 40 mile ride from Epping, through the countryside of the Hertfordshire/Essex border around Harlow and back to Epping.  this was new to our calendar and Steve is to be congratulated for putting it together.  A particular highlight was the newly opened Henry More Foundation.

Fortunately we had enough money that none of us had to resort to the free lunch in the Fox.

The next ride is Sunday 8 October to Rainham and Upminister.

Arnold

Readout from September Meeting

A well attended and lively meeting on 25 September.

We discussed:

  • A Greenway Activity Plan proposed by Newham Council to encourage use of the Greenway.  A number of us were happy to volunteer to ride the Greenway at different times to encourage use of the Greenway and keep our eye out for maintenance issues.  Also we might bring “Fix Your Ride” there on suitable and pre-publicised occasions. If you are interested in participating in either of these activities let me know.
  • We will continue participation, as far as we can,  in Community Roadwatch, which undertakes speed checks with the police  which can result in reminder letters to speeding drivers.  This with a view to being able to suggest a wider variety of roads for this exercise in future.
  • We discussed a general paper on Cycling in Newham  aimed at Councillors.  This will be finalised.
  • We agreed to continue our partnership with AAA cycle club for children at Canning Town.  There will be a final “Fix Your Ride” session at the Arc on 11 November and we will factor in participation in our planning for next year.
  • There was general approval for our future meetings to be held in different parts of the borough.
  • Steve, the Ride Coordinator, will start planning our ride calendar for 2018 and welcomes ideas for rides and volunteers for leading them.

Arnold

Some Infrastructure News

We held a general catch up meeting with Richard Wadey, the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council on 8 September.  The summary  outcome is available by clicking on this link:

Newham Cyclists Issues of Interest Aug 2017.

The headlines are:

  • The long awaited Cycle Strategy is being updated in the light of TfL’s recent analyses of strategic cycling routes which include a number going through Newham.  It will start to go through the process for formal approval.
  • There was unlikely to be a large bid for Liveable Neighbourhood funding  as the assessment is that TfL will consider that Newham has already had a large slice of the cake.

As for Stratford Gyratory the responses to the Freedom of Information Act requests concerning the dropping of proposal for 20 mph are below. 20 mph was identified in the consultation by the Council as a “key improvement”, supported by 92% of respondents to that consultation; but mysteriously disappearing without a trace in the scheme as approved by the Cabinet in May.  The Council now claim that there was “no decision” to drop this aspect of the proposal.

FOI RESPONSE E29406

FOI RESPONSE E29407

Arnold

Women Who Ride

Following on from our borough insert feature, Anita tells us what cycling means to her.

I have been cycling since I was seven, using my bike to get to school both at primary and secondary.  I have been a London cyclist off and on for the last 25 years.  When my son Merlin was born I was keen to be able to cycle with him as soon as possible.  He was on the back of the bike in a child seat as a baby and used to love the cycle rides for sleeping.  He started with a balance bike and has been on his own bike since he was 4, sometimes with a tow bar in the early days and now cycles to secondary school as well as weekend and evening rides with me.  It is important to me that he is a confident cyclist and feels safe as well as being active and in the outdoors.  We have been on cycling expeditions up the Lee Valley and to Debden House for camping on our own and with Newham Woodcraft Folk.

When I took on my current job it involved a lot of changes and one of those was committing to becoming a daily cyclist as it was the only way I could fit everything in with both work and childcare and also saved me the cost of the annual travel card I used to need before.  I work as a Baby Feeding Specialist for Barts Health in Tower Hamlets, cycling for work involves more than just commuting as I am not only cycling to work but around during the day to visit clients, move between work places, attend meetings and trainings.  Cycling is the most efficient way to get around, when I work with students who are not cyclists I usually give them a 15 minute head start on public transport and usually still arrive ahead of them.  I use the Cycle Super Highways but also the canal and riverside paths.

I cycle in all weathers.  Wearing specialist cycling clothing and shoes isn’t really an option as I can’t change easily every time I visit clients in their own homes so I have had to come up with a work wardrobe for cycling which can take me from my bike to a hospital ward, meeting or client’s home.  I’m not cycling fast aiming to get a best time on the commute but aiming to arrive in good time without breaking out in a sweat!  Knee length skirts and dresses that are not too wide nor too narrow are great as they keep clear of the chain and wheels and dry quickly if caught in the rain!  Long leather boots are good in winter and can be wiped down after a muddy cycle along Limehouse Cut!

I am a keen Geocacher (www.geocaching.com) and go out on cycle rides after work seeking out hidden containers around London or attending events.  This has taken me further afield by bike than ever before and using google maps to find cycling routes to geocaches has expanded my cycling knowledge, fitness and confidence in London taking me on routes I never knew about.  I also combine train and bike for longer journeys.

I am now trained as a Ride Marshal and Ride Leader with London Cycling Campaign and hope to be able to encourage more women to gain confidence in cycling.

Brewery Ride

We had asked riders to book into this ride as it has been very popular in the past. However, several booking were either cancelled or were simply ‘no shows and we numbered just 9 riders, including two who had not booked. This was however a good number for the ride as we had two marshals, Ken and Robin, and were able maintain a tight group for the ride.

The weather was cool by dry and despite some traffic around Blackhorse Road and Hackney Central we were able to make good use of the Waltham Forest cycling infrastructure, the river Lea towpath and the Hackney Parks.

We managed three stops, namely, Wild Card, People’s tavern (Laines) and Truman’s, taking the traditional route in reverse. We had planned to stop at Redchurch, but the shutters were down and there was no sign of life. Other notable changes, Pressure Drop are moving from their current location in Hackney Central, to the same industrial estate as Beavertown currently occupies. Forest Road had a lively taproom, worth a stop on a future ride. Three Sods and the Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club were also not open.

The ride continues to evolve and there are still more brewery’s to visit than we have time available on an afternoon ride, but it is fun to try, and also to experiment with different stops

Click on the photo below to be taken to Robin’s pictures of the day – & the link to see the ‘live’ route.  Thank you Robin!

https://www.relive.cc/view/1186780708