It is Bike Week from Saturday until next Sunday, an annual opportunity to promote cycling nationally and to show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life.
Pedals – Spalding’s cycle action group – is encouraging cyclists with a couple of rides, one under ten miles on Sunday and a more challenging 15 miles the following Sunday, June 24.
They are open to everyone, although children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult, and both start at 2.30pm from The Vista, in Church Gate, Spalding, and finish by 4.30pm.
Pedals may be promoting cycling during Bike Week, but it is working to make things better for cyclists year round in its role as “free-of-charge think tank” for district and county councils, according to its chairman David Jones.
For instance, it has produced a document that council planners can refer to to make sure planning applications they are considering also work for cyclists.
The pressure group has had its successes, outlined in a new leaflet being produced to coincide with Bike Week, such as persuading Network Rail to provide a ‘staircase channel’ so that cyclists can wheel their bikes over Steppingstone Bridge in Spalding rather than having to carry them.
It has successfully applied to South Holland District Council for £8,320 of Springfields ‘planning money’ to be used to improve signs for the cycle route to the town centre as well as providing more cycle parking in the town centre.
The group worked with Lincolnshire County Council on its new cycle map for Spalding and is on the district council’s working group considering how to use the £230,000 power station expansion ‘planning money’ earmarked for cycling and walking routes.
Finally, cyclists who use the bike route to Baytree Nurseries at Weston can now park and lock their bikes as a result of a suggestion by Pedals.
David said: “We are working very hard on the mindset of the county council and the district council to the extent that they helped us financially towards the production of the brochure, which is quite remarkable.
“There are no new (bicycle) routes on the cards, it is mainly improving things that we have already. So for example the new traffic lights at the junction of Woolram Wygate with Pinchbeck Road we are going to change that into a toucan crossing so it a safe route for bikes to cross, and the path from Woolram Wygate to West Elloe Avenue will be made dual purpose, for pedestrians and cyclists.
“There are lots of things we would love to have done, like a properly lit footpath from the cemetery on Pinchbeck Road to the Johnson Community Hospital.”
n There is no need to book for the two bike rides, just turn up. For more information contact Stewart Elderkin on 07831 737715 or call David on 01775 766145. To find out more about Bike Week, visit www.bikeweek.org.uk