National Bike Week by fjwuxn


									                                        CycleReading                 WORKING FOR A CYCLE FRIENDLY READING

                                                                                             Summer 2004 No. 85

Spreading the word of
               National Bike Week
It should have been hard to miss that it was National Bike Week in the middle of June
- apart from the press being full of cycling related features on how you can stay healthy
and wealthy by getting the two - or three - wheeler out of the shed, the odd entourage of
bikers soaking up the hot weather should also have caught an eye or two. Here’s a few of
the initiatives and events that were organised in the area for Bike Week.

Annual Cycle Census                                                  Film showing: Bicycle Thieves
The weather for the cycle census this year was ideal - all the       The Campaign invited members to the showing of Ladri di
results are now in and on their way to our statistician. A lot of    Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) by Vittorio De Sica at RISC in London
people put a tremendous amount of effort into carrying out the       Street on 18th June.
census (our thanks go out to all the volunteers) and many of
them have asked what happens to the results.                         The film tells a simple story of one man’s struggle for employ-
                                                                     ment and self respect. As well as focusing on the issue central
The census provides the Campaign with numbers of cyclists at         to Bike Week (i.e. bikes!), the film is acknowledged as a land-
key junctions in and around Reading. Having this data now over       mark in cinematic history - a 1948 black and white classic.
several years means we can see what the trends are, whether
junctions are getting busier or quieter (especially if alternative   Antonio Ricci - a family man with a wife, small son and a baby
schemes have been put in place recently) or numbers at               - is living just above the poverty line. A bike, which is in pawn, is
different times during rush hour (results are collected every 15     essential to his being able to take up the hard-found job as a bill
minutes from 7.30 til 8.45). We can also monitor the percentage      sticker. It was re-exchanged for the family sheets and is cared
of helmet use, and even how people behave at some junctions.         for with pride.
The latter is done through comments from enumerators,
and include observations about the use of near-by controlled         However the bike is stolen by unscrupulous fraudsters, so
pedestrian crossings rather than right turns at some junctions,      together with his small son, Antonio tramps the streets of Rome
long traffic light cycle-times, use of pavements to by-pass busy     taking in different areas and different lives and confrontations
or particularly congested junctions or road sections etc. These      with various shady characters to hunt down his missing bike.
comments are used to take forward our discussions with the
council and local authorities to help make improvements at           The film is haunting and poignant as well as being a fascinating
these key locations for cyclists.                                    insight into the social history of the time.

Among others, Reading Borough Council also uses this data in         Around 20 turned up at RISC to watch the film. Thanks to those
assessing progress against their transport plans, again looking      who came for your support.
at specific areas as well as overall numbers, to assess impact       Jackie Leslie
and address issues as well as the overall popularity of cycling as
a viable alternative means of transport.                                                   Details of more Bike Week events are on page 2

One of the most interesting observations though is that of how
the weather affects numbers. There is a large core of die-hard             Bike Week winner
commuters who take to the roads irrespective of weather, but it            Bethany Taylor, aged 11, won a brand new bike for her
is obvious that among our ranks are those who only venture out             poster for National Bike Week. See page 9 for her design.
in fair weather! Shame on you!
Bill Darby


  2   Family cycle ride                         5   News from the councils                    8   Have your cake and eat it!
  2   BUG bike ride                             5   Campaign needs your help!                 9   Bike Week poster competition winner
  3   Readers’ and Editor’s letters             6   Cycle Shorts                             10   Bikes n’ Bits
  4   Half Wheeling                             7   Legal advice - Our Rights of Way         12   Campaign contacts

CycleReading Summer 2004                                                                                                                  1
Family cycle ride goes down a storm
But that doesn’t mean the weather was         way via Liverpool Road to the London            Borough Council’s idea and Wokingham
bad! For the second year in succession        Road and hence to Palmer Park where we          DC paid for it), but whoever you are, thank
the gods favoured us with a beautifully       met the second half of the party.               you - it’s good! [It was WDC. See pages
sunny day for the Bike Week Family Cycle                                                      4&5 for more details - Ed]
Ride. There were 12 participants including    From Palmer Park the two groups
three quite small children.                   together took a route along Culver              Following a second traverse of the
                                              Lane and Milton Road, crossing the              infamous Horseshoe Bridge we continued
Held on Sunday 13th June, the first group     A4 by means of the excellently phased           through Kings Meadow and crossed the
left Rivermead at 2pm riding eastwards        toucan crossings into Shepherds House           river at Caversham Lock for a visit to
along the Thames. The river is at its         Lane. From there we proceeded into              the View Island Nature Reserve before
best at this time of year with the young      the Thames Valley Park and the nature           returning to Rivermead via Hills Meadow.
cygnets and goslings taking to the water      reserve at its eastern end.
and the various small boats making the                                                        We all enjoyed a well-earned stop for
most of the sunshine. It promised to be an    Returning to Thames Valley Park, the            ice-cream below Caversham Bridge
enjoyable outing.                             route took us westwards along the               from where we said our goodbyes to the
                                              recently superbly resurfaced path               Rivermead group while the Palmer Park
The Horseshoe Bridge again proved to be       alongside the Thames between Thames             group retraced their route back home.
the major obstacle to be negotiated. At       Valley Park and Horseshoe Bridge - a
the time of last year’s ride we understood    tarmac and practically vehicle free cycle       Joan and Bernard Williamson
that cycle ramps were to be installed         route into Reading from TVP. We are
on the bridge but sadly they have yet to      not quite sure who was responsible for
appear. From the towpath we made our          this (the rumour is that it was Reading

Record turn out for Reading BUG ride
A local Bicycle Users’ Group (BUG) bike ride organised as part of National Bike Week had
a record turn out this year with 53 people taking part.

Organised by the BUG at the Environ-          Stoke Row. After stopping for refuel-
ment Agency in Reading, staff from as far     ling at the King William watering hole
afield as Wallingford, Frimley and Hatfield   in Ipsden, the ride then circled, return-
                                                                                              What are BUGs?
gathered in Reading on 17th June to begin     ing to Reading along the banks of the
                                                                                              Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) are mainly
their 30 mile bike ride across the pictur-    Thames via Pangbourne.
                                                                                              social groups set up in the workplace
esque Berkshire countryside.
                                                                                              to help provide better cycling facilities
                                              Similar bike rides are arranged by the
                                                                                              for staff and encourage other col-
The ride took them along the well known       BUG at the Environment Agency for its
                                                                                              leagues to cycle.
route going north out of Reading through      staff each year in support of National
Caversham, and wound its way through          Bike Week. They’re arranged alongside
                                                                                              At the Environment Agency office in
                                                       other annual events such as
                                                                                              Reading, the BUG has helped to estab-
                                                          Dr Bike Sessions (a free 10-
                                                                                              lish a secure area for staff to lock-up
                                                          minute service from people
                                                                                              their bikes, improve the showering fa-
                                                          “in the know” from a local
                                                                                              cilities and provide lockers for staff to
                                                          bike shop), and free break-
                                                                                              leave their helmets and other cycling
                                                          fasts for those who bike to
                                                                                              gear. The group has also helped to
                                                          work on a particular day
                                                                                              establish good facilities at other nearby
                                                          in Bike Week. The events
                                                          promote the environmental,
                                                          health and financial benefits
                                                                                              A number of BUGs have been set up
                                                          of cycling to its staff.
                                                                                              throughout Reading, including a suc-
                                                                                              cessul group for Oracle at Thames
                                                         Victoria Greenwood
                                                                                              Valley Park.

                                                                                              Alongside improving facilities for those
                                                                                              who bike to work, the groups also pro-
                                                         Cyclists from the Environment        mote the benefits of cycling - it’s social
                                                         Agency stop off at the Maharajah’s   and fun, plus there are a whole range
                                                         Well in Stoke Row for a photo        of other personal and environmental
                                                         opportunity. The ride - which was
                                                                                              benefits. See page 8 for more details
                                                         organised for Bike Week - had a
                                                         record turn out this year with 53    about how cycling can provide benefits
                                                         cyclists attending                   to your health and your pocket.

2                                                                                                            CycleReading Summer 2004
Readers’ Letters                                                                             How you
                                                                                             can save up
Thanks for the fond farewell                 Bikes on trains
Through the newsletter we would like to      RCC member Dorothy Davenhill kindly
                                                                                             to 50% off a
say a big thank you to all our Campaign,
CTC and DA friends. We were truly
                                             allowed us to include a letter that she wrote
                                             dated 5th May to South West trains to raise     brand new
overwhelmed by your generosity and           problems with vandals at Earley Station and
don’t really know how to thank you all.
The farewell party for us, organised by
                                             the limited provision of safe cycle boxes for
                                             train passengers.
the Campaign Secretary Ros Furley and                                                        There are lots of ways in which
the Campaign Committee, was a really         Dear Sirs,
                                                                                             you can save money while buying
super ‘do’, the memory of which we will                                                      a new bike. By just joining the
treasure.                                    I wish to draw to your attention to the
                                                                                             Campaign, members can get
                                             appalling situation at Earley station near
                                                                                             a discount at many bike shops
Mention was made of the work we have         Reading. I had my bicycle destroyed on
                                                                                             around Reading. There are
done for the Campaign, but we have to say    18th April when I left it securely locked
                                                                                             always sales reducing the price
that it was only possible because of the     to one of the cycle racks while I travelled
                                                                                             on last year’s models (or even
great support Campaign members always        to London for the day and have since
                                                                                             last years colours which can
gave, whether it be manning display          learned that Earley station is notorious
                                                                                             go out of fashion so fast!). But
stands, helping at the annual cycle census   for entertaining thieves and vandals. As
                                                                                             now there is a new Government
or distributing newsletters.                 a result of the destruction of my bicycle
                                                                                             initiative which can save you up
                                             I was obliged to walk home (30 minutes)
                                                                                             to 50% on the cost of a new bike,
Thank you all for your support. It’s not     to collect my car in order to return and
                                                                                             and that’s with no upper limit!
goodbye, just au revoir.                     carry the remains back. The fact that
                                             I am partially disabled and do not walk
                                                                                             It sounds too good to be true.
With best wishes to you all for many years   with any comfort and I try not to use my
                                                                                             The only ‘catch’ (if it can be called
of trouble free cycling in Reading.          car, where possible, for environmental
                                                                                             that) seems to be that according
                                             reasons are beside the point but I am
                                                                                             to the Inland Revenue’s rules, the
Joan and Bernard Williamson                  particularly angry that I have been put
                                                                                             bike must be used “mainly for
                                             to such inconvenience, being without my
                                                                                             transport to and from work”, but
                                             bicycle while it is being repaired, and will
                                                                                             that doesn’t seem too harsh!
  Editor’s letter                            have to pay £50 towards the insurance
                                                                                             The scheme is offered through
                                                                                             your employer and a participating
                                             I had enquired of the station master
  I don’t think there could have been a                                                      bike shop. Basically how the
                                             about the lock up cycle boxes at the
  better time to start working on Cycle                                                      scheme works is that employers
                                             station but was told they are only for
                                                                                             offer their employees bike-buying
  Reading than National Bike Week!           season ticket holders but that the station
                                                                                             loans. The VAT (at 17.5%) can
                                             would be having some new ones for
                                                                                             be claimed back by the employer
  Reports are that the week was a huge       general use in time. I urge you most
                                                                                             while the loan is deducted
  success with an estimated 180,000          strongly to consider having more of these
                                                                                             from gross salary ie before
                                             boxes installed as a priority in order that
  people from across the country taking                                                      tax and national insurance (NI)
                                             more people don’t have their machines
  part in 1,406 events.                                                                      contribution, so is essentially tax
                                             stolen or destroyed. I, for one, would not
                                                                                             and NI free.
                                             mind paying a ‘parking fee’ for my bicycle
  Obviously there were a number events       if I knew it was locked away out of sight.
  held in the area too, some of which are                                                    Until recently only Halfords were
                                             You do not even need to hold keys for
                                                                                             participating in the scheme, but
  mentioned in this issue, and I hope you    some boxes are designed to be used with
                                                                                             several more manufacturers and
  managed to get involved with them.         the owner’s own D lock.
                                                                                             suppliers are coming on board.

  I also hope you enjoy reading this         I look forward to hearing from you soon.
                                                                                             Whichever way you look at
  issue of the Campaign’s newsletter,                                                        it, this is a good thing. The
                                             Yours faithfully,
  and please don’t forget to send in any                                                     scheme is being offered through
                                             Dorothy Davenhill
  gripes or comments you have about                                                 and all you
  cycling in the area so we can campaign     South West Trains is currently examining its    need to do is to get the powers
  to improve them for you. Plus any          policy for cycling carriages and is working     that be at work to get on to
  feedback about the newsletter is more      with local authorities to provide improve       Booost to set it up.
  than welcome.                              cycle storage at a number of stations - Ed.
                                                                                             Oh, and by the way, the same deal
                                                                                             applies to computer equipment.
  Victoria Greenwood
                                                                                             Bill Darby

CycleReading Summer 2004                                                                                                             3
 It’s for charity, mate!
Olympic 3,000 mile bike ride to Athens                                                        Reading’s twin town
Cycling events are often used for raising      Kent House Trust (Registered Charity           Did you know that Reading is also twinned
awareness and money for good causes.           1085912) in Reading which is a cancer          with the town of San Fransisco Libre in
Cycling is also a great means of                    hospice, and Canser Research UK           Nicaragua?
transport, being cheap, sustain-                      (Registered Charity 1089464).
able and, above all, fun.                                                                     The Reading San Francisco Libra As-
                                                       If you’d like to support these         sociation (Registered Charity 1006736) is
Lesley Scutter is combining her                        worthwhile causes, please send a       running a number of projects to help this
love of cycling with her wish                          cheque to:                             small town and surrounding villages. This
to see the Olympic Games in                            Lesley Scutter,                        includes their Bicycle Project, which is a
Athens this Summer, and has                            Cornwood,                              scheme to help provide bikes to school
set off on a marathon 3,000                            Cock Lane,                             children so they can get between school
mile ride with the aim of getting                      Southend Bradfield,                    and their homes more easily.
there for the opening ceremony.                        Reading RG7 6HN.
                                                                                              They are also involved in a Cyclotaxi pilot
Even when arriving in Athens Le-               Cheques can be made out to Duchess of          scheme to assess the viability of cycle
sley won’t be getting her well-earned rest     Kent House Trust, or Cancer Research           taxis in the town.
- on arrival she will then begin her duties    UK, or Lesley’s Cycle Ride. Money from
as a volunteer helper at the 2004 Olympics     the latter will be divided 50:50 between       More details can be found on their website
and Paralympics.                               the two charities.                   
Lesley is putting her passion for cycling to                                                  Bill Darby
good use by using the trip to raise money
for two worthy causes - the Duchess of

 Half wheeling
    Morris Dowding, CTC Reading DA Rights Officer’s quarterly column                       

Down your way                                  of the “Country Ways” Project will be          Official Tour De France Centennial 1903-
Wokingham District Council - WDC has           reviewed by its Transport Implementation       2003 - Ed]
made a great leap forward on the cycling       Committee on 17th June. A decision will
front. The district’s Cycling Map has now      then be made and parts of the project will     Japan cracks down on cyclists
been published and is available for free at    need amendment or removal. Lets hope           Japanese police recently announced a
the Council offices and the public library.    the cobbles bite the dust!                     campaign against cyclists after more
                                                                                              than 2,000 pedestrians were injured and
The first ‘face to face’ meeting with WDC                                                     six killed in collisions with bicycles last
on cycling matters took place on 23rd          L’Etape challenge
                                               Around 9,000 cyclists took part in this        year. In Japan, cyclists are allowed to
June and will be the fore runner to the                                                       ride on the pavement but public patience
establishment of a cycling forum.              year’s Tour De France (Etape du Tour).
                                               The route covered 150 miles on 11th July.      has worn thin. Police gave notice that
                                                                                              cycling while using a mobile phone or/and
WDC has also surfaced a section of NCN                                                        holding an umbrella will be liable for fines
Route 4 approaching the Thames Valley          Brendan Gallagher wrote in the Daily
                                               Telegraph about the advice he got from         of up to £250 or up to three months in
Business Park. I understand from users                                                        gaol. Motorists remain the cause of most
that it is a big improvement. [See News        Nicole Cooke, the women’s World Cup
                                               Winner, on how to prepare for the event:       traffic accidents in Japan and cyclists
from the Councils on page 5 for more                                                          claim that they would be at greater risk if
details and a ‘well done’ is expressed in      “Get the three big Bs right,” she said.
                                               “Bike, body, and brain.”                       they were forced onto the road.
the Family Bike Ride article on page 2
- Ed]                                          1. Be totally at one with your bike and
                                               understand how to get the best out of it;      Sports engineering excellence
Reading Borough Coucil - Responding            2. condition your body as best you can (i.e.   I see from the journal of my profession
to an approach from local police RBC           get some miles in beforehand), and;            that the Institution of Mechanical
is considering a total ban on cycling in       3. get your brain attuned to the challenge.    Engineers is sponsoring a competition for
Broad Street.                                                                                 excellence in sports engineering. High
                                               Other practical advice is keep eating,         tech golf clubs and carbon fibre tennis
Oxfordshire County Council - Responding        never wear anything new on the day and         rackets will compete for top honours
to a formal complaint about a lack of          shake your Coca-Cola bottle before you         alongside tougher and lighter bikes as
response to my letters re the artificial       drink the contents as you can only drink it    used by Lance Armstrong when winning
cobbles in Stoke Row and Nuffield,             flat when you’re knackered!                    the Tour De France.
the council has advised that elements
                                               [See page 5 for a book review on The

4                                                                                                            CycleReading Summer 2004
News from the councils
Wokingham District Council                                           Department of Transport, which makes recommendations such
                                                                     as the ideal widths of cycle lanes, and shared bus lanes that
Path from TVP to Kennetside                                          recognise our vulnerability. A proposal Peter has raised is
The path from Thames Valley Park to Kennetside has been              for on-road cycle ways on Robin Hood Lane over the A329(M)
completed and is part of the NCN Route 4. It is a beautiful          between Dinton Pastures and Arbor Lane in Winnersh.
(in the eyes of this beholder) wide tarmac track from the car
park fence to the canoe club’s concrete ramp to just before          Cycle Route Map for the district
Horseshoe Bridge, and is a great improvement on the old rough        Peter also published a Cycle Route Map of the district in time
track. It is the smoothest track in the district, the only problem   for Bike Week. It should be very useful for showing friends
foreseen may be that pedestrians will not hear us coming.            possibilities for cycling in to work with the brain in gear and
                                                                     home again leaving the worries by the wayside.
WDC Cycle Forum - the first of many
WDC Cycling Officer Peter Slaughter arranged our first Cycle         Dougal Munro
Forum on 23rd June to discuss cycling facilities in the district.
As a basis, the forum is using the guidelines published by the

The Campaign needs your help!
Spreading the word of the work of the campaign is an important activity for us, and we’re looking for any
willing volunteers to help us get the word out to other cyclists in Reading.
An additional Farmers’ Market stand was manned by campaign           increase in our numbers! Which leaves your Committee wonder-
volunteers on 19th June as part of National Bike Week.               ing why campaign members haven’t risen to the challenge? We
                                                                     know about passive majority syndrome which is found in many
The bike trailer was adorned with ‘Bike Week’ balloons as Ros        groups but this is a plea for members to reconsider what they
Furley towed it energetically to the market at 8.30 that morning.    could do to get additional people into Campaign membership.

We had planned to take the trailer straight on to Thameside          Richard Denney
Festival at midday but due to a lack of volunteers for that event
we had to cancel at short notice. We had also booked to take the
trailer to Dinton Pastures for the ‘Party in the Pastures’ on 11th
July but once again, not enough volunteers could be found to be
on the campaign stand due to other commitments and holidays.
                                                                      Book Review
Once again the Committee plus a small number of members
seem to be the only active participants though there must be oth-
er members who would willingly give active support? But after
                                                                         The Official Tour De France:
a recent email from Mike Turton to members only two additional
people responded with an offer to assist campaign activities.
                                                                         Centennial 1903-2003
If you can help spread the workload of the Campaign and help             Foreward by five times winner Lance Armstrong
achieve our goals, please contact one of the Committee mem-              Book printed by Weidenfel & Nicholson. Price £16.99
bers. Contact details are at the back of the newsletter.
                                                                         This book is probably one of the most comprehensively
The Campaign stand will be at those future Farmers’ Markets on           written books on Le Tour, both in narrative and pictures.
the first Saturday of the month but we want to attend more com-          It describes how the Le Tour started and continues
munity events to increase awareness and exchange knowledge               through the years. The book covers just over a century’s
with a wider cross section of current and potential cyclists. With       worth of races - every year since 1903 - and each year
members participation we can achieve that!                               has a map of the course and listing of the daily stages.

                                                                         As quoted from CCN: “Just like the race itself the official
Membership drive                                                         Tour De France Centennial is a gigantic glamorous af-
                                                                         fair... what really makes this book special is the mix of
Readers may remember that we launched a membership cam-                  writing styles that so accurately reflect the race.”
paign in 2003 which was publicised in the newsletter as well as
other ways, including a direct appeal to members and a new               Find your favourite year and rider, and relive the race. A
poster. [This can be found and downloaded from our website               book not to be missed.
- Ed]
                                                                         Angela McMahon
As part of the drive we challenged every member to get two new
members to join the Campaign. Despite one committee mem-
ber getting five new people to join, there has been no significant

CycleReading Summer 2004                                                                                                               5
 Cycle shorts
    A round-up of local and international news

Government not to tax bikes                      to recognise their cycling association as      tourism brochure. For copies contact
The Department for Transport (DfT) has           an environmental body.               
concluded that the costs of a registra-
tion system for cyclists would outweigh          According to the civil servants, “The pri-
any benefits it could bring and would not        mary aim of the [cycling] Federation is to     Highways Agency ignores cyclists
support “our policy of encouraging more          promote the use of the bicycle and this is     News that the Highways Agency has axed
people to consider cycling as a viable           not identifiable as consistent with environ-   its funding for improvements to road
mode of transport.” (HofC written answers        mental protection.”                            crossings and non-motorised users has
5 November).                                     Source: CCN News                               been greeted with dismay by cyclists and
Source: Dorset Cyclists’ Network                                                                cyclist organisations across the country.
                                                 Shared conflict in Barcelona
                                                                                                A reprioritisation of funds under the Traf-
Advanced stop lines                              Sharing the pavement in Barcelona has
                                                                                                fic Management Bill has resulted in fund-
The Transport Research Laboratory has            grown into a public controversy with nu-
                                                                                                ing being raided from the Non-Motorised
produced a report on the effect of ad-           merous complaints by pedestrians against
                                                                                                User (NMU) Crossings Improvement Pro-
vanced stop lines for cyclists on traffic.       reckless cyclists.
                                                                                                gramme in order to fund the deployment
It examined the effects of moving back
                                                                                                of Traffic Officers to take over the Police’s
the stop line for motorists, reducing the        When the problem was identified, cyclist
                                                                                                incident management role on motorways
width of a traffic lane or removing a lane,      and pedestrian associations met and
                                                                                                and trunk roads.
and the differing behaviour of cyclists. It      started to work on a solution strategy.
has concluded that none of these has any
                                                                                                CTC, together with the Ramblers Associa-
significant effect of junction of junction       The municipal policy of putting cycle lanes
                                                                                                tion, Living Streets and the British Horse
capacity for traffic.                            in places reserved for pedestrians was
                                                                                                Society, is writing to Roads Minister David
Source: Dorset Cyclists’ Network                 soon singled out as the main factor con-
                                                                                                Jamieson, calling on him to ensure the
Full report on                tributing to this problem.
                                                                                                funding is reinstated.
mainpage.asp?page=142                            Source: CCN News
                                                                                                Source: CTC Newsnet
                                                 Full story:
Environmentally unfriendly?
Italian cyclists have been stunned by a de-
cision of a government ministry to refuse
                                                 Biking in Europe brochure
                                                 ECF has revised its Europe by Bike

Cycling helmet bill hits brakes                                                                 Swinley Forest’s
                                                                                                Olympic bike bid
A cycling charity’s hopes of a new law to        “We feel that it was a worthwhile
make wearing helmets compulsory for              exercise. We have learnt a great deal          A proposal has been put forward to host
children were recently dashed.                   from it.”                                      the mountain bike challenge at Swinley
                                                                                                Forest if London wins the 2012 Olympic
The Private Member’s Bill presented              The charity has had considerable success       bid.
by Carlisle MP Eric Martlew, called the          in reducing the number of head injuries
Protective Headgear for Young Cyclists           among young cyclists in areas – like           The organisers preparing the bid for
Bill, fell because there were not enough         Reading – where they have promoted their       London 2012 has approached the Crown
MPs in the House of Commons to vote.             safety message.                                Estate, owners of the forest, to ask to
But Angie Lee, the Reading paediatric                                                           use it as the venue for the mountain
nurse who founded the Bicycle Helmet             The charity’s attempt to change the law to     bike contest. Bracknell Forest Borough
Initiative Trust (BHIT), was philosophical       make it compulsory for cyclists under 16       Council has been asked to support the bid
about the failure of the bill even though it     to wear a cycle helmet has been opposed        in principle.
is now unlikely to survive.                      by national cycling groups who believe
                                                 it will discourage young people from           Forest manager for Crown Estate,
She said: “We knew this would be difficult.      cycling.                                       Stephen Searle, said it was still very early
It is very unusual for a private member’s                                                       days and that there was little information
bill to succeed unless it has the backing        Mrs Lee said the Bicycle Helmet Initiative     currently available on the number of
of the Government.                               Trust, based in Milford Road, South            people who would come to see the
                                                 Reading, would carry on fighting to get the    contest.
“We have succeeded in raising the                law changed.                                   Source: Reading Chronicle
awareness of Members of Parliament and           Source: Reading Chronicle
the public. In the process we got a great
deal of support.

6                                                                                                               CycleReading Summer 2004
  Our rights of way                                                          Legal advice for cyclists from Helen Childs,
                                                                             solicitor at Boyes Turner in Reading

Following a recent report by one of our members about being attacked by a dog whilst cycling, so-
licitor from Boyes Turner, Helen Childs, tells us about our legal rights in this situation.
It’s a comic classic, even now - Gnasher (Dennis the Menace’s dog)        sounds dreadful but gruesome photos can add hundreds of
bites postman or one of the Softies. In reality however, it’s far from    pounds to the value of your claim in ‘shock value’. Keeping
funny.                                                                    careful notes of the value of damaged items and the additional
                                                                                                  expenses you have incurred can also
If you’ve been injured because a dog has                                                           make it easier to recover what you
bitten you, chased you on your bike, or                                                            have lost.
a farm animal has injured you, you may
well wonder whether the animal’s owner                                                             So far, so good - but a cast iron case
can be held to account and forced to pay                                                           for compensation can be worthless if
you compensation.                                                                                  the person liable to you does not have
                                                                                                   the money to meet any judgment. The
I hope that the following ‘Whistle Stop’                                                           good news is that pet insurance is
tour of the law relating to animals will                                                           increasingly common and the owner’s
give you some practical guidance.                                                                  household insurance may also provide
                                                                                                   cover. Failing all of these your own
The legislation                                                                                    household insurers can sometimes be
                                                                                                   forced to pay up if you get an unsatis-
Your first port of call will be considering                                                        fied judgement against someone.
the Animals Act 1971, which makes the
keeper of an animal liable if:                                                                     If all these avenues fail, it may be
                                                                                                   possible to get compensation from the
• S2(2)(a) “the damage is of a kind which                                                          Criminal Injuries Compensation Au-
the animal - unless restrained - was                                                               thority if someone has deliberately set
likely to cause or if caused by the animal                                                         their dog onto you. Visit their website
was likely to be severe; and,                                                                      at
• (b) this was due to characteristics of
the animal which are not normally found                                                           Hopefully this brief summary of some
in animals of the same species or are not                                                         of the issues relating to animals will
normally found except at particular times                                                         be of assistance. If you do have any
or in particular circumstances; and,                                      queries, please feel free to call me on 0118 952 7221 or email
• (c) those characteristics were known to the keeper.”          

If you aren’t a lawyer, you’ll probably read this and think that estab-   Boyes Turner is a Reading based solicitors that specialises in legal
lishing liability may be straightforward - but this isn’t necessarily     rights for the cyclist and is a supporter of the Campaign.
the case.
                                                                          If you have a legal question that you would like answered in this
There have been numerous cases - the most important one being             column, please contact the editor (details on the back page).
Mirvahedy v Henley (2003). This was a claim that arose out of an
accident when some horses broke down two fences to get out of
their field, galloped a considerable distance down a lane, and onto a
main road, where a car being driven by Mr Mirvahedy collided with
them. The court’s decision clarified that keeper can still be liable
even when the characteristics the animal is displaying are normal          Pedal Power on stage
in certain circumstances (in this case it would be normal for horses
to stampede if they were frightened by something).                         If anyone was fortunate enough to see the play ‘Pedal Pow-
                                                                           er’ by the Mikron Theatre Company at Caversham Court
Under the Animals Act there is also a general duty on keepers of           or the Rowbarge at Woolhampton in June, they will know
animals to keep the animals under control if they are on the High-         that this play, which celebrates many aspects of cycling, is
way - for example cows being taken for milking.                            a ‘must’ for those who enjoy live theatre and are interested
                                                                           in cycling history. It has music, laughs, wonderful acting
If you have been bitten or injured by certain species of dog, then the     and lots of cycling aspects to it.
Dangerous Dogs Act may also apply - this covers pitbulls, Japanese
Torsas or dogs specifically bred for fighting.                             Although the Theatre Company narrow boat has now
                                                                           left the area, performances of Pedal Power can be seen
What you should do                                                         at other locations in England during the summer. See
                                                                  for more details.
So if you have been injured, it’s important to try and get the de-
fendant’s details. If they refuse to give them, and you have been
attacked by their dog in a public place, you can call the police.
Recording your recover from your injury is also important - it

CycleReading Summer 2004                                                                                                                      7
Have your cake and eat it!
Now we’ve got your attention by appealing to your sweet
tooth, here are some of the facts on how cycling can
benefit your health and the environment.

We’re fast becoming a nation of fatties, so talking about cake is     also do your bit for
probably not the best way to start an article on green issues or      the environment.
health!                                                               And remember,
                                                                      every new cyclist
We have come to rely on our cars for getting about, feeling           means one less
that this is the best way to make a journey, but are we kidding       car.
ourselves? Over a third of all car journeys made in the UK are
less than five miles, and vehicles on the ‘school run’ can make       So, back to the cake
up to 20% of peak time traffic. We are spending more and more         If you cycle for 20 minutes at a leisurely 10 mph (on the flat), you
time in our cars but not getting any further. And often when we       will burn around 150 calories, which is more than half a Mars
do get to our destination, there is nowhere to park.                  bar! Go further or faster, and you burn more. Activity increases
                                                                      the metabolic rate and muscles burn more fuel than fat even
So what is the alternative?                                           when not doing anything. So you really can have your cake and
Jump on your bike! You can cover five miles on a bike in about        eat it!
half an hour or less. Cycle travel is flexible – you can vary your
route to suit your mood or the time you have available. You can       Bill Darby
also help combat stress as you no longer get stuck in traffic,
making your journey time more predictable, but you are also
getting some gentle exercise which has been shown to have
many benefits to your sense of health and wellbeing. And you               Some facts to chew over…
can secure eight bikes in the space of a single car parking
space. Above all though, cycling is FUN!                                     •     A regular cyclist can expect to be
                                                                                   as fit as an average person ten
Where do you keep yours?                                                           years younger
It is estimated that there are at least five bikes locked away in
sheds and garages for every bike being used regularly. If you                •     On a bike you protect yourself better
have a bike, now is the time to dust it off and get out cycling!                   against “Western Diseases” of heart
Many bike shops will give a free safety check, or maybe charge                     disease, high blood pressure, obesity and
just a few pounds to make sure your bike is OK to ride.                            stress

“But the roads are not safe!”                                                •     On a bike you provide a motor
Roads are in fact safe - it is careless drivers who are unsafe. The                which improves its own strength
more drivers who switch to cycling, the safer a place the road                     and efficiency, and even its working life the
will be and the more thought people will give to cyclists.                         more it is used

The benefits                                                                 •     On a bike you can travel up to 644 miles
Not only can you save time and money, but by cycling you can                       (1037km) on the energy equivalent of 1
                                                                                   litre of petrol

                                                                             •     On a bike you use less energy in riding
                                                                                   than a car uses to power its headlights – a
                                                                                   mere 37.3W (0.05hp) will propel a cyclist at
                                                                                   around 13km/h while a single car headlight
                                                                                   uses around 60W

                                                                             •     On a bike you can travel four times faster
                                                                                   than you can walk using the same amount
                                                                                   of energy

                                                                             •     Toxic fumes are three times higher inside
                                                                                   a car than on the pavement or for cyclists.
                                                                                   If you are low on energy or asthmatic you
                                                                                   will breathe more easily outside than you
                                                                                   would inside a vehicle

8                                                                                                             CycleReading Summer 2004
Brand new bike for the winning
Bike Week poster
In the last issue of the newsletter we opened up a com-
petition to children in the Reading area to design a poster
about Bike Week and the benefits of cycling.
The competition was arranged to help advertise Bike Week and, together with
sponsorship for other local events, Boyes Turner Solicitors provided the cash
for the winning prizes.

Having the additional support for the competition through advertising in the
Reading Chronicle, over 30 entries were received, all of an extremely high

Selecting the winner was difficult given this high standard of entries, but a
winner was picked, and the first prize of a new bike was awarded to Bethany
Taylor (aged 11) at her school during Bike Week.

                                                                                Helen Childs from Boyes Turner
                                                                                Solicitors presents Bethany with her
                                                                                 new bike

                                                                                     The winning poster, designed
                                                                                     by Bethany Taylor, aged 11

We hope our members agree that the poster is both clear and
colourful, advertising bike week beautifully.

We also hope Bethany gets many miles of
enjoyment out of her new bike.

       The posters that came in second and third
        place by Carrie-Ann Holmes of Clayton’s
         Combined School in Bourne End and Mia
          Haggar of Woodley

CycleReading Summer 2004                                                                                            9
YES I WANT TO JOIN                                                             Where did you hear about the Campaign?
Name Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms (please delete)                                                Individual membership £3
                                                                                   Joint membership £5             (2 or more people living at the same address)
                                                                                   Number of people joining under joint membership .......................
Address                                                                            Unwaged/junior membership £1
                                                                                   Life membership £35
                                                                                   I would like to make future payments by standing order.
Postcode                                                                            Please send me details

Telephone                                                                      I enclose a cheque for £......................... covering my

Email                                                                          membership and a donation* of £............................
                                                                               *An additional donation to help fund our activities would be appreciated. Thank you.
     Please tick if you would like details of how you can help with Campaign   Cheques payable to Reading Cycle Campaign please
                                                                               Please send completed form and cheque to:
     Please tick if you are member of the Cyclists’ Touring Club
                                                                               Membership Secretary, Reading Cycle Campaign,
                                                                               7 Fawcett Crescent, Woodley, Reading, RG5 3HX
Signed                                                                         Data Protection Act: Reading Cycle Campaign keeps membership records on computer.
                                                                               This information is not disclosed to third parties.

      For one sixth of a page display advert (85mm x 92mm)
             RCC members: £5 • Non-members £10
         Bikes ’n’ Bits (text only): Free to RCC members
           Contact the Editor (details on the back page)

Bikes ‘n’ Bits
• ‘Kool-Stop’ Two-Child Folding Bicycle Trailer for sale. For chil-
dren from 18 months to five years. In excellent condition,
despite constant use. £155 o.n.o. Tel 0118 966 5901 or email

                                                                               • Rhode Gear Cycle Carrier for sale. Spare tyre shuttle - rear
                                                                               fitting. Suitable 4-wheel drive type vehicle. Fits virtually any
                                                                               vehicle tyre size. Holds up to two bikes. Complete with box. £30.
                                                                               Tel 0118 942 6802 (Calcot)

                                                                               • For sale: Cannondale F600 ‘Fatty’ bicycle, 2001, Yellow, CAAD3
                                                                               frame, Head shok, front suspension. £395. Tel John on 0118 942
                                                                               6802 (Calcot)

                                                                               • Bike Repairs? Need your bike repaired? Don’t have the time or
                                                                               tools to do it yourself? If so, then contact Bob Bristow on 0118
                                                                               958 2056 for cycle repairs at a very reasonable price. Email:

10                                                                                                                                   CycleReading Summer 2004
CycleReading Summer 2004   11
Contacts for potholes and highway                                                                      Campaign contacts
maintenance                                                                                            Secretary: Rosemary Furley Tel: 0118 957 6455
Reading Borough Council To report any locations of potholes or                                         Treasurer: Jackie Leslie Tel: 0118 926 3620
paths which require sweeping or any other maintenance issues,                                          Email:
call 0800 626 540. Alternatively pick up a ‘Streetwise card’ from                                      Membership secretary: Mike Turton Tel: 0118 969 4197
RBC helpdesk.                                                                                          Email:
Wokingham District Council 0118 974 6302.                                                              Publicity co-ordinator: Bill Darby Tel: 0118 953 5687
West Berkshire Council 01635 519080                                               Email:
Windsor and Maidenhead                                                                 Campaigning officer Reading: Richard Denney
Please let one of us on the campaign know of anything you have                                         Email:
reported.                                                                                              Campaigning officer Wokingham: Dougal Munro
                                                                                                       Campaigning officers West Berkshire: Angela McMahon
                       new phone number 0845 330 2543                                                  Email:
                                                                                                       Newsletter editor: Victoria Greenwood Tel: 0118 953 5075
                                                                                                       Website manager: John Seto
                                                                                                       Newsletter distribution: Ian Humphrey Tel: 0118 948 1172

Reading Cycle Campaign Mission Statement:
• To campaign for better facilities for cyclists in Reading, in particular a network of safe                    COPY DATE FOR THE NEXT ISSUE IS 19TH SEPTEMBER
cycleways linking residential, industrial and commercial areas, and giving access to the town
• To work with Sustrans, the Cyclists’ Touring Club (both locally and nationally) and others
interested in promoting cycling and the well-being of cyclists.                                        Published by Reading Cycle Campaign, 13A Brunswick Hill, Reading RG1 7YT. Tel: 0845 330 2543
• To identify the needs of cyclists in Reading, for example the location of safe and secure parking,   Opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily endorsed by Reading Cycle Campaign
and to campaign for their provision.
• To work with and advise local authorities and, where necessary, criticise and highlight their

12                                                                                                                                                          CycleReading Summer 2004

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