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The Big Pedal 2012

Aimed at all schools in the UK, The Big Pedal is back and this time it promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The organisers have made some improvements to the race – including the participation of scooters!

The race is open to every school in the UK and takes place between 5-23 March 2012.

It’s completely free to enter and there are some brilliant prizes up for grabs.

To guarantee your school’s place in the race, please make sure that you pre-register your school now


A New Barrier

At Shelton Lock a new school is being built, and an access road has been constructed crossing the nearby Cycle Path.
The photograph was taken on NCN Route 6 between Alvaston
and Shelton Lock, looking towards Derby, with the school to the right and
Jubilee Road to the left.
There is  a man controlling the gate, which prohibits the passage of  pedestrians and cycles when there is motor traffic on the access road.
The gate is left open outside working hours.
Completion of the school is due in September 2012 and both the gate and the access road will then be removed.


Traffic Signs policy paper

The government have published a document detailing a new policy for traffic signs (93 pages of bedtime reading!). There is some interesting content regarding cycling including the approval of the contraflow cycling sign (for allowing cycling the wrong way down one way streets).

Full report can be downloaded from here.

The Bike Show 2011

The Bike Show has previously been held in London, but for 2011 moved to the NEC, so worth a visit to see where the future lies for we cyclists. Most of the big names were in attendance but not, surprisingly, Brompton, Cateye, Birdy or Dahon.

Lots of inovative designs, many using materials other than the traditional steel and aluminium, and some clever design ideas, particularly in folding bikes.

This is one of the futuristic bikes which caught my eye. It is a folding bike with full size wheels, stub axles, three spoke
wheels, single leg forks and rear frame, and cable operated disc brakes. The two speed gear is operated by the riders heels pushing buttons (left or right) built into the bottom bracket spindle. The drive is by way of a fully enclosed chain with the gear box built into the bottom bracket. Mudguards can be fitted without
compromise to the folding.
The frame is aluminium and it folds very neatly such that it can be trundled along in the folded state. It’s weight is 12kg, so no lightweight, but since the machine can be trundled, weight is less important.
Only for loading into vehicles would it be necessary to lift it.
Not cheap at £1600, but mass production would no doubt bring the price down significantly.

See how neatly it folds. The seat can be lowered of course, but makes a useful handle for trundling the bike

Derby Webcam

The new Derby Inner Ring Road (Connecting Derby) is proving to be advantageous to cyclists giving us more options for safe cycling in the City, with generously proportioned cycle paths alongside the highway.  Close liaison between Derby Cycling Group and the City Council was an important factor in the planning of these facilities.
Most junctions have Toucan crossings and there are some traffic lights which are triggered by a bike on it’s approach.
You may have to wait a minute or two, but you will get a green light to proceed whilst other traffic is held at red.
Try the one in the bus lane approaching Curzon Street from Uttoxeter Road.
Also a new webcam has been set up in Celtic House high above Stafford Street and this is useful to check the traffic situation before you venture out on your bike. It faces West looking towards Mickleover on the horizon and you can see the new roundabout at the Uttoxeter Road/ Stafford Street/ Curzon Street/ Mercian Way junction.
The webcam has been kindly provided by the Smith Partnership who have offices in Celtic House.
The link to the webcam is here

Let us know if you are aware of any other webcams which are of interest to cyclists in Derby.

Beth’s Kitchen cycle friendly cafe at Breedon-on-the-Hill

We’ve been contacted by Beth’s Kitchen which is a cafe at Breedon on the Hill which is cycle friendly. It has a good covered outdoor area where you can see your bikes and good toilet facilities. The owners say “I’m about to buy a few running spares for everyone, cables, allen keys, tubes, tyre levers etc and bring in my track pump! (Any old tools not needed will be gratefully received and put into a designated tool box.) I’m looking at putting in some hooks and locks so that bikes can be secured if you want to explore other shops around the site.”