Browsing articles in "fun"
Sep 30, 2011
emilyharrup

Pulp Friction joins giant inflatables!

It was a gloriously sunny day on Wednesday for Colchester Institute’s Freshers’ Fair.

Luckily for us we found a shady spot to set ourselves up, having transported the smoothie maker plus all the fruit to the event in a bike trailer!  Pulp Friction joined an array of strange and energy demanding inflatable fun things and offered a welcome  break and much needed energy boost for weary and hot students fresh from their surfing, bumper cars and this other thing – which I couldn’t quite work out, but having done some googling have discovered was an inflatable laser quest – picture above!

There were plenty of students prepared to pedal for their smoothies, but plenty also that were happy for someone else to pedal one for them! Pulp Friction got a good thrashing from some of the more enthusiastic lads and at times had to be held down to stop the whole bike and turbo trainer from taking off – some serious rubber was burnt!

180 smoothies were made and we ran out of fruit at around 3.  We attempted to do a short travel survey and managed to pin down 84 students, who completed the survey with varying degrees of attention, so the results are a little random! We did at least get how they travelled to campus,  and the top three ways to travel were bus at 42%, train at 20% and walk at 19%.

So Colchester Institute Freshers’ fair is over and we are due to be at the University of Essex’s Freshers’ Fair on Saturday 8th October – sadly we will not have Pulp Friction with us, as she is already booked, but it does mean we will have some time to actually talk to the students!

 

Sep 6, 2011
Andrew Budd

Legs Eleven gets green light

I’ve got an idea for you.” Justin Lewis from Vacuumatic, at Severalls Business Park, got in touch with us recently. He’s keen on playing his part in reducing traffic congestion in the area where he works, and he’s also interested in people getting a bit of fresh air at lunchtime.  He’s a leader of the business community in the area, although, with Justin’s modest nature, he would probably shrug his shoulders and say “well I’m just interested in what’s going on“.

A few of us are keen on going for a walk at lunchtime, and we enjoy it so much, we thought others might like to try it – so maybe the Travel Plan Club would like to take on a walking project?” Yes indeed, the TPC is very interested, especially as we want to work with more businesses in North Colchester Business Parks (NCBP), and it ticks our “traffic congestion/ public health/ low-cost” boxes.

And so, the Legs Eleven project was born. Justin and colleagues have come up with nine routes round the business parks, and Emily and I have come up with two more walking routes taking us just off-site. Justin suggested a series of cards, to show people the route and places along the way – landmarks for wayfinding, places to eat, and snippets of interesting information. As it’s a community project we want to work with local businesses to prepare the cards, and promote the walks, so watch out for our appearance at your local networking events. (And give us an invitation to your event!)

What’s more, we’ll be there with you, stepping out. Look out for our led walks “Highwoods Ramble” and “Tesco Grab”,  in spring 2012. With a media campaign, we expect Legs Eleven will capture the imagination, promoting the businesses at NCBP. We will soon be in touch with you so that your business can be part of this great local initiative. Says Andrew Budd “with Legs Eleven on its way, lunchtimes have never been such fun“.

Aug 3, 2011
Andrew Budd

High vis v getting kids on bikes

  

 It’s Sunday morning, 24 July, and the Travel Plan Club members have been invited, with their families, to attend a “Young Explorers” bike ride from the town centre to Friday Woods. It was run to show people the cycle routes, to get people active, and to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes (www.justgiving.com/planetfrank ). As a public event, a risk assessment had been prepared, and one of the options was to offer participants advice on cycling, helmets and high-visibilty vests; and some were available if people hadn’t brought their own.

One parent, in the friendliest possible manner, informed the organisers that if we wanted to get young people cycling, don’t expect them to wear a high-vis jacket, as they will want to put fashion before safety. Bear in mind that this was a led 10 kilometre ride (at a slow pace), with almost every metre off-road, with people wearing bright clothing in perfect visibility conditions.

As with many interventions when trying to bring about changes in transport habits, beware of the unintended consequences. By co-incidence there was a recent news story (link below) about the perpetual cycle helmets debate, with many doctors not supporting proposals that might improve safety, but which would also reduce cycling levels, on balance to the detriment of public health. Of course, we all want to see a reduction in head injuries, and helmets might help, but look at things through ordinary people’s eyes, and think about how they will respond. After all, many of us reading this are motorists, and we too could possibly benefit from wearing helmets when travelling in a car, as many of us suffer head injuries in collisions. Think how you would feel if a road safety person promoted helmets to you as a motorist – what would your reaction be, and what reasons would you use to excuse yourself from this road safety measure? 

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23974179-doctors-dont-make-bike-helmets-compulsory.do

 

Jul 18, 2011
emilyharrup

Colour, glamour and a touch of sunshine!

Boudica, William the Conquerer and the Witchfinder General were just some of the colourful and noisy characters who braved the bad weather and joined our ‘sustainable travel’ float.  Luckily a break in the rain meant a dry float and happy children!  Led by a band of exuberant four year old scooterers, the thirty plus strong Travel Plan Club float, walked, cycled and scootered its way along the streets of Colchester amidst the sound of the Samba band and the cheers from the crowd.

Jun 27, 2011
emilyharrup

Strut your ‘sustainable’ stuff at the Colchester Carnival – 16 July

Join our ‘sustainable travel’ float in the Colchester Carnival and be part of a sea of colourful and vibrant walkers, cyclists, scooterers, rollerskaters and skateboarders!!

Our theme is historical characters from Colchester’s early past (Celtic/Roman/Saxon/Norman/Medieval), with the odd mythical dragon thrown in for good measure!

So what better excuse to get out your war paint, chainmail or woad, or if you are of a more gentle  nature your flowing robes and fairytale hats!!!  You can decorate your bike too, perhaps as a chariot, a dragon, a shield wall, or a castle!!!

Let your imagination run riot, historical accuracy is not important but flamboyancy, colour and noise is!!!!

The carnival procession starts at 16:30 from Circular Road North (Abbey Fields) and will make its way to the Castle Park gates along Butt Road, Head St and the High St.  If you would like to join us, or need more info, please get in contact, email Emily and Andrew at travel.plan.club@colchester.gov.uk

Jun 14, 2011
admin

Saddle up in June

June is Bike Month and there are lots of activities to help encourage you onto your bike. Visit the www.bikeweek.org.uk website to find out more. Highlights include:

  • Lots of opportunities for a free Dr Bike check
  • Pledge to cycle more and get a free goody bag from Cycle Colchester
  • Free beginners and refreshers cycle skills sessions
  • Led rides for everyone, gentle, short, long, fast, kid friendly, ladies only and more…
  • Fred Slattern’s Book Bike Club

 

Jun 14, 2011
admin

A sunny walking month was had by (almost) all!

May was a fabulous month for walking, with glorious sunshine pretty much every day (apart from the one day I arranged to take some photos!).  TPC members encouraged their colleagues to step out in lots of creative and varied ways.

CHUFT’s Well Being team introduced a new lunchtime walk linked in with their My Weight Matters campaign. The daily half hour walks, into the lovely High Woods Country Park,  attracted up to ten people each day.

Charlotte at the Uni gave out 210 pedometers  and record cards for her walking challenge held over ten days. 26 people returned their cards to enter the prize draw and between them walked 2,074,940 steps!

26 people took part in Colchester 6th Form’s Walk to Work challenge using the ‘My Living Streets’ walking calculator and clocked up 306 miles over 5 days.

Michelle organised a Team Walking challenge at CBC. Ten teams of seven took it in turns to wear a pedometer for a day to see which team could manage the most steps over  a week.  The teams walked 1,202,792 steps overall. The GIS Star Trekkers were the winning team with 177,709 steps and won themselves a team lunch.

Jun 10, 2011
admin

Intrepid walkers explore Colchester’s historical past

A walking quiz for town centre TPC members sent intrepid walkers off in all directions; exploring the historical ruins of St Botolph’s priory, discovering ammonites in the Roman wall at Duncan’s Gate, striding up Hilly Fields to find out more about the Celts. And exploring the oldest building in town, the saxon Holy Trinity Church tower, the church newly reopened as CO1 cafe.

Thanks to everyone who took part and well done to The Lion Walk Activity Centre who undertook the quiz as a team and who were the first to be picked out of the hat with the correct answers!

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What’s coming up?

18 April - CTPC members meeting at Culver Square

1 - 31 May - Walking Month

4 - 7 May - Jane's Walk Colchester

21 June - Clean Air Day

27 June - CTPC members meeting at CHUFT

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