Mar 28, 2012
Andrew Budd

Double cycling – bring a friend.

According to studies from the University of Made-Up Stuff, 30% of the population will “never” cycle, 59% “might”, 10% will “sometimes” and 1%  will “often”.

 The 1% “often” are cycling enthusiasts, who have a very different outlook to the 89% non-cyclists, “never” and “might”. The ethos of Cycle Colchester is “more people cycling, more often”.  To make a difference, we need to focus on the 59% “might” and the 10% “sometimes”.

Theme One: Who are we, and what are we doing here? (names have been removed) CTC, Sustrans volunteer, CCC, Sustrans “Bike It”, cycling officer ECC, KeepColchesterCycling, ECC road safety, Colchester Travel Plan Club and more interests……

who should be here? CTC cycle champion, theatre and arts sector,  “cycle and seek”, Tendring representative, University of Essex, cycle trade representative,  Colchester Chronicle, cycletech bike mechanic, bike guru, cycle café proprietor, local bookshop who could sell maps and guides, Colchester Garrison, Keep Colchester Cool, General Practitioners/ Anglia Community Enterprise (working for PCT)/ Health Champions and Trainers network, commuter cyclists to Colchester vworkplaces, Colchester stations commuter cyclists/ Station Travel Plan reps, businesses, cafe owners, VisitColchester, UofE academics specialising in sustainability and community building, ECC highways technical staff, Colchester BC, Healthy Living Solutions, local schools, Cycle Sport – local clubs, plus local poets, health workers, celebrities and movers and shakers…..

Theme One Summary:

Everyone’s busy. We don’t expect everyone who can influence Colchester people to get more cycling, to commit to a half-day meeting, all in a room, at the same time.

We want to build a successful and effective network, with full shared access to information about promoting cycling in Colchester.

The public, and the cycling supporters, need to be well informed on what’s on offer in Colchester, looking at the wider demographic of our population.

We all need to understand that each sector of the community has different requirements, if we are to see more cycling.

Whether we are public sector, private sector or voluntary, we need to understand what we can deliver, looking at human resources and funds, and what we will have to leave aside.

Theme Two, 2012 Projects and Events: (some will happen, others are just ideas)

Tour Series pro bike race, 7 June. “Summer of cycling” – instead of national bike week, a summer of cycling is being run, linked with the Olympics. Colchester Carnival, 30 June (will include all day festival). Mountain bike chariot racing????. Wivenhoe May Fair – Saturday 26 May, King George V playing fields. Cycle training for families/ all, held over FOUR Sundays, at High Woods Country Park. Young Children’s Festival –  Saturday 16 June, Castle Park. Colchester Free Festival – Saturday 25 August, Castle Park

Fred Slattern’s Bike Book Club, starting from St John’s Green, Young Explorer ride (seven mile ride, aimed at families, from St John’s Green to Friday Woods and back).  Treasure trail, available all year, possibility in High Woods. Geocaching project. “Hub” project (open in Harlow) a bike recycling scheme engaging with young people not in mainstream education. Greenstead community event. Cultural festival. “5 miles to fabulous” event targeted at women. “singles” bike ride. “Keep Colchester Cycling”.

A suggestion. The cyclists themselves need to get people cycling, on a one-to-one basis. If every local cyclist persuaded one person to take up cycling, we would double the number of cyclists inColchester.

Target Groups. Who? and Why?

WHO? Everyone. Primary school pupils (and parents and siblings). Secondary school pupils (ditto). Young adults. Older students. Family Groups. Business. Women (all ages needed, separate marketing for different sectors). Older people. Inactive people referred by GPs. “Mind” project, using green exercise to help with depression or mental illness

WHY? Fun, Fashion, Health, Green, Cheap, Transport. A matrix could be produced, making an assessment of which reasons for cycling would most appeal to each group. When looking at a cycling promotion we need to think about who the target group are, and why our event might appeal to them. We ignore this at our peril…… 

WHAT HAVE WE GOT?  An Audit for January 2012 

Infrastructure and Assets: a recognised brand with a good reputation, the goodwill of the volunteers and the authorities, a small amount of funding, route maps and equipment (trailers, displays, “pulp friction”), www.cyclecolchester.co.uk website (Colchester Travel Plan Club will update this) (Post meeting note: the company that ran it have ceased trading, updating not possible at present.),  Salary Brook and UofE Knowledge Gateway cycle route works in 2012. Freebies in store. Maps (Good stock of most CC maps, money available for reprints). Lower Castle Park cycle route opening 20 March 2012. Lexden route (includes Crouch St completion 2012), Cyclists database – collected over the last two years, through events, pledges.

Training: Getting adults to take part in cycle training has proven difficult. There will be more opportunities in 2012.

Current promotional projects:  Cycle Champion’s led rides (the best fit to our target audiences?),            VIth Form College, The Gilberd School, Uof E – develop Bike It for older young people,  Tiptree – CTC rides plus public health sector links?, Eco Race – at primary and secondary schools (currently 12), Keep Colchester Cycling – free hire bikes, launching in spring 2012, Feedback forms needed from all events (KCC are already planning this)

NEXT SESSION: Wednesday 18 April 10:00am. Venue to be confirmed. 

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What’s coming up?

5 - 19 May Colchester Walking Challenge

10 - 25 June Colchester Cycle Challenge

(10 - 17 June National Bike Week)

14 June CTPC members meeting

15 June National Clean Air Day

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