Trains and Boats and Bikes.
Train Assisted Ride Saturday 13th May 2017.
This is a true Easy Ride of around 22miles and away from the usual routes. It’s a ride that starts and ends with a train journey and one to take time over.
Taking the train from Bedford, the ride starts from Bletchley Station via a quiet route (avoiding the town centre) to pick up the Grand Union Canal down to Leighton Buzzard. The towpath is surfaced, being part of the Sustrans Route 6. From Leighton Buzzard you ride through the back streets and parks and then head out past the Rugby Club to Stanbridge for refreshments at the Five Bells Pub. It has a good bar menu with a tranquil garden for when the sun shines.
Refreshed, you head on to the Sewell Greenway (former railway track) and up to Dunstable. Via back roads and paths you negotiate Dunstable and pick up the Dunstable to Luton Guided Bus way and cycle on to Luton for the train back to Bedford.
Start time will be 10.55 from Bedford Station to Bletchley. I have chosen a two car service so there will be dedicated space for bikes at the front or the back of the train and guards allow one or two bikes at each door way.
Please purchase tickets for outward and return journeys from Bedford Station.
Moving Bikes at Stations
Bikes will need to be moved across platforms at all stations.
Bletchley has lifts from all Platforms so that bikes can be easily moved to street level. Two or Three bikes and riders will easily fit in the lift.
Luton has a lift from street level the bridge across all platforms. We will need to carry bikes down to the platform, so lets help each other.
The Canal towpath is concrete/tarmaced but be aware that surfaces were laid and finished with a crinkly spreader!
Sewell Greenway is hardpack,
Dunstable to Luton Busway is primarily Tarmac with a mid-section of hardpack.
Newsletter No 157 December 2016
EDITORIAL by PAT OWEN
The main purpose of this edition is to report on the AGM, which took place in October and to get you up to date with committee changes, the annual report and any issues that arose at the meeting.
Most readers, I’m sure, will now be aware of the death at the end of August of Veronica Brown, who was our president for 35 years and most recently our registration officer. As you will see, tributes were paid at the AGM and members present discussed how, as a group, we might commemorate her life.
This will be, of course, the last newsletter before Christmas, so I will end by wishing you all a very merry Christmas and much good cycling in 2017.
The meeting, which took place on the 19th October at the Friends’ Meeting House in Lansdowne Road, Bedford, was attended by 20. The new committee is as follows:
Chairperson Neville Hobday
Secretary Chantal Lewis
Secretary (Agendas/minutes) Pat Owen
Treasurer Chris Waters
Promotions Chantal Lewis
Registrations Alan Binney
Newsletter Pat Owen
Welfare Officer/Album Custodian Vacant
Pat Owen said a few words to the meeting in tribute to Veronica, noting her determination in the face of her illness and all she had done for the club. She proposed that in recognition of Veronica’s contribution the club should commemorate her life by initiating a memorial ride. The meeting suggested that it should be to one of Veronica’s favourite destinations – the committee agreed to look into this.
Secretary and Treasurer reports were presented to the meeting by Chantal Lewis and Chris Waters. The Treasurer stated that our current assets stand at £2279.00. He told the meeting that we had received the HQ annual grant of £200 and HQ would be undertaking a full audit this year. The Secretary’s report is included in full, as this gives a good picture of the club’s activities during the past year.
Report to the AGM for the year ending 30th September 2016.
Our year ended on a sad note, when after a number of years fighting with cancer, Veronica Brown, our president for 35 years until 2013, died on the 31st August at the age of 84. Many CTC members attended her funeral on the 23rd September at Norse Road Crematorium, Bedford, some arriving by bike, which we believe Veronica would have appreciated. Veronica will be greatly missed and the committee is seeking ways to commemorate her time with CTC Bedfordshire – by organising a memorial ride for example.
The committee managed to organise regular rides throughout the year, arrange and attend a number of events and work with other cycling bodies. The details follow:
Regular Rides have continued throughout the year – Easyriders fortnightly on a Saturday, aiming to have participants back by lunchtime. The rides attract 5 to 10+ people (14 at the end of Sept) and we now have a couple of new regular riders.
Between 4 and 8 riders turn out for the monthly Classic ride – 4 hour ride of between 30 and 35 miles.
The annual Longest Day ride with CCNB attracted a number of members and the Circuit of Bedford (100k) organised by Richard Marshall for the second year running took place on the 23rd July. 9 riders took part – 2 riders started early and had a scrumptious breakfast at Emmaus, Carlton. Faster riders caught up by the lunch break at the Forest Centre and, and sufficiently re-fuelled and rested, the group set off to attack London Road hill, Houghton Conquest, before the gentler run into Moggerhanger and a welcome cup of tea at the Park. The ride finished at about 5.30 in Bedford. We would like to thank Richard Marshall not only for organising and leading this ride, but also for planning and coordinating the whole Rides programme.
In June Paul Hunter led a train assisted ride from Bletchley to Luton. Five people took the Marston Vale line to Bletchley, picked up the towpath of the Grand Union Canal and rode to Leighton Buzzard and then on to the Five Bells at Stanbridge for lunch in the beer garden. After lunch, a very pleasant ride along the tree lined Sewell Greenway took us to Dunstable where we joined the cycle way alongside the guided bus way to Luton and a Thameslink train back to Bedford.
On the 31 July we celebrated our Member Group’s 90th anniversary by cycling to St Neots for a picnic, despite the rather overcast sky. The event was noted in CycleClips the e-newsletter for Cycling UK, where we were ‘Group of the Month’ 10 riders took part in the ride and others arrived by car. Luckily the rain held off.
Events – We shared a stand with CCNB for the Harpur Trust event in Priory Park in May and as in previous years, at the Ageing Well Exhibition in June: organised by the Borough, it is aimed at people aged over 50. The well-positioned stand again attracted many people.
We acquired new promotional material with the new Cycling UK logo, such as a banner, and cards on which we can add our local details, which we take to events and leave at pit stops and other venues, such as cycle shops.
Working with other groups – we continue to work with CCNB and Sustrans, helping at events. We attended the meetings of the Borough Cycle Strategy Group. During the summer we organised volunteers for the follow-up to Sustrans’ Adult Cycle Courses but, unfortunately, there was no take up.
Newsletter – We continue to publish this on line at least twice a year, with hard copies for those who require them. The editor repeats her plea for more contributions from members. Without these, she warns, her editorials may ramble more than before!
A big thank you to Paul Hunter for the time and thought he has put in since he volunteered at last year’s AGM. A number of changes were discussed and proposed to the Committee for agreement. Many of them (general presentation of pages, updating the History of our Group, content of several pages) were implemented. Updates of rides and other events are done regularly. But adding new photos or the Newsletter is still a problem and being unable to update the WordPress template is becoming a serious issue. Despite numerous attempts to meet with our webmaster to discuss all these matters, we have been unsuccessful up to the time of writing this Report. The overall management of the website, including the Webmaster’s role, needs to be reviewed. Assistance may therefore be sought from Cycling UK.
We continue to get a number of enquiries (phone and online) about rides or other issues.
Membership — the membership stands at 530 with 18 new members joining in July, August and September.
Last word — A group like ours depends on volunteers, and you can guess what’s coming next…. volunteers are still needed as Ride Leaders, Committee members and will always be welcomed with tea/coffee and lots of biscuits!
Issues, queries and comments:
- Paul Hunter asked the committee to look at committee structure at their next meeting – should the group have a ‘Right to Ride’ representative, for example?
- A member asked the Treasurer about the terms and conditions of our loan to HQ and he agreed to look into these at the audit.
- Following discussion about the Circuit of Bedford ride, it was agreed that it should remain as a club ride, rather than advertise it more widely, as a bigger event would entail too much organisation for a small committee. Slower, shorter options would be discussed with Richard Marshall, the current organiser and leader before the next event.
- Following discussion on the club’s participation in the Ageing Well exhibition, a member suggested that a short, beginner’s ride could be offered, either at the exhibition or shortly afterwards. This suggestion will be considered before the next exhibition.
- There were a number of questions concerning communication and the current position of the website. These issues will be considered by the committee in the New Year.
It was agreed that we should change our name to Cycling UK Bedfordshire, whilst acknowledging that our focus should remain social cycling. (The new logo will be on the next edition of the newsletter).
Club T Shirts
The committee is to investigate the cost of club T shirts with the new Cycling UK logo.
At the close of formal business, Ben Maylor from the University of Bedfordshire gave a short presentation entitled: Staying on Track: Cycling and Health, during which refreshments were served. Judging from the questions and comments following Ben’s talk, members found the presentation both informative and stimulating