Spokes East Kent
Annual General Meeting
The Spokes AGM will take place on Monday 26 March - details of time, place and guest speakers will be available shortly.
Spokes monthly rides
Sunday 4 February - Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary, Stelling Minnis
This is a 20 mile (32km) very quiet ride up and down the valleys of the North Kent Downs to the Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary. The Sanctuary provides a lifeline to animals who become homeless or who have been injured or abused, vital veterinary care to those on low incomes and cattery/kennel facilities for pets. The ride leader is Ian Rogers. The ride leaves from Canterbury East railway station at 10.30.
Sunday March 4 - Chequers Inn, Doddington
Nigel James will be leading this 25 mile (40km) ride through the quiet lanes and beautiful countryside between Teynham and the Chequers Inn at Doddington.
The ride is suitable for all bikes and leaves Teynham Railway Station at 10.30.
Cycle Recycle Kent
Cycle Recycle Kent in Herne Bay has been running for four years. Run by Dan Taylor, it takes in orphan machines, fixes them up to rideable standard and beyond and sells them at very reasonable prices.
There is a group of staff and helpers who work on the bikes and are committed and happy to work for this Community Interest Company, (CIC). The premises consist of several large rooms in Christchurch on William Street. There is a considerable stock of bikes awaiting refurbishment/sale.
Alas, Dan is having to give up this enterprise and is searching for someone, or a group, to take over the business lock, stock and bearings and run it along similar lines.
For further information, interested parties should contact Frank on email@example.com.
Canterbury West multi-storey car park
Canterbury City Council are pressing ahead with their plan to build a 300+ place multi-storey car park at Canterbury West station at a cost of up to £10million.
Apparently this is needed for commuters and for the growing popularity of shopping in St Dunstan's. Quite why commuters and shoppers in cars need to be so pampered is a bit of a mystery, but there you go.
£10 million is vast amount of money to spend to increase pollution, accidents, danger and congestion so we've come up with a couple of other uses for the money.
First up - give Kent County Council the £4 million it's been looking to cut from bus services - cuts which will affect the young, old, people without cars and anyone who chooses public over private transport. The plan is currently on hold due to the outrage it's caused.
Our second and better suggestion would be to spend £7.1 million on cycle routes. £7.1 million would pay for every proposed cycle route listed on the council's website, including big ticket items such as £2.5million for extending the Crab & Winkle and £1million for an off-road route between Herne Bay and Canterbury. Ironically, the Council's list includes £160,00 for cycle routes from Canterbury West to Westgate and St Stephen's Pathway. And, no, they're not included in the plans for the car park.
The Environmental Transport Association website has an interesting piece about the muddled thinking underlying car parking charges if you'd like to look into this.
Air quality meeting
Professor Stephen Peckham from the University of Kent has organised a public meeting on air quality.
It's being held at The Fiends Meeting House, Canterbury between 1.00 and 5.00pm on Saturday 10 March. Timothy Baker from the Kings College London Air Quality group is the guest speaker and Rosie Duffield, MP will also be attending.
Cycle training for adults
Kent County Council are now taking bookings for their free cycle training courses for adults running in February and March at locations across the county.
Two courses are available:
Details of all of these courses, including application forms, can be found on the council's website.
New signs have been installed for the major walking and cycling routes in and around Canterbury. The various random signs for the North Downs Way and Via Francigena walking routes and National Route 16 and Euro Velo 5 cycling routes have been “decluttered” and compressed on new signs showing all the routes on one sign. A sensible move considering all routes follow the same corridor between Canterbury and Dover. More from https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/north-downs-way/news/euro-velo-5-north-downs-way.
Barming to Central Maidstone
Bit outside our area, but there are reports of conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians using a new river-side cycle route from Barming to central Maidstone. There is a short section at Barming bridge were cyclists are asked to dismount due to the limited width available and the number of pedestrians. The route here crosses private land and this link could be lost if there is continuing conflict, risking the connectivity of the whole route.
Wheelie bin trailer
If you've been looking for a cycle trailer, you might find this video useful - it shows you to make one from an unwanted wheelie bin!