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The Joy of Cycling


Many thanks to Frank Turner for his talk on bike maintenance and Tina Walker for her talk on road safety. We had a good turn out despite the Heritage Foundation having their Town Meeting the same evening!

We heard how a well maintained bike feels like flying, that lovely feeling of freedom as you glide down a hill. That freedom is multiplied if you can fix basic problems yourself at the roadside. To sign up to Frank’s next bicycle maintenance course, get in touch. Tina is a cycle instructor and you can book lessons with her, either individually or as a group through TTL if you prefer – either way highly recommended.

Other points covered included:

Common Faults:

  1. saddle height often too low – leg should be almost straight with foot on bottom of petal stroke.

  2. helmet too far back

  3. brake Levers not in line with arms

Common riding issues: Road Space (ride approx 1m out from kerb), looking (should be regularly over your right shoulder), signalling Safety: Helmet, high vis, lights, training What to carry: pump, tyre levers & puncture repair kit, tube, waterproof, credit card

Also mentioned were local cycle maps (including a Letchworth & Baldock one at the bottom), regular rides with Stevenage CTC, and the bikeweek website.

We then watched a few short film clips about cycling projects in the UK and abroad. From Holland: The Duch Cycling Embassy (7 mins) is my favourite, especially the bit where the bike has right of way and the cars stop! Also, Bicycle Rush Hour in Utrecht (2 mins) – lovely From Sweden: “No Ridiculous Car Trips” (8 mins) shows how they managed to increase cycling rates in Malmo. From France: Including a male stripper! (1.5 mins) – sorry he’s not real though…. click here. 🙂 From Doncaster: Bike It – Changing Lives for the Better (4 mins) shows a school bike project by Sustrans. From London: Blackfriars flashride (2 mins) shows how there is mounting  pressure from the public for proper cycling provision, just as the Dutch did in the 70s…

I love my bike. Sometimes if I’m reluctant to go to a meeting in say Hitchin, it’s the cycle ride there and back that motivates me to leave the sofa. It was great to be able to share that passion on a Transition Tuesday – I’m just sorry for the people who are missing out on the exhilaration of two wheels!


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