March Meeting

The next meeting of Cycle Ipswich will take place on Thursday 13th March from 7.30pm to 9pm at ITO World, 25 Lower Brook St, Ipswich, Suffolk IP4 1AQ.

We will be discussing the groups draft constitution and Play Streets.


Tell Suffolk County Council that proposed changes at Nacton Road/Ransomes Way don’t give space for cycling

Suffolk Council currently have a consultation for the Nacton Road and Ransomes Way corridors “to meet the projected increase in traffic associated with development in this corridor”. However they haven’t considered cycle traffic. Cycle traffic currently has narrow cycle lanes, or shared use pavement cycling. See our discussion on our Cyclescape group and on our Google group.

The nearby Ravenswood estate (just to the south of the Nacton Road) has one of the highest cycle to school rates in the UK, yet the people who live there don’t cycle to the nearby shopping area due to the inconvenient and scary cycle journey that you have to take. The new plans make this even worse.

Please can everyone write to Suffolk County by emailing before the end of Wednesday 5th March 2014, highlighting the problems that their plans pose for cyclists and pedestrians. Here are some general things that you can mention:

  1. Mixing cyclists and pedestrians on the pavement doesn’t encourage large numbers of people to cycle thus should be avoided. If shared pavement cycling encouraged more people to cycle, then there would be a huge number of people cycling in Ipswich compared to what there currently is. A separate cycle track is much preferred.
  2. Tighter corners are needed to slow vehicles down on the junction to make it safer.
  3. Dog leg crossings need to be replaced with straight across crossing, otherwise cyclists and pedestrians are treated as second class citizens and discourages people from walking and cycling instead of driving.
  4. Crossing multiple traffic lanes is currently problematic at many junctions already, the new plans will make this even more inconvenient and harder with up to 3 lanes.
  5. The new designs will induce even more motor vehicle traffic and reduce cycle and pedestrian traffic.

Shaun McDonald has published a blog post containing his response, which you can use as further inspiration.

Consultation Ipswich - transport fit for 21st century

Please fill in survey to support Queen St/Princes St/St Nicholas St Travel Ipswich improvements

Please fill in survey to support Queen St/Princes St/St Nicholas St Travel Ipswich improvements

Currently Travel Ipswich have a consultation running on the Queen Street, Princes Street, and St Nicholas Street area to extend the current pedestrian zone, including allowing cycling. Loading bays are provided. We would like as many people as possible to support the proposals. We would thoroughly encourage you to support the additional cycle parking and the zebra crossing at Friars Street. There is an example response available on Cyclescape.

The consultation will run be available to view in the Town Hall until Saturday 1st March, so you only have a couple of days to respond view it there. The consultation survey is available until Saturday 15th March. It is a fairly simple survey, which only takes 5 minutes to fill in, so please do so. The more people who write in supporting the proposals, will help with the implementation. The full plans and the link to the survey are available on the Travel Ipswich website.

There are more consultations coming up, watch this space.

Bicycle maintenance

Looking after your chain

Bike ChainI cycle all year around, every working day for my commute to work and also for leisure at the weekends. So I am particularly vulnerable to winter weather – my bike probably more so. A couple of weeks ago I noted that my road bike chain had “already” started to rust, which I thought was premature for the season. So I posted to our group for advice on how to prevent a rusty chain. The responses were so comprehensive that I thought I should share them here.

Andrew suggested following Mick’s tips to ‘Mickle thy chain’. See which itself is a box of delights.

The legendary Kevin Abblitt, who is Ipswich’s own Bicycle Doctor had a more comprehensive response, suggesting that on the topic of chain and transmission care, that nothing divides opinion quite so much!

Kevin explains the needs to clean chains

“I am not fond of techniques which strip out the lubrication from the internal surfaces of the chain parts. Its very hard to get lube back in there without removing the chain and soaking in oil. The only place you need oil is where the internal surface of the chain roller runs on the rivet and from there the oil can migrate to the hinge area of the inner and outer link plates.

There are some very good chains which have surface treatment to prevent rust eg nickel plating. kmc chains are excellent, they make chains which are then repackaged as other brands.”


Kevin says “I recommends regular and thorough cleaning, especially when the weather is wet.

Regards lubrication a little and often of a traditional mineral cycle oil will be fine and shouldn’t cost much. Towel the chain dry and remove as much as possible of the dirt. Drop the back wheel out and use the edge of a towel to clean between the cassette sprockets. Clean the jockey wheels and the derailleur cages. Oil derailleur pivots (10 points). Remove rear section of outer casing from rear derailleur cable by engagaing low gear, release shifter tension and unhook (no need to undo clamp bolt) and clean and lube, then reassemble. Do the same for the front derailleur.

In all cases above wipe off excess lube with a clean towel to avoid dirt magnet syndrome (DMS). If you follow this each day after work you will not have time to get up to any mischief.

Alternately change to hub gears with a full chain case !

Alternately ride it into the ground and replace the chain and cassette when gears won’t change anymore. I sometimes see cassettes which look like hedgehogs with spikes where the teeth should be , still being ridden..”

Wise advice indeed.

So, I am now on the lookout for old towels. I feel a charity shop visit coming on!

Seasons Greetings and may all your ride be puncture free.


Launch of Cyclescape

Following a meeting this evening, the attendees agreed to use the CycleScape website to log, track and debate localised issues. You should sign up and flag up areas that are of concern to you for local safety or cycle infrastructure issues. We will use this information to formulate our campaign plan for 2014.

We are “claiming” locations up to 10 miles from Ipswich town centre.


Sky Ride 9 th September 2012

Sky Ride Sunday 9 th September !
I will be at Alderman Road from 8 am with Cycle Ipswich stand, Pink Sky Cycling also / Karoo Challenge Bicycle Amnesty ( bring along any old unloved bikes ) and Bicycle Doctoring for bikes feeling unwell on the day. If anyone would like to help out please come along ! See you there,…..


KarooChallenge for a town called Montagu

Donation jar .

Thanks to Mary for the idea; I now have a jar for the weekly donation I have decided on to help raise the 4000£ we need to ship out a container load of bikes and parts to Montagu, South Africa. The container will help William and the Bicycling Empowerment Network South Africa set up a new Bicycle Empowerment Centre ( BEC).

Noelle and I are cycling more than 300 miles through the Karoo Desert over 4 mountain passes, hopefully calling in at BECs on the way to raise funds and awareness for BEN and Montagu’s BEC .

You can make one of these at home, without your parents help !

Please start collecting now and let us know at my facebook page , tweet @thebicycldoctor, or Noelle’s facebook is

Or you can donate via , funds will go to

Its a long way to go to 4000£ but I know we can do it !

Thanks very much,




Special Needs Cycling BikeActive

Brilliant charity supported by Sport Relief operating from Alton Water takes people out every Friday .

How to volunteer .

There is a map here

and a news clip on youtube here


Update 26 October 2015: Bike Active now have a website:

Events Reasons to ride

Tour of Britain 2012 – Ipswich again!

Ipswich has again been selected to host a stage of the Tour of Britain this year. The first stage of the tour will begin on Sunday 9th September from the Waterfront in Ipswich. This promises to be a full weekend for both sports and recreational cyclists, as the Ipswich SkyRide will also be held on Sunday 9th September.


Cycle Ipswich will be running a number of cycle trains from various parts of town, into the SkyRide.

Reasons to ride

Ipswich Skyride 2012 – date revealed

Following the success of last year, Skyride is set to announce that the Ipswich Skyride will take place on Sunday 9th September 2012. Find out more at /

Skyride Ipswich
Skyride Ipswich