Gavin Turk leads Les Bikes du Bois Rond

As part of Fleet: Art in the Haven Ports, acclaimed Young British Artist Gavin Turk, a contemporary of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, organised a 17 mile ride from Ipswich’s maritime to Felixstowe’s Languard Fort.

May of the bikes used were part of Gavins art collection.

This footage is close up and shows the art in action, as the participants cross the A14 slip road near Ravenswood Ipswich. The route followed Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 51.

Cycle Ipswich are calling for a cycle crossing to be installed at this site to improve safety and the speed to cross the road. The footage has been edited to remove the one minute wait before traffic is light enough to stop. This same crossing is regularly used by pupils and parents on the Nacton School Bike Train.

Proof that FixMyStreet.com works

If ever proof was needed of the effectiveness the Tim Steinberg’s MySociety experiment, it will be in my recent experiences of the FixMyStreet.com website.

Following discussion with Des P, we agreed that something needed to be done with the kerb at the top of St Nicholas Street.

So on June 28th, I logged onto www.fixmystreet.com and reported the fault. You can submit a problem anonymously. You are encouraged to post a photo, which obviously would help enginers asses the problem remotely – saving time and money.

Before
Before

Surveyed
3 days later – survey evidence!

After
After

Response

Just three days later, the site had been surveyed, as evidenced by the spray paint.

The fix

Now, just two weeks later, we’ve got a tarmac ramp, over the kerb. It doesn’t look like a long term fix, but it has already vastly improved the ride at that junction. What I impressed by is the convenience, anonymity and response that this site offers. Hats off to Ipswich highways for monitoring and responding to the alerts. Hopefully we can have a proper party when a more permanent fix is put in place.

Conclusion

What a great website! To report a fault in your street – road surface, signage, lighting, visit www.fixmystreet.com

Community Cycle Routes

Someone mentioned that the Tourist Information Centre in Ipswich often gets request for cycle routes around town and outskirts to local villages and pleasant places. Strikes me that this is something that many people in Cycle Ipswich could benefit from. Likewise the wider cycling public.

I’ve had a go at making one using uMapper. It’s probably a bit clunky but I’ll try to improve it once I get a bit more skilled with the software. Belstead to Capel Cycle Route

If anyone else would like to make one, we could maybe create a section here to keep the links. I’m going to be adding them to my transport blog and to the Transition Ipswich wiki

Next Meeting: Friday 30th July 2010

Rowan Wilson grinMillions of children in this country want to cycle to school. Nationally, only 2% do. A 2008 Sustrans study showed that the local Kesgrave High School as a UK leader with over 60% of children cycling to school. So why are other local schools not following Kesgrave’s example?

The 2010 Cycle Ipswich Member Survey highlighted safe routes to schools, cycle education and tackling childhood obesity as areas of major campaign interest for our group.

Our guest speaker will be Rowan Wilson who is Sustrans Bike It Supervisor for East of England. Bike IT is the Sustrans campaign which aims to get more children cycling to school.

The meeting will be held on Friday 30th July, from 7.00 pm until 9 pm. The venue is the Friends Meeting House, 39 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, IP1 3JH. Cycle parking is available!

Download our invitation.

Introducing “Electric” Alex :)

The other Alex on here (alexoldman) has very kindly asked me to contribute here. I am a 38  year old young(ish) man living in Ipswich, who has been a regular commuter cyclist since 2001, who does not currently drive/own a car.

I am relatively new to East Anglia – being brought up in London/SE England.

I  always enjoyed cycling as a child, and got reintroduced to it in 2001, in some curious circumstances.  I was built a bicycle in payment for wiring up a group of impoverished friends’ electric cooker!

I then lived in Reading (4o miles west of London). Economic and global political events in the subsequent years served as a slow awakening to myself about being wary about overdependence on oil and larger motor vehicles, and choosing stability over hedonism in my life (I was also then enthusiastically involved in the electronic dance music scene, and still occasionally party).

Then economic decline in SE England from 2001 to 2005 led to my current job being downsized, but a job opportunity in Ipswich brought me to East Anglia in 2006. A positive move – there is less traffic than in SE England and not as many bad drivers. However, East Anglia is big – and not entirely devoid of hills!

I purchased a Raleigh Hybrid in ’06 and didn’t mind the 7 mile commute on it from Ipswich to Mid Suffolk (where I work) – but when I learned in 2008 that electric bikes had matured to the point where they no longer looked like an old clunker of a shopping bike more suited for Nan and Grandad (e-bikes are already popular with the older generations), my interest in technology encouraged me to try the newer models out.

I now own two, (and still don’t own a car and am in no hurry to get one!) and would encourage everyone to at least try an e-bike.  They have become affordable, more reliable and better looking (more like your traditional MTB or hybrid). Whilst of course unpowered cycling is just as fun, the extra assistance can stop a daily commute becoming a chore, even if you are tired or there is bad weather (you get away from it faster).

Reason to ride #2 – it makes you happy!

Reasons to Ride #2  – riding a bike makes you happy

Purely on a physiological level, outdoor pursuits increase your body’s production of Serotonin, a natural hormone that gives a feel good factor. Riding feels good!

If you use the bike to work scheme, you can make yourself happy by beating the taxman. Discounts on new bikes exceeding 40% are possible.

Cycling is of course a social activity, and leisure riding with friends or family is a great way to spend time together, get fit and enjoy local scenery.

Reasons to Ride #1 – Convenience

According to the DfT “Cycling for a sustainable future” 23 percent of car trips are less than 2 miles – a distance that can be cycled in less than 15 minutes.  It’s both sustainable and more convenient to do these trips on a bike that in a car.

Worried that you can’t fit a weekly shop on your bike? Add cargo carrying capacity to your bike with an Xtracycle.

Added new pages

I’ve added some new pages to the website recently.

Downloads has some useful resources.

Stolen Bike Register does what it says on the proverbial tin.

Book library lists some available reading materials.

Cycle Shops is a list of bike shops that we approve of.

I am also drafting an information page for cycle tourism, to include a list of suggested destinations, routes and other information such as travelling by train, ferry and cycle friendly accommodation and bike hire.