Friday, 12 January 2018

Vote Now for Cycling Woman of the Year!

Cycling UK is proud and honoured to have been nominated in two categories for the BikeBiz Awards 2018: Service to the industry and also Cycling Woman of the Year, for our very own Julie Rand. 

It’s down to the cycling public to decide whether we’re worthy and we need your vote and your contacts’ vote too please! It’s a simple process to vote – you just need an email and to click here

Please share this with others and ask them to spare less than five mins to vote for Cycling UK and Julie – as you know we deserve it! But just in case they’re not sure why they should vote for us or Julie, here is some helpful reasoning why they should:

Service to the industry – In 2017, Cycling UK has:
·       Helped more than 25,000 people take up and continue cycling in Scotland and England through our Big Bike Revival
·       Given 40 out of 45 of the UK’s police forces the incentive and means to tackle close passes
·       Run the Women’s Festival of Cycling and celebrating 100 of the leading women helping to get Britain cycling
·       Directly challenging the legal system’s treatment of cyclists by undertaking the UK’s first crowdfunded private prosecution for causing death by careless driving

Cycling Woman of the Year – Julie Rand

The organiser and driving force behind Cycling UK’s Women’s Festival of Cycling, Julie Rand is a tireless force for the promotion of cycling in all its forms. Under her watchful eye, thousands of ride leaders of cycle groups up and down the UK have been properly trained, and she’s provided the support to Cycling UK’s thousand groups, meaning enabling tens of thousands of rides and hundreds of sportive rides are able to happen each year.

Happy New Year to you all


Saturday, 4 November 2017

Update from October 2017 Board

October 21st marked another of our Board meetings and this time we met at The Friends Meeting House on Euston Road which provides good facilitates at very reasonable prices and is about as good a location as can be for a group of Trustees dispersed across many locations. At short notice I was asked to Chair the meeting as our Chair was unwell. I can report that despite the last minute preparations, it turned out to be a honour and a delight. This is my high level summary of the meeting and . . .in no particular order. . .

Update From October 2017 Board

Notably this meeting was the last for 3 of our Trustees. Kristian Gregory is a more recent Trustee and served over the period we were changing our governance and branding. Kristian is a very active campaigner and has been working closely with Rogers team over a number of years. Kristian brought a certain much needed youthfulness to our board and accordingly an important lens through which to see our work. It reminds us of the need to ensure that we continue to strengthen the diversity of the board but also Kristian’s experience and feedback points to a need to improve upon the induction and mentoring for new Trustees, especially those who may not have experience of working on a board. Martyn Bolt has served as both a Trustee and a member of staff over time and has a very strong presence in cycling in his area. Martyn has played a key role on ensuring that as a board we are serving our members well and in accordance with our governing policies and documents. Jim Brown’s dedication to Cycling UK over many years, as a Councillor, Vice-Chair and leading the charge on cycling in Stevenage is nothing less than remarkable. Jim’s absolute determination around diversity and serving our member groups will remain etched in our consciousness and we all said that we would continue to serve this agenda in his memory in perpetuity. We want to say a heartfelt thank you to Kristian, Martin and Jim and wish you all the very best in your future cycling adventures.

I can report that the board is really shaping up now and it was really clear that the debate reached the appropriate balance of strategy and detail with excellent scrutiny as well as board members using their expertise to help shape discussions and reach agreements. When I fed this back to the board at the end of the meeting this observation was shared and I have since received some messages that Trustees felt not only was it a good meeting but really starting to enjoy their roles. There can be no doubt that this board is committed to improving cycling for all.

We had a presentation from Duncan Dollimore and to be honest we were bowled over by the comprehensive, strategic and thoughtful approach of Duncan and his team. You will no doubt have seen Duncan on the television recently. We paid tribute to the team for their sensitive and expert handling of difficult subject matters and gave them our support for their developing strategy. This and other contributions from the Senior Management Team gave us confidence that they are continuing to build the capability in the organisation to deliver an ambitious agenda and we all feel that we ‘punch far above our weight’.

We also saw in connection with campaigns, media and lobbying a very impressive consideration of the small and big P in all their work and relationship building recognising that politicians, stakeholders and partners are all crucial to our aims.

We had an exciting report from the CEO Paul Touhy. The quality of the work, the impact and evaluation is really starting to come through. You can hear about the specifics through our on-line communications CycleClips and the new website has to be mentioned as part of our more than impressive approach to communications. 

This board meeting above any I have attended was focussed on people cycling together and increasing those opportunities. We talked about events, holidays and the rich and valued traditions in the regions. We have commissioned further work on this and how we can support this in future years.

In the meeting we have reports from the sub-committee’s and an opportunity to ask questions. It is clear that by and large we are really seeing the benefits of the new governance processes however also a timely reminder that we should keep them under constant review. We have just run our second election under the new rules and will soon be hearing the results. We have had some comments and suggestions from members about our processes and as Chair of Nominations Committee I assured the board that we will consider these as well as comments from the board before we run the next election. We must always aim to learn and improve and I am sure there are things we can do differently or better next year.

It is member group AGM time now and I will be joining a couple of my local meetings, although my role is no longer as councillor I like to maintain my relationships and links as best I can as I feel our groups are a really important part of our heritage. I hope the autumn and winter are kind to us and we can all get plenty of rides in over the next few months.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Womens Festival of Cycling

Throughout July, Cycling UK is delivering the Women’s Festival of Cycling. The festival is celebrating female cyclists and is about providing more opportunities for women to ride. The festival will see a wide range of female-friendly rides and events delivered across the country supported by Cycling UK.

We’re asking Member Groups, community groups and individuals to put on women’s rides throughout July in order to help as many women as possible enjoy the enormous benefits of cycling. Registering a ride is easy and you do not have to be a member of Cycling UK, part of a group OR an existing ride leader to get involved.  

100 Women in Cycling
We also want to recognise the many inspirational women who are already doing so much for women’s cycling through the100 Women in Cycling campaign. The idea is to celebrate and say thank you for the contribution that so many women have made to the cycling world.  Whether it is by working hard to make cycling more open to all, delivering opportunities to ride as part of a Member Group or achieving results on the campaign front, we want to ensure that achievements are recognised.  
We’re also holding an event on Monday 10 July from 5.30pm until 8pm in Birmingham to which all nominated women will be invited to attend. I will be hosting the event and there will be talks from Aleysha McGowan and Emily Chappelle.

To nominate someone for our 100 Women in Cycling list, send a short summary of who they are and why you think they should be included to

Jaki Lowe
Vice President

Sunday, 21 May 2017

photos from Meriden 2017

Meriden Memorial for Cyclists

Today I attended the Meriden Cycling Memorial service. It was a beautiful day and a most beautiful and poignant service. I felt honoured to be there and cherishing the memories of cyclists involvement in conflict. It was also a time to remember a personal loss last year with the passing of my father. This year we had a heartrending reading from a survivor of the Falklands War. He shared his tragic story and his story of bravery and how since his return cycling has been core to his mental health and wellbeing.

There was however a notable absence of a wreath from Cycling UK and I wanted to set out my disappointment that this was the case. In the end it turned out to be a very genuine mix up but I was hugely disappointed so wanted to explain. In previous years  the wreath was ordered locally and national office invoiced.You will be aware that Dave Hearn has very graciously picked up the organisation role - last year at short notice and hereon after the death of the long standing organiser. It is a very significant role organising this event and it didn't transpire until late yesterday that this had been the arrangement and that therefore we would be without a wreath.

This is not to pass blame because actually I feel strongly that there is a really important role for national office in supporting this event. I will be putting discussing the options for support at the next board so please feel free to contact me if you have ideas of your own.

Next years event is in my diary already and I assure you there will be a wreath at this event as I will make sure of it. Indeed I have decided I will stay for the weekend and pick up some cycle routes I travelled many years ago.

It looks like the weather is turning for the better which is good news for Beaumanor so have a great time there or wherever you are cycling next weekend.

Vice-Chair Cycling UK

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Latest Update From CUK Board

About me
Life continues to be very busy in my role as a Trustee, by now you will be aware that in January I was elected as Vice Chair supporting our new Chair, Dan Howard. For those of you who don't know Dan, he is a life long cyclist with a young family and rides one of the longest adapted bikes I am sure to transit all 4! We have very much enjoyed our partnership so far, we have great respect and pride for our organisation, members and groups and we also have a good combination of skills serving us well.
I have not been on my bike much over the winter but have quite a few rides planned again now, including rides with the Lincoln Women’s Group, led by the fabulous Melanie Carroll. I also rode with and supported a community womens group in Bradford last weekend following directly the wheels of the Tour De Yorkshire for just a few miles to Saltaire. It was really inspirational to join this diverse group, some of whom have been riding together regularly under the guidance of ride leader Mumtaz Khan and others who rode a bike for the first time in years.
I will be at the Meriden Service on the 21st May and hope to see some of you there. We also have the AGM in London on Saturday.
About us
The last few weeks has been exceptional as Cycling UK increases its impact in line with our objectives. Spring really has sprung and we are gearing up for a busy summer of cycling.
Policy, campaigning, marketing and cycling delivery have all been increasing apace across the whole organisation. To cope with the growth in funding to deliver our plans, Operations has been at full stretch, running a large recruitment drive with 14 new staff joined or joining us over the quarter.
Big Bike Revivial
We have received £1m from DfT for Big Bike Revival and our work with them continues to be impressive.
We have been working in partnership with Living Streets and Sustrans and we are being viewed increasingly as an active travel consortium and are making DfT and other potential stakeholders aware of how we can work with them. We are currently involved in helping co-ordinate the LCWIP process following several meetings with DfT.
Close passing
You may have seen that we supported West Midlands Police’s highly successful close passing education initiative for drivers. Our objective was to fundraise to give a close pass mat to every force in the country. Thanks to Sam Jones and colleagues, we made a Kickstarter video appealing for the £12,000 we needed. The sum was raised in less than two days with wide media coverage.

Cycling Development:
Our Community Clubs programme continues to develop across England and Scotland.  Despite increasing our targets for 2016-17 the team is delivering some amazing results; supporting 42 existing clubs while developing 47 new ones. Across Scotland 81 groups were identified and supported as part of BBR, of which over 40 community groups have been developed and affiliated to Cycling UK over the winter months.
Highlighting one of the new regions for the Community Clubs programme in 2016; BBR funding was matched with health funding in Birmingham.
Our preschool partnership project that exceeded its target to reach 7000 children across Glasgow aims to continue working with families across the city with funding from Glasgow City Council. We are awaiting feedback on our ambitious proposal to roll out Play on Pedals across Scotland; the People’s Post Code Lottery have recently completed an audit of the Glasgow project. An article, co-authored by Professor Chris Oliver, about the programme will be published on the British Journal of Sports Medicine blog shortly.
We have had some in-depth and challenging discussions about how we achieve our ambitions on membership at the board which is crucial as this is the core of our legacy organisation but also means we are sustainable in the longer term. Matt Malinder has developed detailed plans and we are keeping a very close eye on how these develops as well as putting our support to him and the team.
Dan Howard our new chair and I have discussed the need to improve our own communications with the membership and we will be using every opportunity to do this. If you have any suggestions please let me know.
Our Challenge Rides Series 2017 has 16 rides confirmed, webpage created. Logo designed and medals, certificates and event kits are available to support events. The Series has now been officially launched and we have some great events in there from our East Midlands Groups.
The Women’s Festival of Cycling launched on 8 March. It was publicised in BikeBiz and also had offer of support from Casquette magazine. We are encouraging groups and officers to add as many as possible on .
Bike Week 2017 will take place 10-18th June (Parliamentary Bike Ride 7th June). The 2017 theme will be based around ‘fun, freedom and friends’ and will form part of the Big Bike Revival summer programme. Halfords are a corporate partner along with Immediate media.
Julie Rand has surveyed all group publicity content page (on the Cycling UK website) and contacted all groups regarding their publicity pages to ask if they can add photos and other information. Many have done so. If you have not already done so you may want to contact Julie to review.  Informal groups will also be added to the listings so they can take charge of their own publicity pages too and also register events.
Our new Cycling UK clothing range will be available soon, which will be sold through the commerce function of our new website. The range will include:
           Cycling UK Jersey
           Cycling UK Shell Jacket
           Cycling UK Cycling Cap
           Cycling UK Casual T-shirts
           Cyclists’ Touring Club Wool Jersey
           Cycling UK Car Window Stickers

We had great success on our campaign fighting the Governments plans to raise the minimum value of a road crash injury before its victim can claim injury compensation, from £1,000 to £5,000. Cycling UK mobilised 6,000 responses to the consultation, arguing that this would disproportionately affect cyclists’ and pedestrians’ claims, even though whiplash claims by these groups are virtually unheard-of.3.2 Marketing materials.

That’s all for now, we are entering the best months to be on our bikes. Enjoy.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Meriden Service


96th Cyclists’  Memorial Service
21st of May 2017
11.00 am Meriden Green

Tea/Coffee & Cakes
In the Methodist Church Hall
from 12.00

All cyclists welcome