Campaigns – Vision Zero
Christmas – Our Tree
– Our Dinner
Cycle training in Canada
Tale of Two Benches
Rides Programme 2023
What, you may ask, is a MICE card? The ‘M’ is for Membership. New members when they join WDCF will get a membership card and cards will then be rolled out to our existing members. This will avoid confusion for those who just join our Facebook group and think this makes them members. When you pay the fee (at present £5) and sign the application form, you become a voting member of the Forum and eligible to stand for a place on the committee. Our indemnity insurance only allows non-members to come on 3 rides before they join, so the distinction is important.
On joining any ride with us, you are asked to sign in, giving your name and a contact number for use in an emergency, with confirmation that you are over 18 and indicating if you are a member. A surprisingly high number of people have problems recalling the mobile number of their nearest and dearest- or that of the person they most trust to come to their aid if something untoward happens. It’s hardly surprising when you think that most of us have those we ring most often on speed dial and rarely actually dial, or rather press, their number.Mice card
To avoid the embarrassment of having to put ‘999’ because you can’t recall your brother’s mobile number, we are combining an ‘In Case of Emergency’ card with the Membership card to make MICE. If you’re carrying the card, on the ride registration form you just need to put MICE in the contact column and make sure it’s somewhere easy to find if you get knocked out by a low hanging branch and need to be collected.
The minutes of our AGM are available on our website on the Membership and Meetings Page. The committee membership is unchanged apart from the ratification of David Leigh as treasurer following Joyce Roche’s retirement earlier in the year.
The minutes usefully outline what we’ve done over the last 12 months, including our attendance at Wakey Green Trial in the Ridings, pictured below, and our proposals for the future.
It was agreed that the minimum age for participating in a Forum ride without an accompanying adult be dropped from 18 to 16, which might encourage some younger riders.
The 2023 AGM was provisionally fixed on Thursday 28 October at 18:45 at Wakefield Town Hall so now’s the time to save the date.
For 2023, Wakefield District Council is gathering information about road safety issues for cyclists in the district. They don’t propose to wait for next year to start but would like information now, whether it’s cycle lanes that are persistently parked on or those that stop suddenly leaving riders in a vulnerable position with no easily discernible safe onward route, junctions where a wider exit from the side road would make it easier and safer to join the main road or traffic lights where sensors to change the light don’t react to a solitary cycle.
Information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you send it to email@example.com, we’ll collate it and send a combined response or you could do both! Data will help WMDC form its plans for the work to be done next year. Cycling is cleaner, healthier and cheaper than most other forms of transport and doesn’t contribute to global warming. It needs encouraging for the sake of the nation and the planet. Please help us promote it as widely as possible.
One of Wakefield District Cycle Forum’s dreams is to have a barrier free Cycle Network within our district so the Forum have started to compile a list of locations where cyclists have to stop to negotiate a barrier, for example A-frames, chicanes, gates, etc.
With the number we have found so far, I think we’re quite a way from that yet, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
To see the ones we’ve covered already, please see the list below and accompanying map. If you know or come across any more within the Wakefield District area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with type and location – a photo would also be nice if possible.
As part of its Christmas festivities, Nostell decorates the house and invites a select number of local groups to spruce up a tree in festive gear for display in the courtyard.
Here’s some of our elves hard at work recycling bits of bicycles , baubles and tinsel to create a splendid cycle themed tree in our signature blue.
Why not call in to have a look next time you’re passing?
We had a splendid Christmas dinner in smart surroundings at the King’s Croft Hotel, Pontefract. The settings were convivial, the company good and the food delicious.
Our hosts had provided a delicious menu catering for those who preferred red meat, fowl, fish or plants. Calls for extra gravy were swiftly satisfied, as was the cry for Christmas crackers.
After Christmas pud and brandy sauce (the most popular choice) or some other sweet offering, came coffee and the chair’s resume of the year.
The fantastic finale was Neville’s Christmas quiz with a question for each year of the current century, although a fair few of the questions were older than that.
The prize, a bottle of gin kindly donated by Roger Moreton, who was unfortunately unable to attend, was won by Beth Kaye, Darcie Leech and Adam Tennant.
Thanks are also due to Janet Taylor, Mark Beswick and Meg Andrews, for their combined efforts in arranging the meal, Cathryn Vaughton for the photos and Kings Croft for the food and the microphone, without which the quiz would have been even harder.
Having dressed yourself beautifully for our Christmas dinner, now’s the chance to dress up your trusty steed for one-or both- of our celebrated Santa Rides. Riders are expected to be suitably and warmly attired. The picture shows a couple carrying out a ‘Elf and safety’ check on the route.
You can choose to join us at 10.30am at Nostell on the 11th December, where you will see our Christmas tree featured above, or Saturday 17th at 10.30am at Queen’s Mill. A hot drink and a mince pie will be provided, but not necessarily at the beginning of the ride.
The smartest bike and most festive costume will be rewarded with cheery smiles and waves from passers by.
My son, Daniel, lives in Ottawa, Canada with his two children and partner, Kelly.
Since the snow melted last April, Daniel had been trying to teach his five year old daughter, Eva, to ride a bike. He had little success after several months, so to avoid the possibility of injury he had given up trying and fitted her bike with trainer wheels.
Like most parents who work full time and are not involved in education the long school summer holiday is a challenge. The summer holidays in Canada are even slightly longer than in the UK.
To cope they enrolled Eva in a number of Summer Schools through August.
My wife and I arrived in mid-August to ease the burden on Daniel and Kelly for the remainder of the school summer holiday.
The last Summer School Eva attended was what we would call ‘Bikeability’. It was run by an outfit called Pedal Heads who hired a Jewish Community Centre/College to deliver the training.
The course was run over five mornings and cost the equivalent of £190. (Nothing is cheap in Canada except motoring and urban public transport).
The course was obviously worth it as in less than two mornings Eva was a confident rider. Her trainer wheels were gone and the instructor was able to run with Eva until she was “launched” and continued to pedal. (I assume that this is the standard method for teaching children to ride unaided).
In the subsequent weeks she improved her skills and is looking forward to longer distance cycling (with adult supervision) from next Spring. (Cycling between October and April is not too much fun in Ottawa as temperatures can drop as low as -30 degrees centigrade.)
Earlier this year we told you that the bench celebrating the life of the late John Harvey had been commissioned. It has now been erected and a small plaque added, It looks very smart and, like Sandy and David’s bench, will be well used.
A second bench was put up nearby by WMDC, the Italian custard coloured concrete bench featured in an earlier newsletter. This seat was not universally appreciated and last month some-one tipped it over, thereby revealing that only gravity was keeping it in place. The incident has been reported so watch this space.
We are currently supporting our extensive programme of over 120 guided rides with an ever decreasing number of Ride Leaders. If anyone reading this would like to help, either as Backmarker or as Ride Leader, please get in touch. I can be contacted via ‘email@example.com’ and am more than happy to explain what’s involved and the support you can expect. Remember that if there’s no-one willing to go in front, the ride can’t happen.
The Forum receives an annual grant from WMDC which helps us to provide kit and training and keep our loan bikes running. It also enables us to champion new safe cycle routes and keep the existing ones open.
For 2023, WMDC have changed the emphasis on the rides that they require us to provide. We have also been tasked with providing Easy rides from two new locations – Ryhill & Eastmoor. The focus now is on Entry / Easy rides and getting more people active through cycling. For this reason, we are prioritising beginners’ rides and these are the ones that will be published in the leaflet for next year. The website will still show all rides and each ride will continue to be advertised as an event on Facebook.
The Steady rides will continue but we desperately need new volunteers who are willing to train as Ride Leaders– all expenses paid.
It has also been decided that we should try to limit the number of cyclists per Ride Leader on any ride and to this end we will be introducing a booking system for use by Forum members. This should enable us to call for back-up should a ride prove to be very popular. We will still welcome non-members who turn up on the day. Elsewhere in this newsletter, there is an article about the new MICE (Member In Case of Emergency) card. These will be issued on the first ride and members will be expected to bring them every time. This is the same process that WMDC Active Walking groups have to adhere to.
Finally, in case you hadn’t got the message – we need more Ride Leaders (and Backmarkers)!Neville Andrews