Hayling Herald article December 2019

This is the article we submitted for the December edition of the Hayling Herald. They may of course edit their version, and we format this version for the website with photos and links.

  • The future of cycling on Hayling
  • Presents for cyclists

The future of cycling on Hayling

Do we want this, or this ...

Thank you to the thirty+ people who came to our Cycle Hayling open meeting on “The future of cycling on Hayling” last month.

And especially to the four Hayling councillors who turned out on a cold evening to demonstrate their support.

Unfortunately, with only three hours notice, Havant Borough Council’s legal team cancelled our guest speaker, because of election purdah. We think that was unnecessary, and we’ve complained, but Stuart Wood has promised to come to our next meeting.

The future of cycling on the island sparked a lively discussion on solutions to Hayling’s traffic problems, including ‘Haylink’, our campaign for a safe, traffic-free, all-weather cycle link between the Lidl roundabout and the bridge.

And on our ‘Smooth the Path’ campaign, which aims to improve all of Hayling’s path surfaces, not just for cyclists, but for wheelchairs, disabled buggies and parents with pushchairs as well.

That includes the Billy Trail, which I’m sure we all want to be saved, and we’ll be looking to find a solution that meets the needs of everyone.

Our new Saltmarsh Lane cycle path to the Billy Trail is creeping forwards very slowly, but we’re delighted to have the help of our county councillor, and we’re still hopeful of starting work in the spring.

Presents for cyclists

With Christmas coming up, cyclists are very easy to buy presents for!

A new bike doesn’t need to be expensive for everyday cycling on a flat island, and will get you there just as fast, with less worry about it being stolen. If it saves the car or bus, it will pay for itself in no time.

With all the pressure to leave our cars at home, I’m a great fan of folding bikes (great reviews here and here) for commuting, for the bus, train or car boot, or even if you’re short of storage space.

Decathlon folders are amazing value, from £150 up. Tern and Dahon have a good reputation in the middle £400+ range.

But for commuting and brilliant folding, you can’t beat Brompton; expensive, but they hold their value very well.

We have plenty of ideas for existing riders’ presents and stocking fillers.

Be safe, be seen, with hi-vis clothing and lights. Hi-vis velcro ankle straps start at a couple of pounds, while a hi-vis gilet or rucksack cover can be not much more.

We love USB rechargeable LED lights, slow flashing for better visibility and battery life. Look for ones with rubber straps, for instant fitting and removing.

Keep them charged up, like your phone, so they’re always ready. I’ve seen them from £1.50, but £10 to £15 might be a better quality.

Keeping warm and dry makes all the difference, and cycling jackets are designed for riding position and movement. Fully breathable GoreTex jackets are fantastic, but for everyday cycling up to 3 or 4 miles, semi-breathable jackets will do the job much cheaper.

Tiny pack-away jackets are great to throw in your pocket in case of rain. And gloves to keep your hands warm.

Bike racks and panniers let you carry shopping and any gear you need.

All bikes need a bell to warn pedestrians and dog walkers, from £1 up.

Everyone needs a puncture repair kit, a cyclist’s multi-tool, or even spare inner tubes (check the size). Modern tiny hand pumps are good to carry with you, but for home use, you can’t beat a track pump with a pressure gauge.

A cable combination lock is good for quick locking in safer places, but for valuable bikes or dodgier places, we’d suggest a good brand D-lock, rated ‘sold secure’ gold or silver.

But having both lets you loop the cable through wheels, or attach to bigger anchor points, such as fences or trees. And a bike holder makes them easier to carry and harder to forget.

[ If you want any help or recommendations, please ask us! ]

Christmas and New Year are quiet on Hayling roads, so enjoy a ride with family and friends, try your presents out and burn off all those Christmas calories!

Lots more help and advice via our website, at cyclehayling.org.
If you have any comments or ideas, please tell us!