Hayling Herald article for December 2022

Here’s Cycle Hayling’s column for the December Hayling Herald

…. but with added pictures and web links that work!

This month

  • Cycle Hayling has moved!
  • New Cycling Plans?
  • Size isn’t everything!
  • Watch out for tri-shaws!
  • Christmas presents

Cycle Hayling has moved!

No, not off Hayling! Just from cyclehayling.org.uk to cyclehayling.org. It’s a side-effect of upgrading our website and email to the latest technology, but we like it being shorter too! So please update your bookmarks and contacts.

New Cycling Plans?

Hampshire County Council has just released Havant and Hayling’s 179 page Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, the LCWIP. Spoiler alert – those of a nervous disposition look away now – the focus is on ‘urban areas’, where car trips are often shorter and easier to convert to cycling, and ‘where more people live, work and visit’. Nearly a fifth of Havant’s population live and work on Hayling, and many more visit!

But most of our jobs and shops are on the mainland, only 3 miles away for most of us, which should be easy cycling, especially for an e-bike. And yet there’s STILL no plan for a practical cycle route off the island that might tempt average car drivers to switch.

Hayling appears to have twice the number of consultation ‘comments’ than the rest of the Borough combined. And yet they’ve virtually ignored Cycle Hayling’s 10 point deputation, and Havant Borough Council’s aspirational cycle map.

They say future versions will ‘balance up more rural areas, with closer links to our Public Rights of Way network’. But the plan is only revised every five years, so in practice, we’re looking at ten years before anything might start to happen. We don’t have that long. Hayling Island will be first under water as sea levels rise, especially under the new Coastal ‘No-Management’ Strategy.

We welcome many of the plan’s very well thought out detailed comments to improve cycling (and walking), but most are very unlikely to get funding in the foreseeable future.

But one item is potentially self-funding! It includes 54 separate recommendations for 20mph speed limits in residential streets, to improve walking and cycling. Wales is doing exactly that, and expects to save £100m from fewer deaths and injuries in year one alone. And yet shockingly, Hampshire currently BANS future 20mph zones, and still appears to be resisting it during the current policy review. See 20’s Plenty demolition of Hampshire’s justification for the ban here.

The brutal truth is that Hampshire talks the talk about fixing the climate crisis, but it does NOT walk the walk, or more to the point, cycle the cycle. Frankly, they’re just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Please check the plans out at cyclehayling.org/plans.

Size isn’t everything!

Many people think small wheels must make a bike slower. It’s a myth – fake news! You don’t have to pedal any faster – the gears take care of that. My Brompton and Decathlon folding bikes have 16” and 20” wheels respectively, and they keep up fine, and they’re my most fun bikes. And with less rotational mass, they accelerate faster. And they fit in a suitcase.

A Brompton has just broken the record for Lands End to John O’Groats unsupported, doing it in 83 hours, less than 3 and a half days, despite dehydrating in this summer’s heatwave. And watch this Brompton beat a superbike up Cheddar Gorge!

See more on cyclehayling.org/folders! As they say, size isn’t everything.

Watch out for tri-shaws!

Roger on Cycling Without Age trike

You’d better get used to seeing electric tri-shaw bikes on Hayling, because we now have TWO! They’re both aiming to bring healthy, fresh air cycling to people who might not be able to do it on their own, and help combat social isolation.

  • You can book the Cycling Without Age tri-shaw through the GP practices at the Hayling Health Centre.
  • The Good Neighbours ’Go To’ service operates out of the Hayling Voluntary Service shop in Elm Grove, and it also offers deliveries. More details on our new website at cyclehayling.org/trishaw.

And they’ll give you a friendly wave when you let them across at junctions – but I’m sure you’d do that for all cyclists!

Christmas presents

We asked Cycle Hayling supporters what Christmas presents they’d like, and amazingly, a new bike wasn’t top of the list! It turns out every cyclist needs those little extras, and some of them make great stocking fillers. Rechargeable lights, puncture repair kits, inner tubes, chain lube, weatherproof clothing, ….

Or perhaps a voucher from Hayling Cycles (no relation to Cycle Hayling!) for a bike service in the spring? You can see our full list at cyclehayling.org/presents.

But if any of you parents or grandparents are thinking of a new kid’s bike, do check out Cycle Sprog first, at cyclesprog.co.uk. They don’t sell anything, they just do brilliant, independent advice and reviews, and they cover everything, from baby seats, to trailers, to box bikes, right up to teenagers.

And they’ll tell you why the best start is scooting along on a Balance Bike, without pedals or stabilisers. They start by pushing the bike to get a feel for the steering and the brakes. That prepares them for the next step, balance, ideally on a very gentle down slope, or you pushing them. It’s only once they’ve learned to steer and to balance that they’re ready to add action, by striding along, and eventually pedalling, and kids love it. It might seem backward, but it’s as easy as C, B, A :

  • Controls – steering and brakes
  • Balance
  • Action – striding or pedalling

Aluminium bikes are a little more expensive, but a LOT lighter, and a heavy bike is a killer for a small child. And for you too – you’ll end up carrying it sooner or later!

The Cycle Hayling committee wishes you a happy, healthy, and a cycling Christmas!