Friday 26th Nov 19.30
The CycleWight AGM is here again. This year’s is an especially important one for us as the group is being asked to consider a new role. The Council, as we are all aware is to be pared down. There is an expectation by Central Government that many of operations carried out by local councils will now be done by the community – in our case the cycling community. It means CycleWight may well find itself thrust into a different role – not one of just representing cyclists' views to the various bodies but also looking to provide solutions to issues, which may also include acquiring funding. How we face up to the challenge is a question that the committee has been discussing of late. This is the time to make more people in the cycling community aware of the challenges ahead and to discuss how as a group we respond to them. Your attendance along with anyone else with an interest in the future of cycling is crucial to future developments. It is as always important that we send out a strong message to a variety of organisations and bodies that cycling is important on the Island and one way that can be achieved is by having a well attended AGM with people making their views clearly known.
Wight Wheels Challenge
You may well remember that in July people were asked to participate in the Wight Wheels Challenge. This was part of a national project to encourage more people to ride. The Island did well in the Challenge, comparing well with the other places involved in the project such as Milton Keynes and Southampton. For example Wight Wheels Challenge attracted the highest proportion of people who had not cycled in the last year, which was one of the main thrusts of the project. The challenge was carefully monitored and the findings make some interesting reading. Do look on the web site. In fact it is good to see many people are still using the site to log rides. The main reason citied why people do not ride more was the lack of cycle tracks. A point to ponder. For the record, over 800 participated, riding 42,000 miles, 64% were for transport purposes saving more than 7 tonnes of CO2 Will Ainslie, the coordinator for the Island, for reasons beyond his control, was given very little time organise it and so it is a testament to him and to others that it was so successful. It is also a reminder that the ‘community spirit’ on the Island is an important element to make such projects work. It is to run again next year from May 7 for three weeks.