Category Listing: General interest

Historic Billy Trail planning document

This document was produced by the Railway Path Project based in Bristol - a precursor to Sustrans.  It was commissioned by the Havant and District Safe Cycling Campaign - many of the activists were Portsmouth CTC members including current members Keith Wileman and Mike Edwards.

The document was aspirational but you can see much of what became the Billy Trail in the proposal.

All the pages of the proposal follow as scanned images.  Click on sections of the document to zoom in to that section.

A souvenir from 1932

I've been sent a souvenir programme of the 1932 South of England Cyclists' rally organised by Portsmouth CTC (then the Portsmouth District Association) and the Portsmouth Centre of the National Association of Cycle and Motor Cycle Traders.  It's a fascinating piece of history.

Portsmouth DA put up a prize of a years' CTC membership to "the cyclist not already in a cycling club, making what the Committee considers to be the most meritorious ride to the Rally".

"Our Message" on page 5 applies equally well today as it did in 1932!

Our thanks to Gwelda Swindells who found the programme while going through the belongings of a deceased relative and who took the trouble to get in touch and send it on to us.

These are the pages of the programme, click any page to see a larger image (if you have a big screen).

SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 1


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 2


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 3


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 4


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 5


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 6


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 7


SE Cycle Rally 1932 page 8

Lorries and cycle safety

Exchanging placesA group of us went to Guildhall Square in Portsmouth to visit the 'Exchanging Places' event organised by John Gosling, Managing Director of TJ Transport Limited, working with Portsmouth Council and the Police.

It allowed us to see a driver's view of cyclists and to discuss safety issues directly with HGV drivers and operators.

Exchanging PlacesThe picture on the right was featured in the Portsmouth News and shows: me, Tony Light and John Gosling.

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How safe are our rides?

This article was first published in 2008 based on the club rides for 2007. I have updated it for the twelve months ending September 2013.

I was talking to a distinguished member of the local community recently and discovered that as a youth he was a keen cyclist and Youth Hosteller; but he said he wouldn’t cycle far on our roads now. He ‘has a little place in France’ where he happily pedals around the village without fear but is terrified of the traffic here.

This set me thinking. How far do we go on club rides in a year without ‘traffic damage’ ? As far as I’m aware, in the 15 years in which we have been cycling regularly with the club there have been only three incidents in which cyclists have been in collisions with motor vehicles while on club rides or going to join one – two on club runs and a third while on his way to join the start of the ride. In all cases the cyclists received only minor cuts and bruises and were back cycling again within a few weeks. And all got a new bicycle on the relevant motorist’s insurances.

And how far do we cycle in a year?

Making reasonable assumptions, using data from the 2013 Annual report …

Average riders Mileage Rides Total mileage
Cosham rides 5.4 50 52 14,040
Havant Saturday 14.4 50 49 26,460
Havant Wednesday 22.4 50 50 42,000
Evening pub rides 6.9 20 26 3,588
Sunday morning rides 6.0 30 11 1,980
Easy rides 6.3 20 11 1,386
Tandem rides 8 30 11 2,640
Total 92,094

 Assuming ½ the riders only ride to elevenses and do about ½ the distance.

The calculation is conservative because it doesn't take account of distance people travel to and from the start of the ride.

The circumference of the world is approximately 25,500 miles. This means that as a club, our runs take us the equivalent of 3.61 times round the world at the equator each year.  And only 3 minor collisions with motor vehicles in the last 15 years.  Not a bad record.

Ian Hewitt

A Fighter Pilot’s Guide to surviving on the roads

This article first appeared in the forces pension society magazine Pennant and is reproduced here by kind permission of the editor.

Fighter1John Sullivan is a Royal Air Force pilot with over 4,000 flight hours, and a keen cyclist. In this article he describes why collisions can occur and, in layman’s terms, how some of the techniques of flying fast jets can be used to increase your chances of survival on the roads.

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