Category Listing: News

News relating to Portsmouth CTC. Note that the large majority of news items are available only to members. To see them log in to the site.

Limited resumption of group rides

Following announcements by the UK Government and Cycling UK this week, we are resuming a limited form of group ride we call 'Pop-up rides'.

What are Pop-up rides?

Rides of up to a maximum of 6 people, including the leader, any day of the week. Click here to find out more about the background to Pop-up rides and how they will work. If you are a ride leader, click here to find out how you can register and manage Pop-up rides.

They are open to all and as time goes on I hope there will be a good variety of rides available. Leaders may want to start with limiting the ride to 3 or 4 people until we all get used to this idea.

Why start up rides again?

Despite the absence of all of our usual rides for almost 12 weeks now, many of us have been able to enjoy cycling and keep fit by riding alone, with household members and lately with one other. However there are people in the club and those interested in cycling (e.g. who signed up to the Cathedral Challenge) who are not able/willing to ride alone. They are desperate to ride but don’t have a cycling buddy and want people to ride with. It is arguably safer to ride in 2's or 3's than on their own, particularly if they are less confident. It is to give all an opportunity to ride with others we have decided to start these rides.

Is it legal?

Yes – the government changed the rules from 1 June and rides of up to 6 people are allowed. However we must stick to the social distancing and hygiene guidelines at all times.

Is it safe?

The bottom line is that you have to decide for yourself as leader or rider what risk you are prepared to take, particularly if you are in a vulnerable category. The virus is still with us and the risks are real. However, in my view, our role as a local cycling club is to facilitate rides and not to try to second guess the advice we’ve been given. If you’re happy to give it a try, do go ahead and enjoy but don’t feel obliged to lead and/or join rides.

Can only leaders set up a ride?

Like all our rides you have to be a leader registered with Cycling UK to lead a ride (and therefore set up a pop-up ride). However if you’re not a leader and want to find one or more people to ride with, members’ contact details can be found on the website if you’re logged in. Alternatively, Andy will help if you contact him.

Joy Forrow
President, Portsmouth CTC

Rides and events cancelled for the time being

Given the recommendations and actions taken to address the covid-19 pandemic I believe we now have no choice but to suspend rides and group meetings until further notice.

Cycling is still an excellent activity that is good for you. You could try one of the many routes on our website here, search for them here, or you could discover new routes of your own.

If you wish to contact other members remember that you can do this though the website. We would like to offer more advice on small informal rides but are unsure whether/how to do this. If anyone has any ideas/thoughts please let me know.

You can find informed Government advice here:

Please keep safe and hope to see you all back on the bike soon.

Joy Forrow
President, Portsmouth CTC

Update: Since publishing the above, we have received this advice from Cycling UK which is consistent with our position.

Help with route plotting and GPS

At the ride leader workshop in August we talked about running a further workshop to help ride leaders and members build confidence and independence in using GPS for planning routes and riding.

I believe that we have a lot of expertise within the Club that we could share but the workshop model may not be appropriate as there are many different systems and everyone will be at a different starting level. In order to take this forward could you e-mail me and tell me if you are interested, and what you would like help with. For example:

  • how to plot a route
  • finding and downloading routes – general
  • as ride leader, adding GPS to website
  • as ride leader, editing your ride on the website
  • advice on choosing a GPS
  • practical issues with using GPS
  • common GPS problems
  • other

We will need to know what system you are using. For example: Garmin or Phone.

For those who are already fluent with one or more systems, are you able/willing to help others and, again, on which devices, phones etc?

Once we know what help people want we can work out the best way to take this forward.

Thank you.

Joy Forrow

Cathedral Challenge

Chichester CathedralWe're running a series of rides in 2020 aimed at people new to group riding or who haven't cycled for a while. They start with a short, 'get to know you' ride that includes a free bike check and progress through longer distances, tackling a series of challenges on the way:

  • Bronze: Havant to Portsmouth cathedral and back
  • Silver: Chichester cathedral and back
  • Gold: Winchester cathedral and back

That might seem impossible to you now, but here's a sample of the stories recent joiners to our rides have to tell:

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Paul Whitehead passes 300,000 miles

Paul on the ride where he passed 300,000 miles

Paul Whitehead - a past President of Portsmouth CTC - passed the 300,000 mile mark on Sunday, 31st March, while on tour in France.

He is now eligible to join the exclusive 300,000 Mile Club; something that only a handful of Portsmouth CTC members have achieved.

To put his achievement into context, that's over 12 times around the world - at the equator! Or a lot further than the distance to the moon!

Congratulations, Paul!

Change in PCTC club nights

Josie Dew asked us if she could change the date of her club night presentation so we have swapped it with the Competition Night.

Josie's presentation will now take place on Thursday 14th March and the Competition Night on Thursday 28th March.

For those who don't know, Josie is a near-local and Vice President of Cycling UK. We know many of you are looking forward to hearing her speak so please make sure you mark the new date.

Andy Henderson
Secretary, Portsmouth CTC

Havant's new Cycling and Walking Plan!

Havant Borough Council has announced that it will be starting work on a formal Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan shortly.

This is REALLY important because :

  • A formal plan unlocks much more future government funding
  • Implementing it becomes a formal policy of the whole council, not just the cycling team
  • It forces developers to show how their housing plans fit into OUR bigger plan
  • It forces all of us to plan for the best long term solution, rather than just for quick wins

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