From: The Health Improvement Commission for Guernsey and Alderney LBG
Cycle clinic to encourage active travel
A SERIES of free ‘pop-up’ cycle clinics supported by the Health Improvement Commission will take place in July. It is hoped that the clinics will encourage more people to consider cycling as a means of getting around the island.
The idea of the clinics is to provide an opportunity for people to get a basic check on their bike, such as checking brakes, gears, or oiling the chain. Some bikes may require a subsequent full service, other bikes may have just sat around in a shed for too long and need some basic maintenance which can be done relatively quickly and without specific parts required.
‘Our aim at the Commission is to get more people, being more active, more often,’ said Active Travel Officer Alex Costen.
‘Cycling is a relatively low cost and accessible way of travelling around the island, with the benefit of improving physical and mental health and well-being, but also helping to reduce traffic on our roads. We hope the clinics will appeal to people who regularly commute by bike, but also those who may not have been on their bike for a while and know it needs a quick check to make sure it is safe and roadworthy.’
The free cycle clinics run by Adventure Cycles will be in operation outside the market on Friday 16thand 23rdJuly, from midday until 2pm. A third clinic, also open to the general public as well as staff, will take place at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital on 30thJuly. The cycle checks will be done on a first come first served basis.
Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink said: ‘We are delighted to see this initiative to help encourage more people onto their bikes. Alongside all the wellbeing benefits, cycling can help to protect you from serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. Riding a bike is healthy, fun and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages and it is easy to fit into your daily routine by riding to the shops, school or work. We are lucky in Guernsey that most cycling journeys can take in quiet lanes and stunningly scenic parts of our island.’
Guernsey Police and the Guernsey Bicycle Group (GBG), whose mission is to get more people cycling as part of their everyday lives, are participating with the Stay Wider of the Rider initiative. GBG representatives will also on hand to give general cycling advice.
Ben Craddock, from the GBG committee, commented: ‘We’re seeing an incredible rise in people choosing to cycle to school, work and for daily journeys. This is a testament to the fact that most trips under three miles in Guernsey are no slower by bike, e-bikes flatten the hills, and you get an enormous sense of freedom and the feel-good factor from moving around by bike.
‘However, concerns around road safety are still holding many people back from cycling as part of everyday life. Until the lack of cycling and walking infrastructure is addressed, we all need to share the roads safely – Stay Wider of the Rider is an obvious illustration of how much space there needs to be between cars and cyclists.’
This follows a new roads safety alliance, including representatives from the Commission, GBG, the police, Guernsey Motor Trades Association, Living Street Guernsey, CT Plus Guernsey, States of Guernsey and the douzaines which has recently been formed as part of a new alliance to make Guernsey’s roads safer for all users.