Two local cycling events – Sunday 29th December

Gary H, one of our members, wants to bring two non-competitive events to everyone’s attention:

The first is a three-hour mountain bike orienteering (or trail quest) event.  The second is a road sportive event (over distances of 30 / 40 / 70 kms).  Both are ideal “come and try” events and are based at Naseby Village Hall – just off the A14/A508, post code NN6 6DE.
The Hall will open at 8.00 a.m.  The trail quest event starts between 9.00 a.m. and 10.30 a.m.  The 70 km sportive starts at 9.00 a.m. and the 40 km and 30 km sportives start at 10.00 a.m.
The entry fee for either event is £10.00 and includes maps and refreshments.
The trail quest is run under Midland Trail Quest rules and guidelines.  The sportives are run under British Cycling rules and guidelines.
Details and on-line entry for the trail quest can be found here and for the sportives here.  The 70 km sportive route is set on a figure-of-eight course: you need to complete the first 40 km before 11.30am (and call in to HQ) before you can start the 30km. 
CATS Mountain Bike Club have successfully run this event for the past 11 years, giving almost £8,000 away to charity.  The chosen charity for this year is a local cancer charity called Hope Against Cancer based in Leicester.  (This charity has been looking after the wife of the original organiser of the event, who stepped down this time last year to look after his wife.)

Re-introducing cars to Abington Street in Northampton Town Centre

John Cutler, our Right To Ride Officer, alerted me to the way in which it is proposed that cars be re-introduced to Abington Street.

The majority political party on Northampton Borough Council included this proposal in its manifesto for the 2013 Council elections.

St Giles Terrace is to become one-way (northerly); Abington Street will be re-opened to cars one-way (westerly); and then Wellington Street will be accessible one-way (northerly).

The main problem with the Road Traffic Order is that it is, unthinkingly, to apply to ALL vehicles – so that cyclists will be affected by it.  It is as if the use of bicycles has been forgotten by the planners.

It would be perfectly possible to design the road markings and infrastructure to allow cycling in both directions.  (Indeed, other East Midlands towns and cities – Leicester, Derby, Nottingham – allow cycling in their pedestrianised areas.  This was forgotten in Northampton when Abington Street was originally pedestrianised in the late 1980s.)

Could I urge you, therefore, if you live in Northampton and the surrounding area to e-mail your objections and suggestions to and to copy your e-mail to your borough councillor and to your county councillor?