Author Archives: Geoff Blunt

Sign our petition on covered cycle parking spaces

Sign our petition on covered cycle parking spaces

We have some great cycling facilities at the University campus, including schemes to make bike purchasing easier, swipe card-protected covered parking, repair stands and regular events aimed at increasing the number of regular cyclists. So successful have these incentives been, that now 11% of staff regularly cycle to work1; that’s about 1,100 people. This is great news, until you realise that there are only 1,031 covered bike spaces to park in – a third of which are shared with the students, who also cycle in large numbers. That’s a lot of people competing for not many spaces to keep their bikes from rusting in the Manchester rain. Contrast this to the situation with car parking provision, and we find that, although only 2,604 staff regularly drive1, there are 3,124 car parking spaces on campus2!

Some very dedicated people have been collecting data on cycle shelter usage3, and regularly find that in peak times they are filled to capacity (and beyond, you often see extra bikes jammed into unlikely spaces in desperation). It’s impossible to say what effect this might be having on the uptake of cycling – who wants to make the change to a regular cycle commute if the chances are that their beloved bike will be exposed to the elements all day? It’s also a pretty regular sight to see cyclists taking their bikes into buildings, much to the exasperation of cleaners, fire safety officers and anyone who trips over it in the office.

All of which sounds like a big moan, and the intention is not to say that there is some zero-sum game with cycle and car parking provision, but to underline that the disconnect between the relative provision for each travel mode seems out of kilter with the University’s sustainable travel goals, one of which is to reach 25% of staff regularly engaging in ‘active travel’ by 20224. So we’re starting a petition to ask the University to invest in more covered bike stands. It can be accessed here (University login required). Please read it and submit your agreement to the statement, we aim to take it to the University this summer.

Petition link: https://selectsurveys.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=720279m2

UMBUG

1Staff survey 2017

2UoM Estates car parking website, 2018

3Data gathered by UMBUG shelter guardians Jan 2015 – Nov 2016

4UoM Living Campus Plan, Environmental Sustainability

UoM Bike Maintenance Stands

How to use the on-campus bicycle repair stands

There are a 4 repair stands located across campus so you can repair a puncture and more on your bike. Find out how to use them here:

1. Locate your nearest stand using the interactive map.
We are using the stand located near the Renold Building on North Campus for this demonstration.

 

 

2. Hang your bicycle safely on the stand by putting the seat post between the posts ensuring your saddle rests on top as shown in the pictures. You may need to adjust or remove any bicycle lights, saddle bags or reflectors to do this. This safely holds your bike and frees up your hands for the next steps.

3. Select the tools you need for your job. Each repair stand has a comprehensive range of tools including spanners (various sizes), allen keys (various sizes), tyre levers, chain tool, screw drivers, adjustable spanner and pliers.

4. When you are done carefully lift your bicycle off the stand. Then ride away on your newly repaired bicycle!

5. If you notice there is a problem with the repair stand you can report this by emailing es@manchester.ac.uk .

Do you have tips or comments to share on using the repair stands? Join our Facebook discussion.

 

Autumn is coming. It’s time to keep your bike on the road…

Autumn on campus

Join in the conversation on UMBUG Facebook with your tips and advice.

After what has been a hot and intense summer, autumn is back with a change  in the weather and dark nights. Some cyclists will be putting their bikes away, waiting again for the light nights and sunny days of spring.

Autumn and winter cycling can seem daunting, the traffic sounds louder when the roads are wet, the dark might seem more dangerous and more people take to their cars for the school run, to pop to the shops or just to avoid the walk to the station.However, more traffic means that it is often moving more slowly so it’s actually a great time to be on your bike!

There are a few things you’ll need to consider if you decide to keep up that fitness (and allow yourself some extra calories at Christmas for an extra three and a half months of cycling!!):

Prepare

Check the weather forecast the night before and get all your kit together so you’re not dashing around in the morning trying to find your waterproofs or lights.

It’s also worth keeping a spare set of clothes in your office if you can, just in case you get caught in unexpected rain.

Bike

More regular cleaning is important, especially the chain and drivetrain components as the muck you pick up will act to wear the cassette and chainrings.

Check your tyres are properly inflated. This helps stop mud, which can conceal all sorts of sharp nasties, being picked up and sticking to your tyres.

Carry a spare tube – it’s much quicker than a repair kit or a long walk in the rain.

You should think about mudguards, if appropriate,to protect yourself and other road users from spray.

Clothing

You might want to invest in a decent waterproof jacket if you’re riding at night something highly reflective is good. Decent jackets can be expensive but staff can buy safety equipment (like lights, jackets, helmets) through the Cycle to Work scheme, with a saving on tax.

Waterproof trousers and rucksack covers can also prove useful. I tend to wear cheap cotton combat trousers as they have a lot of pockets and dry quickly. I personally use walking gaiters to keep my trousers out of my chain and they help keep my shoes and trousers dry from the spray off the road.

A thin balaclava or hat to keep your ears warm and gloves that are wind chill and rain resistant are good for frosty mornings.

Visibility

Lights – it’s the law! I strongly recommend USB chargeable ones as you can charge them up while you’re working and you can get some relatively inexpensive ones. The quality does vary though, so read the reviews.

Keep your lights clean.

If you’re going to go off road or on roads with little or no street lighting, you’ll probably also want to consider an extra bright front light (300-400 lumens on more) that shows up obstacles.

High visibility clothing will also help drivers spot you.

The environment

When riding in the autumn, fallen leaves can be a problem, as they tend to aggregate at the sides of the road where you want to cycle. When wet they are slippery and when dry they can hide potholes and nails, so it’s a good idea to keep away from the kerb.

Frosty mornings are not too bad, just be careful on quieter roads as they may not have been gritted and can be slippery.

You could also consider cycling into work and getting the train home if there’s a convenient one near your home.

Autumn cycling isn’t that different to the summer – apart from the fact you don’t sweat as much if you’re dressed prope

I’m relatively new to cycling; I got a Cyclescheme bike 4 years ago and for the first two years stopped cycling when the clocks changed. A couple of years ago though I decided I wanted to keep going through the winter because getting motivated to start again in spring was hard work! I got a Cyclescheme accessories-only package and haven’t looked back since.

By Dr Andrew Thomas, School of Materials and Photon Science Institute

We reproduce this press release without comment!

MANCHESTER CYCLING FESTIVAL BEGINS WITH NUDE BIKE RIDE

Hundreds of people are set to take to the streets of Manchester for a fortnight of free cycling events including the now infamous World Naked Bike Ride.

On Friday 9th June more than 200 brave cycling enthusiasts are expected to gather in Manchester for the incredible ‘bare as you dare’ ride. Ride organiser Andrew Fisher says “It’s all about getting cyclists to be more visible on roads. Drivers say they don’t see you, we’re saying cyclists need to be seen to get their fair share of the road.” Similar events take place in cities across the world and aim to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists.

The nude ride marks the beginning of North West Velo Fest 2017. This popular, free festival is now in its 6th year and despite appearances isn’t only for the naked or lycra-clad crowd. Festival organiser Joe Hulme says “There’s something for everyone, obviously the naked bike ride is the one everyone notices, who couldn’t? But it’s not all about getting your kit off. There are lots of other less scary opportunities to feel the wind through your hair in new places.”

The festival runs for two weeks from Friday 9th to Saturday 24th June. Events include a free bike tour of Manchester’s musical history, a street party, led countryside rides and races with cash prizes. The full lineup is available at http://www.nwvelofest.com.

LGBT History Month

We helped kick off LGBT History Month in collaboration with All-Out, the LGBT staff network group, by wearing go-faster rainbow shoelaces and ribbons to the cyclist breakfast on 1st Feb.  Thanks everyone who took part!

Merry Christmas!

snow and cycle UMBUG would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – we’ll be canvassing your opinions and ideas in January to direct our focus in 2017.  Have a great break!

Blindfold cycling and walking event

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is inviting cyclists to take part in a blindfold cycling and walking event on Friday 8 July on Oxford Road.

Only walkers will be blindfolded, so that they can understand some of the challenges blind and partially-sighted people face when they come in contact with cyclists in the streets, crossing a cycle lane or using a shared space.

As the cycleway on Oxford Road is being built, with bus stops being moved and a new cycle lane being laid, the RNIB wants to highlight the importance of making this scheme accessible to all cyclists and pedestrians. The new cycle lane will pass in front of the Manchester Eye Hospital, so it is more than likely that cyclists will meet blind and partially sighted pedestrians along the way.

RNIB will invite councillors, MPs and infrastructure designers to take part too.  They would like you to bring along your bikes and take turns between cycling along the road and walking with a blindfold on.

The activity will also be a good chance for blind and partially sighted people to understand how you feel when cycling on a  road and interacting with pedestrians. RNIB will give you some tips to follow when you meet a person with sight loss while cycling, as well as hearing your views.

For more information, please email alba.detoronozal@rnib.org.uk

Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed the festive break and found time to get out on two wheels every now and again. The first Corridor Cycle to Work Breakfast of 2016 is happening this week, on Thursday, 7 January at the Royal Northern College of Music.

All cyclists old and new from Corridor Manchester organisations are invited to come along and enjoy the free breakfast, which will be provided from 07:45 – 09:30. As usual, you can register on Eventbrite to speed up your sign-in, or simply turn up on the day. Dave from Revolve MCR will be on hand from 8am onwards offering free bike health checks too!

UMBUG-branded hoodies and t-shirts for sale

hoodie*** now closed ***

We’ve been asked about UMBUG-branded hoodies and t-shirts by a number of people, so we’re going to get a batch made up.  We’ll need to bulk-purchase, so please place an order with us at the link below before 26th June.  T-shirts will be about £10 and hoodies about £20 – the final figure will depend on the number ordered.  They will have the UMBUG bike logo on the front and “UMBUG University of Manchester Bicycle Users Group” on the back.

 

 

To order:t-shirt

  • Please follow the link to this doodle poll http://doodle.com/fdwteifdmdscwn69
  • FOR EACH GARMENT, please enter your email address and click the relevant garment/size button
  • On 3rd July we will get a quote from the manufacturers and contact you all requesting payment by bank transfer
  • When the hoodies arrive you will be emailed to arrange collection

Sizing guides:

Garment Standard T-shirt Lady-fit t-shirt Hoodie
Size Width (cm) Length (cm) Width (cm) Length (cm) Chest (inches)
XS XX XX 41.5 62 34
S 48.5 69.5 44 63 36
M 53.5 72 46.5 64 40
L 56 74.5 49 65 44
XL 61 77 51.5 66 48
XXL 66 78.5 54 67 52

 

Early sign-up for the Manchester 100 bike ride in aid of the Christie

ImageWould you like to cycle the Manchester 100 bike ride in aid of The Christie on Sunday 6th September 2015?

A great ‘Century’ ride – a choice of 100 mile or 100km route along beautiful lanes through a wide sweep of Cheshire, helping to raise funds for the Christie Hospital. Starting and finishing at Wythenshawe Park, Manchester, the route heads first to Northwich, taking in Delamere Forest and Nantwich (the half way point) for lunch before heading back through Middlewich to the Finish.

Advanced entry fee: 100 km £19.50, 100 miles £20.0

For more details and to sign up online, visit: http://www.bike-events.com/manchester100