Author Archives: Rachel Lea

TfGM Better By Cycle Challenge

The Transport for Greater Manchester Better By Cycle Challenge returns in April 2015. Throughout the month you can log your bicycle miles in the latest challenge. It’s free to enter and there are spot prizes for participants. You can compare your performance on the leaderboards, including one for the University of Manchester (just remember to select The University of Manchester when you sign up – listed under T).



Manchester Cycle Forum 10/03/15

The next meeting of the Manchester cycle forum will be on Tuesday 10th March from 5.30pm in Committee Room 4 of the Town Hall.

The Manchester Cycle Forum is a voice for everyone interested in cycling. They meet quarterly to discuss cycling-related issues and promote opportunities for cycling in Manchester. It is an opportunity to meet council staff, councillors and other interested parties to exchange views and ideas that can help make cycling safer. The forum welcomes new and novice cyclists who want a greater understanding of cycle projects.

The 2015 Manchester cycle forum meetings are on:

  • Tuesday 10 March 2015
  • Tuesday 16 June 2015
  • Tuesday 15 September 2015
  • Tuesday 8 December 2015

Email to be added to the mailing list.

International Women’s Day and related cycling events in March

As part of this year’s International Women’s Day, #MCRWomenBike want to celebrate the fact so many women across Greater Manchester are riding their bikes and encourage more women and girls to get biking. To do this they’ve launched a photo campaign and organised an event on Saturday 7th March. Full details of the #MCRWomenBike photo campaign are available on their website. All photographs will be exhibited at the People’s History Museum on Saturday 7 March for International Women’s Day as part of an event titled ‘MCR women biking through – from suffrage to cycling equality’. The photographs will continue to be exhibited at various venues across Manchester over the following months including Pop Up Bikes cafe, Plattfields Boat House and the National Cycling Centre.

Transport for Greater Manchester are also hosting a campaign to help women get on their bikes across Greater Manchester. Throughout March TfGM will be hosting a number of events and activities that promote and celebrate women cycling. There is something for all ages and abilities; whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a complete novice who doesn’t want to take the stabilisers off just yet. The range of events taking place include led rides, training courses, longer group rides, competitive circuit rides, exhibitions, social gatherings, discounts and competitions. There will also be a number of women-only cycle training sessions taking place, and a Girls Go Better By Cycling workshop on Tuesday 31 March at Friends Meeting House. The workshop will feature guest speakers (including UMBUG’s very own Kathy England) giving talks about developing women’s cycling in Greater Manchester.

Also as a part of International Women’s Day and Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign, Manchester City Council are offering 2 FREE mountain biking sessions on the National Cycling Centre pump track and skills area on Tuesday 10 and 17 March 1-3pm. Contact to register (registration in advance is required to avoid disappointment). No previous mountain biking experience needed – you just need to be able to ride a bike!

Beat The Bogle 6-7 March 2015

‘Raise and Give’ Students Charity Society Manchester is organising its annual BOGLE event on 6-7th March 2015, this year being the 54th edition! The Bogle Stroll is the longest challenge at 55 miles, but there is also the shorter Ramble at 26 miles and the Roll, a bike ride of 78 miles. The event is fun and challenging, being a great opportunity to explore the Greater Manchester urban area while taking part in an iconic and rewarding Mancunian event.
Bogle is so much better if lots of people take part so bring a team from your department to take part. You just need to register online and pay a booking fee, which covers costs and a deposit in case the funding target is missed. The fundraising target this year is £60, to go to the NSPCC, or a charity of your choice.
Hope to see you at Bogle with your team and a lot of energy! If you have any questions, please contact Ioana Negrila, Bogle Co-ordinator, at or 07871 562 355.

Projects for UMBUG in 2015

UMBUG held an open meeting on Tuesday 13th January to generate ideas for key projects in 2015 to support current and potential cyclists at the University.

It was an excellent brainstorming session and many suggestions were made on how UMBUG can:

  • promote the group and cycling at the University;
  • further investment for current (and future) cyclists;
  • help promote modal change (from cars to bikes).

UMBUG is always looking for willing volunteers to help make a difference. If you’d like to get involved, just send us an email.

Online consultation for wilmslow road cycleway

Online consultation for the proposed Wilmslow Road cycleway is now open, featuring maps of the proposed route and examples of features to be implemented. Please take a look at the proposals and respond to the consultation here. The closing date for comments on the cycleway is Friday 2 January 2015. Responses to the consultation will be published in early 2015.

Manchester at night

Cycling in winter – tips to keep you visible, dry and warm

On 26th October, British Summer Time ended and the clocks went back by one hour. Whilst this means a bit of increased daylight in the morning, it means that there’s a good chance your evening commute will now be taking place in much darker conditions. The weather is also going to become colder as temperatures dip through autumn into winter. We’ve put together a list of tips, which will help you increase your visibility, keep yourself clean, dry and warm as well as making sure your bike is ready for the winter roads.

1. Increasing your visibility

Lighting Regulations

There’s some useful guidance on the CTC website, which explains in detail the legal requirements for bicycles being ridden on a public road after dark. In a nutshell, you are required to have:

  • One white front light
  • One red rear light
  • One red rear reflector
  • Four amber pedal reflectors

Flashing lights are accepted, but they must have a minimum brightness of 4 candelas. Cycle Scheme has some good advice for commuting in the dark.

Clothing and accessories

Hi visibility clothing is one of the easiest ways to dramatically increase your visibility on a bicycle. Many waterproof cycling jackets are now available in hi-viz colours such as luminous yellow or orange. If you already have a waterproof, a hi-viz tabard worn over a coat or jacket is an inexpensive way of making sure you can be seen. Rucksack covers are also available, and usually waterproof so they have the added bonus of keeping your stuff dry at the same time! As well as clothing you may want some reflective or illuminated accessories, see here for some tips. Most bike shops stock a wide range of hi-viz clothing and accessories, for some ideas of what’s available why not head over to Respro or Glow.

2. Keeping warm, dry and clean


Cycle Scheme has a short guide on keeping yourself warm as temperatures start to drop- waterproof socks or overshoes can make going out on rain soaked roads much more palatable.


If you don’t have a pair on your bike already, it’s definitely worth fitting a set of mudguards as winter approaches. Not only will they keep you clean and dry, but they’ll deflect the worst of the dirt and mud from the road and prevent it getting into your brakes and plastering itself all over your frame. See this article for advice on fitting and a few examples of mudguards appropriate for different types of bicycle.

3. Riding on winter roads

Potholes litter many of the roads around Greater Manchester, and unfortunately, with water freezing overnight causing tarmac to fracture and crack, many of these will get worse over winter. There are several steps you can take to avoid riding into a pothole, or other road defects like grids or debris.

Sometimes riding over a poor surface is unavoidable. If it forms a part of your regular commute, you may want to consider investing in a set of puncture resistant tyres. Typically these are slightly heavier than other tyres, but the slight weight penalty is well worth the time spent fixing punctures, which you don’t want to be at doing at the side of the road when it’s cold or raining!

Cycle repair stand

New cycle repair stands installed on campus

As part of the University’s Sustainable Travel Plan, 4 cycle repair stands have been installed on campus for cyclists to carry out minor repairs and pump up tyres.

They are located at:
– University Place (external area near Williamson entrance)
– Roscoe Building (to the right of the cycle shelter on Brunswick Street)
– Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (near the large cycle shelter at the back of the SU)
– Manchester Meeting Place (under the canopy on North Campus)

Please make use of the facilities and spread the word! The sustainability team are keen to hear feedback.

Student riding a bike

How can core cities become cycling cities?

Transport Seminar Series

Wednesday 5th November, 17:30
Room SG1 Samuel Alexander Building (south part)

Steve Connor – Creative Concern / VeloCITY Bid

How can core cities become cycling cities?

All welcome.

The Transport Seminars programme is jointly organised by Dr David Ling and Dr Philip Bell in collaboration with Transport for Greater Manchester, the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, and the Greater Manchester Council for Voluntary Organisations. Contact for more information.

better by cycle challenge logo

Better By Cycle Challenge

Monday 1st September sees the start of the Better By Cycle Challenge, organised by Transport for Greater Manchester. The challenge aims to get more people giving cycling a go. The University of Manchester is entering and we are encouraging people to sign up and log their rides. The institution with the highest cycling rates will win some exciting prizes for its members. To sign up, visit the Better By Cycle Challenge website and select The University of Manchester (listed under T).