Review of 2019/2020
In the last twelve months we’ve seen a lot of the work done previously to develop the group bear fruit. New people have joined the group and better contacts have been made with other cycling organisations in Waltham Forest.
In 2019 we’ve also seen the continuation of substantial investment in cycling infrastructure in Waltham Forest and the construction of new facilities. The council have been pushing forward new schemes to continue the work of the mini-Holland funding now that is coming to a close. The work of Dan and Paul has been crucial to ensuring the quality of the schemes is as high as possible and the uptake of cycling demonstrates that the measures are achieving their goals.
The support of the local group and the wider community has also been instrumental, so to everyone who has responded to a consultation, written a letter or attended a meeting – thank you!
Rides and events are important parts of our work and help us engage with the public and encourage people to ride. The Freecycle in central London was a highlight of the summer, with a very enjoyable feeder ride led by Bridget. The E17 Art Trail ride at the start of June was also very sucessfull and attracted a different crowd to our usual rides. The highlight of the winter was the train-assisted, sun-blessed ride around the Royal Parks in November, also led by Bridget.
During the summer we also took part in the Family Cycling Fun Day, organised by Sarah, which was a brilliant day, very well attended and perfect weather. It went on to win the ‘Best Family Friendly Event’ category at the London Cycling Awards, which was very much deserved.
At the start of 2020 Mariam & Joyriders adopted the Newcomers Ride and bought it to Leyton Jubilee Park. This has enabled the ride to appeal to a wider range of people as bikes can now be borrowed from the council and the rides is also accessible to people on adapted bikes and three wheelers. Unfortunately the inaugural ride was cancelled due to storms, but the second ride went brilliantly.
Behind the scenes we’ve being doing more work to ensure we’re well placed to keep supporting cycling in Waltham Forest. We welcomed several new faces in 2019 with new energy and ideas. We’ve improved our meetings, our summer social in KukooLaLa’s was a lovely networking event and our September meeting about ‘Smashing the Cycling Patriarchy’ was especially popular!
We have also adopted ‘Slack’ as an online workplace, brought in internet banking and in February Caroline organised a ride leader training session to help develop the selection of rides on offer.
A huge thanks to everyone who helped make the last year such a success – I didn’t even manage to fit it all in, and it’s already too long!
The year ahead
We started this year looking to be more active in the community, continue to grow our active membership and also to improve our organisation. We have put together a plan for 2020 with a focus on four themes to increase participation in cycling:
- Outreach – Engage with communities and organisations in Waltham Forest to promote cycling.
- New and returning cyclists – Help people take up cycling (for the first time, or after a gap) and make more journeys by bike.
- All Ability Cycling – Enable people of all abilities to have the opportunity to cycle.
- Family Cycling – Help families cycle for fun and for regular journeys.
However the developments with Covid-19 and the lockdown have meant all face-to-face activities have been suspended until further notice, and probably at least until the summer. Our main campaigning focus for 2020, the mayoral election, has also been delayed.
A lot of our plans won’t be possible, but we can still promote cycling which is compatible with social distancing and remains a very desirable way to travel and get exercise – Cycling UK have produced a useful Q&A.
I’m currently working out how to use online meetings to get more local LCC members involved, which is something I’d like to make a permanent feature – we’ll see how well it works on Tuesday!
We already have a strong social media presence, which will help us continue to reach people.
Anyway that’s enough from me. I hope to see you online (for the time being at least) and if you want to get in touch do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign – Borough Coordinator