Love To Ride is an international platform which brings the cycling community together. It is free to join and log your rides whether you are a new or regular cyclist. You can see how you are doing compared with other cyclists, set goals and track your cycling. There are campaigns throughout the year and great prizes.
Start by dusting off the bike from the shed and join the Couch to Cycle challenge. Follow the 8-week training programme with the end goal of riding 50km and ultimate pride and enjoyment.
Bikability is a cycle training programme designed to help you gain the skills and confidence to ride a bike. Whether you are a complete novice or want to get back into cycling after a long layoff, there is a course for you. Courses are offered for children and adults plus handy tips, support and guidance along the way. Due to the current restrictions, no training sessions are planned for this spring but we will update this when restrictions ease.
Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme encourages you to saddle up by helping with the cost of your bike repair. It provides vouchers of up to £50 to be used towards to cost of repairing your bike. The scheme has been very popular and the first and second releases of vouchers have been allocated, but there are more on the way.
Becoming a Cycle Friendly Employer will help you attract and retain the most talented workforce by making their commute by bike easier and stress-free. Register for your Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation and see your productivity skyrocket.
Check with your employer to see if you are eligible for the Cycle to work scheme. You could save hundreds of pounds towards a new bike and accessories.
Does your commute consist of a train journey along with cycling part of the way? PlusBike is a free resource toolkit designed to seamlessly plan your journey when you take the train and plan to cycle along the way. You can access information regarding cycle facilities at the station including cycling parking spaces, bike hire schemes and information about taking your bike on a train.
The Big Bike Revival aims to encourage new and returning cyclists to get on their bikes through teaching them skills such as learning to ride, fixing bikes and delivering led bike rides. Throughout 2020, it was focused on pop-up Dr Bike sessions to encourage people to dig out their old bikes that may need a bit of work and bring them along to a session to get key workers and the community back on their bikes. Many sessions were run across Chelmsford at Riverside Leisure Centre, Writtle Green Village Car Park and South Woodham Ferrers Champions Hall. There is an opportunity for businesses and workplaces to get involved in delivering sessions, so contact firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com for more information.
Community Cycling Clubs are at the heart of Cycling UK’s programme to bring sustainable change, tackle inequalities like social isolation and to encourage more people to cycle. Clubs run in all sorts of places including with groups for older people, young people and veterans, workplaces, refugee charities, places of worship and health centres. People who have joined a Community Cycling Club reported they were cycling more often, starting to meet physical activity guidelines, feeling healthier, happier and better connected to their communities and starting to use a bike for short journeys and commuting. Cycling UK can provide small grants to set up clubs. If you are interested please contact the Essex Cycling Development Officer Tori Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org tel 07788640921. You can also visit Cycle UK on Twitter or Cycling UK on Facebook.
Regional and local initiatives
You can now hire an e-scooter to get you around the city centre and beyond. This initiative started in February 2021 with 50 e-scooters across 10 locations provided by an organisation called SPIN. A key aim is to provide a socially-distanced and safe way for people to travel that also reduces the number of short car journeys made. To report an incident or problem, email Spin at email@example.com or call 08000 488 155. To give general feedback on the trial, email the ECC trial team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County Council is running a campaign called Stop.Swap.Go! This initiative encourages everyone to swap from using the car to cycling or walking.
Although ECC’s 60 day challenge has now closed, Stop.Swap.GO! isn't going anywhere. You can visit Stop.Swap.GO! on Facebook for inspiration, community updates and future campaigns that will get you swapping the car for your short journeys.
The Park and Ride services into Chelmsford now offer Park and Pedal. There is a reduced cost for parking plus the use of a secure locker, providing you cycle the rest of your journey.
Show your support for all things cycling in Chelmsford by signing the Chelmsford Cycling Charter. The Charter is backed by the newly formed Chelmsford Cycle Forum. By signing up, you encourage council officers and leaders to negotiate for more investment in cycling.
The Cake Escape encourages visitors and residents to combine exercise and exploration of the countryside with the best of local café culture. Earn stamps at each participating café to earn a free slice of cake.
Chelmsford is surrounded by countryside and is great for walking. You can view the public rights of way network on the Essex Highways website.
Three long-distance paths go through Chelmsford. These are St Peter’s Way, The Essex Way and the Saffron Trail. You can also find walks from the National Trust.
Escape the busy city life by exploring nature at one of Chelmsford’s country parks, such as Danbury Country Park or Marsh Farm Country Park in South Woodham Ferrers. Ideal for keen walkers or a family day out, just don’t forget your picnic. Explore Essex contains information about these country parks as well as other country parks and places where you can go for a walk near Chelmsford.
Chelmsford also benefits from Hylands Estate with 574 acres of historic parkland, three local nature reserves, plus several other parks and green spaces. More information is available on Love Your Chelmsford.
You can also join like minded people and make new friends interested in walking by joining one of these local walking clubs and groups:
Chelmsford has over 30 miles of dedicated cycle routes and some great places to cycle to including Hylands Park, Writtle and Central Park. You can explore all the routes in Chelmsford, including some handy tips to keep safe, on the Essex Highways website.
On the Sustrans website, you can explore the National Cycle Network, which includes traffic free routes. National Cycle Route 1 and 13 goes through Chelmsford.
Plan your commute into work or a fun family ride using the Cycling UK journey planner.
Bike maintenance is essential to ensure your bike runs better for longer. Get into a habit of conducting regular checks of your bike but following the Sustrans 11 step ‘M’ check. It’s easy to follow and doesn’t take long to complete. See also under Big Bike Revival above.
You can also join like minded people and make new friends within the cycling community by joining one of these local cycling clubs:
If skate boarding, scooting or BMX riding is more your thing, check out the skate parks at Central Park Chelmsford, or Saltcoats Park and Compass Gardens in South Woodham Ferrers. There is also a BMX track in Baddow Hall Park, Great Baddow. Radical Bikes offers trails, BMX and dirt jumping in Highwood, west of Chelmsford. They also run the annual Radfest.
Feeling inspired? Here’s how to kickstart your cycling commute.
Active travel for schools
With more people choosing buses, bikes, scooters or your own two feet over cars, Essex County Council’s Stop.Swap.Go! initiative has made it even easier to make that transition. They have maps for schools in Chelmsford with drop off points and cycle, walking or scooter routes right to the front gates. They have also partnered up with Safer Essex Roads Partnership to provide cycling and walking training courses. (See also under Initiatives above for their 60 Day challenge.)
Bikability for schools can provide courses within your school and have handy resource toolkit to help support the home-school engagement.
Park and Stride encourage parents to park their cars 10 minutes away from the school or get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to school. Create routes and share them with other parents and the school. The health benefits for parents and their children are huge.