Campaign LogoPedal Power

Issue 62
May 2006

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Pedalling Picnic - a great success

The combination of a train ride on the Great Central followed by a short and very leisurely ride from Rothley station back to Quorn via Swithland Village Hall for lunch and Stonehurst Farm for tea once again proved very popular.

The weather at Quorn Station did not look too good for the remainder of the day with quite heavy rain setting in. However Charnwood Leisure Department had publicised the event well and 100 riders of all ages and shapes and sizes turned up.

The format was a little different this year in that the Pigeon Van was not available and we had several guards vans instead. These were in a very smart green having been repainted. Unfortunately no one had tried the double doors and these were jammed with the paint so there was a slight delay whilst some brute force and ignorance were applied to overcome the problem.

The other difference was that we didn't do the full round trip to Lougborough, Leicester North and back to Rothley. Instead it was just down to Leicester North and back. This had the unfortunate consequence of bringing us in on “the other” platform so that too late we realised that we had packed the bikes the wrong way round. However with a bit of ingenuity and a slight delay the problems were overcome.

By the time we arrived in Rothley the rain had almost disappeared and held off apart from a few occasional drops for the rest of the day.

Swithland Village Hall was packed at lunch time as the weather wasn't as nice as in 2005. The ride went off smoothly and we believe was enjoyed by all.

If you are interested in any of the other “Leisure Rides” being sponsored by Charnwood Counil the programme is available from Recreational Services on 01509 643836.

Picnic in the Park – Saturday, May 13

We will once again be having a stand at the Picnic in the (Queens) Park. Things get under way at 12-00 and we will be packed away by 17-00. Hope to see you there.

Ride to Abbey Park, Leicester – 10am Saturday 17 June

As an experiment we have registered a Bike Week Ride from Woodbrook Vale High School. The idea is to find out how popular this will be with Sophie's friends and whether if would be suitable for development in future years. However all are welcome to come along.

Congratulations to Ray

We are delighted to report that Ray Clay has been honoured with a CTC Voluntary Achiever Award. The citation on the CTC's Website reads :-

“As well as his role as secretary of the Leicestershire and Rutland District Association, Ray is often the public face of the CTC in Leicestershire dealing with the press and liaising with local authorities. He coordinates a rural rides program in conjunction with several district councils and is the secretary of a road safety committee. He is an active Right to Ride member and takes a close interest in issues relating to the East Midlands Airport.”

Sponsored Ride – 18 June 2006

Organisation of the Sponsored Bike Ride across Garendon Park is progressing well. Holywell, Mountfields and Shelthorpe schools have confirmed that they will be supporting the event. The respective charities they will be supporting are Oxfam, Barnardoes and the Loughborough Group for people with Disabilities.

We are still hoping that Boothwood will decide to support the event.

The ride will start from the Gorse Covert Community Centre in Morrisons Car Park off Maxwell Drive and follow the path beside the Black Brook using the cycle track across the bridge and onward to Buckingham Drive (where there will be a turning point for infants) then to Kenilworth Avenue. A right turn into this road, crossing Althorpe Drive into Coe Avenue is the only part of the ride that will use public roads.

At the end of Coe Avenue the route joins the Bridleway to Shepshed across Garendon Park and the track leads all the way to Shepshed where the "full distance" riders will turn and retrace their route. Toilets and refreshments should be available at Shepshed Dynamo Football Club.

We will need quite a lot of help on the day so please let us know if you will be available. We hope you will forgive us if we phone round if the number of “volunteers” is insufficient.

Help for Victims of Road Crashes

based on information provided by Sophia Howard

Road Peace (Charity No. 1020364) was set up in 1992 in response to the overwhelming need for a national organisation to support and represent road crash victims.

Road Peace provides practical and emotional support whilst also researching the social and economic consequences of negligent driving. It campaigns for safer roads and justice for crash victims.

The address for the organisation is Road Peace, PO Box 2579, London NW10 3PW Tel. 02088 385102 Fax 02088 385103 Email: info@roadpeace.org www.roadpeace.org

John Edmondson (Tel. 01422 324000) is a mental health nurse and Adult Behavioural Psychotheraptist who specialises in medical-legalwork on Road Traffic Crashes. He is based in Yorkshire but knows of other professionals who may be able to assist if needed.

If you would like more information about Road Peace or John Edmondson please contact the Editor.

Questions over Helmet Effectiveness…
Based on an article in the CTC's Cycle Digest 47

A paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) by Australian statistician Dorothy Robinson, argues that there is no evidence from countries where the wearing of cycle helmets is enforced that there has been any benefit to public health.

 

Robinson reviewed data before and after helmet legislation in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and believes that helmet laws discourage cycling and produce no obvious response in the number of head injuries. She says: ‘ This contradiction may be due to risk compensation, incorrect helmet wearing, reduced safety in numbers (injury rates per cyclist are lower when more people cycle), or bias in case control studies.’ 

She suggests that helmet laws are counterproductive and that governments should instead focus on measures that lead to clear drops in casualties, such as campaigns against speeding, drink-driving, and failure to obey road rules. ‘Helmet laws would be counterproductive if they discouraged cycling and increased car use,’ says Robinson. ‘Wearing helmets may also encourage cyclists to take more risks, or motorists to take less care when they encounter cyclists.’ 

The Journal also published a counter-opinion by four academics who have long pressed for helmet laws. The crux of their argument is that, even if helmet laws discourage people from cycling, this does not necessarily indicate significant harm to public health as it is unclear by how much they reduce their cycle use, or for how long. Unfortunately, the authors failed to mention any of the published evidence on the health benefits of cycling, including the following: 

(Ed. One of the helmet advocates in a subsequent exchange suggested that people could get alternative forms of exercise such as "in line skating". Since this would not be covered by helmet legislation and is probably more hazardous than cycling, this does not appear to demonstrate clear thinking).

Dorothy Robinson’s article can be found at http://press.psprings.co.uk/bmj/march/ac722.pdf together with the Counter article: http://press.psprings.co.uk/bmj/march/ac725.pdf

For the other recent reports log on to www.cyclehelmets.org .

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