Staying safe when cycling

How do you stay safe when cycling?

Riding a bike is a fun way to move your body, get your blood pumping and improve your health. Many of the benefits of cycling include improved circulation, increased lung capacity, healthier heart function, lower blood pressure and more toned muscles. These benefits are great for anyone of any age, but they are especially great to help older people feel younger and achieve better health.

No matter your age, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with cycling, and how you can best overcome these. Here are three safety tips to bear in mind for your next ride.

Take it easy
Although it can be easy to get carried away while you’re busy enjoying the fresh air, it is essential to not push yourself too hard. Begin with routes that are short and not too strenuous – this will help you train your body to get used to the feel of a bike. If you notice any pain while riding, don’t ignore it – just bring your ride to an early finish. Over time you can gradually increase your speed, effort levels and distance. If you are unsure if cycling is for you, check with your doctor for peace of mind.

Consider an electric bike
Electric bikes have become increasingly popular with riders as they allow them to experience longer and more challenging rides without risking an injury. In 2020, there was almost a 50% increase in the number of searches for ‘e-bikes’, whilst between the months of January and October in the same year, one pound in every five spent on bicycles went towards an e-bike. This new technology isn’t just a gimmick – it’s helping lots of people to explore their passion for cycling, whilst minimising some of the risks.

These bikes can be used to take a little of the weight off your feet to make pedaling easier, or you can stop pedaling entirely if you’re completely worn out. They are especially helpful for helping you to scale steep hills without tiring yourself out – perfect for the adventurous

Look after your bike
Make sure you’re using a bike that is in top condition. It’s important to have your bike checked for any malfunctions that could potentially lead to accidents and have an expert assess if the bike is the right fit for your size and shape. It’s recommended to get your bike serviced once or twice a year, to ensure it remains in running condition.

You will also need to consider the way in which you store your bike. Using storage that isn’t fit for purpose can result in your bike becoming damaged, and potentially unsafe to ride. Be sure to keep it out of the elements, and locked away to deter potential thieves.

In summary
Cycling should be a fun, liberating activity, allowing you to explore more of the great outdoors at your own pace. But ignoring the dangers could increase your risk of sustaining a serious injury. Follow these tips to enjoy a safer ride, and be sure to share them with your cycling companions!

Claire Monroe – Consultant | Researcher – Digital Content & Media

Source – The Bike Storage Company

An Eastbourne summer buzzing with hope: a personal perspective

The CEO of the Eastbourne Eco Action Network CIC, Andrew Durling, presents here his personal take on the local eco events of this eventful summer:

This summer has seen some dramatic developments in the Eastbourne Carbon Neutral 2030 campaign. The Eastbourne Eco Action Network CIC collaborated with its partners in the Eastbourne Climate Coalition and with Eastbourne Borough Council to put on a 3-day programme of community-led events in the E-Hive marquee in Princes Park during the first ever E-Festival that ran from July 29th to 31st.

This E-Hive was, in effect, a pop-up Climate Emergency Centre, and hopefully it will be a regular feature of the E-Festival in years to come, as well as contributing towards the establishment of a permanent home for such a centre somewhere in central Eastbourne. I pay tribute to the enormous effort put in by a fantastic group of local volunteers to organise and deliver such a varied programme that certainly created a buzz of excitement. Special thanks go to the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Jane King, for kindly officiating at the formal opening of the E-Hive. The feedback I received about the E-Hive indicated that it was a great success and that it drew in many local people to engage with a wide range of perspectives on the big environmental issues of our time.


A particular highlight of the E-Hive programme for me was the talk by Ben Cross of the British Flowers Rock campaign about the need to grow flowers locally and sustainably for the floristry industry rather than incurring the huge carbon footprint from importing flowers by air from far-flung parts of the world.

Ben Cross of Crosslands Flower Nursery with his crop of British alstroemeria in Sussex Thursday Nov. 04 2021. Picture by Christopher Pledger

Another highlight for me was listening to marine biologist Gonzalo Alvarez from the United Nations Climate and Oceans team, who gave a very detailed and sobering presentation about the current state of climate science research and the climate negotiations based on it. He also talked about the newly established United Nations Ecosystem Restoration and #GenerationRestoration campaign and explained how we can all be part of it.

But the greatest spectacle for me was seeing so many local people participating in, and watching, the Eco Fashion Show put on by Eco Fashion Eastbourne, a real testament to how  clothes and fabrics that are recycled/upcycled/repurposed can be very beautiful and how necessary sustainable fashion is given the huge carbon and water footprint of the fashion industry worldwide.


Earlier in July I had gone to Westminster to represent the Eastbourne Food Partnership (which my colleagues and I in the Eastbourne Eco Action Network work closely with) at a Sustainable Food Places Day of Action and Celebration at Parliament (a recording of some of the day is here). It was a wonderful chance to meet up with representatives from many other local food partnerships around the UK and share learnings and inspiration.

SFP Day of Celebration and Action

It was also a chance for me to meet up with Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne, to discuss in depth some of the local food issues that impact the town and to explore how important it is to create a local food system that is sustainable and resilient enough to ensure food security for all local residents and which can withstand the many damaging impacts of climate change.

SFP Day of Celebration and Action

The Eastbourne Food Partnership is now recruiting for a part-time co-ordinator to scale up its work in developing this urgently needed local food system.


Now the work of the Eastbourne Eco Action Network CIC is currently focussed on collaborating with Eastbourne Borough Council to deliver a Solar and Sustainable Business Summit in October at the Welcome Building.

This gathering is intended to help kickstart a drive to massively scale up the installation of solar and other forms of renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency measures, in Eastbourne, particularly for local businesses, many of which are very exposed to the rising costs of energy, driven mainly by the massive rise in gas prices due primarily to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Eastbourne – one of the sunniest places in the UK – has an especially huge potential for more solar energy installations as there is so much roof space available on large warehouses, retail units, etc, as well as so many large car parks. A particular piece of good news is that Eastbourne DGH has recently submitted plans for a large solar car park on its premises, together with charging points for EVs. This would provide much needed renewable energy for the hospital and help stop the DGH from any longer being the biggest single point source of CO2 in the town.


Winter may be coming, and it may be hard for all of us in many ways, but this summer has given me some hope that the transition to a zero carbon society may be unstoppable, locally as well as globally, and that we’ll all be the better for it, especially if we can move away as quickly as possible from the increasingly expensive fossil fuels we have been overdependent on for far too long.