bikinglondon.com

Biking near misses: cyclists urged to share road experiences in new study

An early pilot study run last month found an average of three near misses per day for cyclists.

The project, run by Dr Rachel Aldred, senior transport lecturer at Westminster University in London, in partnership with laser-projection light maker Blaze, is looking for cyclists UK-wide to keep a diary of their riding experiences on a single day between now and November 2.

While there is significant research into cycling collisions that result in serious injuries and fatalities, the Near Miss Project will examine other unpleasant experiences which, either by luck or avoidance, have not resulted in injury.

These include can anything from abuse, harassment and close passes to what has been dubbed the: “Sorry, mate I didn’t see you’s.”

Researchers want to learn how near-misses affect the way people ride and if it alters their decision to travel by bike at all. They hope to use the findings to brief policy-makers and planners in a bid to call for a reduction in such incidents.

Dr Aldred said: “Although research into near misses is commonplace in other areas of transport, such as rail and air, it’s near absent when it comes to cycling, which is what compelled us to launch the Near Miss Project.

“We carried out a small pilot which revealed the average person experienced three near miss type incidents in just one day. These occurrences can’t be ignored in thinking about what puts people off cycling.

“I’m interested in not only how regularly these incidents are happening, but also the emotive elements involved; how do they leave people feeling: threatened, angry, ashamed, frustrated? What’s more, minor incidents can be viewed as an early warning signal; they may indicate a risk of more serious incidents.”

Emily Brooke, founder of Blaze and an experienced cyclist, said that on one day alone she herself counted seven near misses, including a scooter getting dangerously close and a pedestrian using a mobile phone who stepped out onto the road in front of her without looking.

“Safety is undeniably still a massive barrier to people cycling,” she said. “While a near miss may not feel like more than a frustration or irritation at the time, the potential ramifications could be massive. Our belief is that these incidents – the ones that happen on a weekly, if not daily, basis – are in fact the ones which influence the way we cycle, or if we choose to cycle at all.”

For more information or to sign up, go here

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‘Without the vouchers I don’t think I would have been able to go on working …

  • 62 per cent of parents are worried about how they will afford the one-week break
  • A third expect to dip into their savings to cover costs 

Rosie Murray-west, Financial Mail on Sunday

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Parents up and down the country are bracing themselves for extra expense as the half-term holiday looms. Figures from the Post Office show that 62 per cent of parents are worried about how they will afford the one-week break – with nearly a third expected to dip into their savings to cover costs.

Many face an unenviable choice: spending money to entertain the children at home, or paying for childcare so that they can go to work.

The Family and Childcare Trust says that holiday childcare is both patchy and expensive. Anand Shukla, the charity’s chief executive, says: ‘Far too many parents face a never ending battle to secure affordable, quality childcare just so that they can go to work to provide for their families.’

Little star: Jessie Davidson, with parents Sara-Jayne and Mike, went to Super Camps

Little star: Jessie Davidson, with parents Sara-Jayne and Mike, went to Super Camps

Vouchers meant Jessie could go to holiday club 

Sara-Jayne Davidson was able to use childcare vouchers from her civil service job to pay for a recent holiday club for daughter Jessie, five.

‘Without the vouchers I don’t think I would have been able to go on working after I had children,’ says Sara-Jayne, from Coulsdon, South London. ‘They make a real difference.’

Jessie went to a Super Camps holiday club in Croydon, Surrey, over the summer holidays, where she took part in numerous organised activities including swimming. ‘She absolutely loved it,’ says Sara-Jayne, who works for the Land Registry as well as being a part-time fitness instructor.

‘The best thing is she even loved swimming there – she normally screams when she goes in the pool with me or my husband Mike.

‘It was also flexible – I could pay for a little bit more time in the evenings or mornings if we needed it. She’s already asking me when we can go back again.’

‘Childcare is expensive, but Super Camps compared really well with the childminder that we use in term times,’ says Sara-Jayne, 51.

The charity’s research shows that the average cost of a week of holiday childcare is now £115 and rising faster than both inflation and parents’ wages.

Shukla adds: ‘Many working parents hope that their childcare struggles will end when their children start school.

‘However, our research into holiday and out-of-school childcare shows the opposite is true. The system requires a complete overhaul but in the meantime employers and head teachers should help parents manage the school holidays.’

For those parents who cannot afford paid help, many use their own paid leave to cover the period while their children are on holiday. But then they find that the cost of entertaining their children soon mounts up.

Post Office figures show that parents expect to spend £229 entertaining their children over half-term. Almost a third will spend money on eating out, while other expenses include theme park entry, petrol, cinema trips and sporting activities such as swimming.

Henk Van Hulle, head of savings and investments at the Post Office, says: ‘With the long summer break only just behind us, and Christmas already on the horizon, the autumn half-term break will come at an inconvenient time for many parents.’

Height of fun: Camp Beaumont runs both residential and day camps

Height of fun: Camp Beaumont runs both residential and day camps

Whether choosing to entertain children yourself or to pay for childcare, there are ways to make the half-term week – or weeks, in some cases – less expensive.

Private holiday clubs run by national groups such as Super Camps, Barracudas and Camp Beaumont are one option.

It is possible to bring the cost down by using childcare vouchers if your employer has a scheme. These vouchers, which can be used to pay for Ofsted-registered childcare including holiday schemes, allow childcare costs to be taken out of pre-tax income.

If an employer offers vouchers, up to £55 a week tax-free can be claimed. A couple can both claim £55 a week if they are basic rate taxpayers.

Those who pay 40 per cent tax can claim £28 a week tax-free, while additional rate taxpayers can claim up to £25 a week. These schemes will be phased out next autumn and replaced with a new childcare tax break.

It can also be cheaper to book a full week of childcare in a club rather than selected days.

Guy Ker, managing director of Super Camps, says parents need to see these costs in the context of other half-term expenses.

He says: ‘I’ve got seven children and I know that when you go out costs can mount up. But if you book for the week, the daily price for an eight-hour day at a Super Camps venue comes down to about £35 a day, or just over £4 an hour with activities that range from quad biking to swimming.’

Local holiday clubs run by the council can prove a cheaper option but provision is patchy. The average cost of a council-run scheme is £96 a week, compared with £118 a week for privately run schemes.

Websites such as Netmums as well as local councils are good sources of information.

For older teenagers, the Government’s National Citizen Service can be one way of providing inexpensive skills training and entertainment.

The programme, spearheaded by Prime Minister David Cameron, is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds, and includes a residential programme. More information is available at the website ncsyes and the cost is £50 or less for a three-day residential course. Meanwhile, for parents who are trying to keep entertainment costs down at home, there are still plenty of cheap ways to entertain children.

Most cinema chains run children’s clubs in the holidays where they show films in the morning.

Odeon’s Kids Club offers tickets from £2.50 each and films this half- term include How To Train Your Dragon 2, Planes 2 and Maleficent.

Cineworld has a Movies for Juniors show on half-term mornings with tickets from £1.50 including a free fun pack.

Selected Vue cinemas charge just £1.75 a ticket or £3 for 3D films for children and accompanying adults every morning from October 25 to November 2.

On show: From How To Train Your Dragon 2

On show: From How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Football Association offers free coaching sessions to girls and boys aged five to 11 during the school holidays.

To find your nearest session go to faskills.thefa.com/FindSession. Or try tennisforfree.com for tennis coaching lessons.

Free museums include Glasgow’s Burrell collection, National Museum Cardiff, Leeds Art Gallery and London’s Natural History and Science museums, and the Victoria Albert Museum.

Consumer website MoneySavingExpert provides details of museums and galleries nationwide that offer free entry.

For trips to theme parks and other attractions, booking online in advance is often the best way to get a cheaper deal.

If travelling by train, the website daysoutguide offers details of two for one tickets available to rail travellers on attractions throughout Britain.

Many families choose to save up Tesco Clubcard vouchers for holiday periods. For many top attractions £2.50 worth of Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for £10 of entrance tickets.


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Fast ambitions for Renfrew youngster

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Published: 18 Oct 2014 08:30

A RENFREW youngster has raced ahead of the pack with some stunning performances on the mini-moto circuit.

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Ten-year-old Jack Hart has been biking since the age of seven, but has only recently showcased his racing potential in both the Scottish and British Championships.

Sitting second in the British Championship standings, as well as finishing every Scottish round he has entered on the podium, Jack has already proved he can tough it out with the best at the top — just like his idols Valentino Rossi and Mark Marquez in MotoGP.

And, the youngster has big ambitions for his own future in the sport.

He told Gazette Sport: “I really enjoy racing and I have been doing really well.

“I enjoy going all around the country and my next race is just past London for what will be the final round. We all jump in the van and it can be really cosy with me in the front and the bikes in the back.

“One day I want to go on and race in MotoGP, my biggest aim is to one day become a world champion like Rossi and Marquez.”

Jack currently races in the junior 4.2 series and the junior production competition. In recent times he has focused his attention on the 4.2, where he is already guaranteed a third place overall finish, but hopes to cling on to his second spot.

Each race he participates in sees the whole family up sticks and travel to follow his progress. Jack’s mum Sarah admitted his love for the sport is the most important thing and hopes he can continue his success for years to come.

She added: “We are all very proud of what Jack has achieved this season.

“He has always been into his bikes and had his stabilisers off very early, so we always knew it was something that he was probably going to go into.

“For his seventh birthday we took him up past Kirkcaldy for a track day and he really enjoyed it, so it has just grown from there.”

Travelling across the length and breadth of the country can obviously take its toll both mentally and financially so Sarah reserved special thanks for the hardy band of sponsors that held out at there every need.

She said: “I would like to thank ARM Motorcycles, who have always been there to help fix the bike and kit Jack out with the likes of new gloves and equipment that he needs throughout the season. They have been a massive help and it is great to receive support from a local Renfrew business.

“CTS Electrical have also been great when it comes to getting the motorcycles as Jack currently has the two bikes, so thanks to them as well.”

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What’s Goin’ On

To place an event in the “What’s Goin’ On” section, email: bmoore@civitasmedia.com; fax: 606-573-0042; or drop a written/typed copy of the announcement by our office at 1548 Hwy. 421 South (beside Hardee’s). Announcements will not be accepted by phone and should be submitted no later than four days before the event. If received in time, it will be published one or two days before the event. Announcements are also available to view at www.harlandaily.com. For more details, call 606-909-4145.

All Harlan County PEE WEE games for the remainder of this week have been postponed to Oct. 21 and 25 (go by the schedule for the week of Oct. 13).

October has been designated by the Humane Society of the United States as ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH. In honor of this designation, Friends of the Bell County Animal Shelter will pay $25 toward the adoption fee for any dog adopted from the shelter this month. That will make the fee $45 for those people who wish to adopt a dog.

TODAY

Girl Scouts will sponsor a COSTUME DANCE from 6-9 p.m. today at the old Verda grade school for kindergarten- through eighth-grades. The cost is $5 per person. Hot dogs, drinks and baked goods will be available to purchase. Proceeds will help send Harlan County Girl Scouts to New York in June. For more information, contact Sandra Lamb at 606-837-9395.

The Upper Cumberland Association of Baptists annual FALL FESTIVAL will be held from 1-4 p.m. today at Camp Howard (Happy Top, Wallins) — there will be a shuttle from Wallins Baptist Church. There will be games, food, cake walk, face painting, balloon twisting and more. All children are welcome.

New Freedom Worship Center in Wallins will host a FALL FESTIVAL today with games, crafts, cake walk, prizes and food. For more information, call 606-621-0295.

Hilltop Ministry will have a YARD SALE at 204 County Pike in Loyall beginning at 9 a.m. today — rain or shine — with clothes, household items, four tires as well as odds and ends. All proceeds will go to the ministry’s Christmas funds.

Wallins Church of God will have a BENEFIT SINGING at 6 p.m. today at the church featuring singer/songwriter Lawana Blevins, the Mark Turner Family, Debbie Smith, the Doyle Family, Wallins Church of God Singers and more. A hot dog and bake sale will be held after the service. All proceeds benefit the church’s building fund. Pastor Jimmy Thomas and congregation welcome everyone to attend.

GOSPEL SINGING with The Blackwood Brothers will begin at 6 p.m. today at the old Evarts High School. Admission is $10, adults; children 12 and under, free.

SUNDAY

The annual HOMECOMING at Pansy Christian Church (Mary Alice) will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday with special music and a potluck dinner. Pastor Alonzo York Jr. and congregation welcomes everyone.

TODAY-SUNDAY

FELLOWSHIP services at Kentenia Full Gospel Church include: Friday at 7 p.m., Rev. Steve Mullins (youth rally); Sunday at noon, Pastor Ed Houston. Everyone is welcome — no Saturday service.

OCT. 20

The Tri-City Chamber of Commerce will host a TRANSPORTATION MEETING beginning at noon on Oct. 20 at the Tri-City Senior Citizens Center featuring representatives from the Manchester and Pikeville district office of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Sherri M. Chappell, P.E., chief district engineer from the Manchester district, will address the work that is to commence on the Kingdom Come State Park entrance as well as any other Harlan County road project that may be upcoming. Mary Westfall-Holbrook, chief district engineer, and Chuck Childers, Whitesburg section engineer and project manager for the US 119 project, will be in attendance from the Pikeville office to give an update on U.S. 119 construction in Letcher County. A light luncheon will be provided by the chamber. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

A Kids ZUMBA CLASS will be offered from 6-7 p.m. on Oct. 20 in room 110 of the Administration building on the Harlan campus of SKCTC. The class will be led by Randi Lee Grant and is $10. For more information, contact Tessa Roark at 606-589-3003 or troark0024@kctcs.edu.

There will be a LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER session held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Harlan ARH Hospital in the One West Conference Room. Registration is required. This is a free workshop provided by the American Cancer Society to help women cope with the physical side effects of cancer. If you are a female cancer patient/cancer survivor and would like to attend, contact Kristy at 606-573-8231 or krsmith@arh.org to register.

There will be a PUMPKIN PAINTING SESSION from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 20 in room 115 ub Chrisman Hall on the Cumberland campus of SKCTC. The cost is $5 per family — bring a pumpkin. For more information, contact Tessa Roark at 606-589-3047.

OCT. 20-24

The Harlan County BOOKMOBILE SCHEDULE for the week of Oct. 20 includes:

Monday — Cawood Elementary School, Smith, Three Point and Bob’s Creek.

Tuesday — James A. Cawood Elementary School, Holiday Apartments, Rio Vista, County Pike and Baxter.

Wednesday — Wallins Elementary School and Pathfork.

Thursday — Verda, Holmes Mill, Closplint and Louellen.

Friday — Rosspoint Elementary School and Haran County Christian School.

OCT. 21

The Harlan County Domestic Violence Council will sponsor a CANDLELIGHT VIGIL honoring victims of domestic violence at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Harlan County Courthouse (Central Street entrance). There will be live music, door prizes and refreshments.

The NIFTY NEEDLES Quilting Club will meet at 10 a.m. on Oct. 21 at the Harlan County Extension Depot. This month’s project is the Dresden Plate quilt block. Supplies needed are one 14.5” x 14.5” white or cream fabric block, and assorted fabric scraps at least 5” x 5.” If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Pat at 573-1245.

The MATERIAL GIRLS Quilting Club will meet at 5 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Harlan County Extension Depot. The lesson on Grandma’s Broken Dishes quilt will continue. For more information, call 573-4464.

A certified and trained state service officer will be at the London DAV building (on west 80 behind Clark Truck) from 9 a.m. to noon or longer on Oct. 21 to ASSIST ALL VETERANS and their dependents with VA claims free of charge. For more information, call 606-862-0032 or 606-877-1308.

The documentary APPALACHIAN DAWN will be shown at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Union County High School. This documentary illustrate the power of prayer with churches uniting together praying against drug abuse, alcohol abuse and family violence.

The public is invited to give comments regarding a TDOT TEA application for Phase V of the Daniel Boone Walking Biking Trail in Harrogate, Tenn. This phase will be the final connector to join all trails from Cumberland Gap High School, through the Town of Cumberland Gap to the National Historical Park. Your comments are welcome at the meeting beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 21 at Harrogate City Hall, located 138 Harrogate Crossing.

OCT. 22-24

REVIVAL services at Cumberland Nazarene Church will begin at 7 p.m. nightly Oct. 22-24. There will be special singing nightly. Pastor Dillard Stanley and congregation invite everyone to attend.

OCT. 22-26

Middlesborough Little Theatre will present THE MIRACLE WORKER Oct. 22-26 at the Central Auditorium in Middlesboro. Nightly performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, call or text Amy Simpson, MLT director, at 606-499-4060.

OCT. 24

UK Halloween Kids’ BOO BASH will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Harlan County Extension Depot. Children through age 13 may trick or treat the tables for candy and favors. Everything is free. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 573-4464.

OCT. 25

Sunny Acres First Church of God will host a community FALL FESTIVAL from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 25. Festivities will include a cake walk, various games for children, prizes, treat bags and more. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be served to everyone. Everything is free and everyone is invited to attend. For more information, call 573-1836.

OCT. 27

The Harlan Elementary School SBDM COUNCIL meeting on Oct. 20 has been rescheduled to Oct. 27

Harlan County Extension Service will host a series of FORESTRY WORKSHOPS this fall. The first workshop will be “What’s Killing Our Trees: What We Can and Can’t Do” and will discuss why our trees are under attack from invasive insect pests. It will also address threats to our forests. This workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Harlan County Extension Depot. For more information or to register, call 573-4464.

The Kentucky Blood Center will host a BLOOD DRIVE from 1:30-5 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Harlan Center in the meeting rooms. A special Fight Cancer T-shirt will be offered while supplies last. To schedule a donation, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800-775-2522.

OCT. 30

Harlan Health Rehabilitation Center will host their annual TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 All children 12 years and under are welcome to attend.

HOLIDAY IDEAS will be presented by Theresa Howard at 5 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Extension Depot. A booklet with recipes and crafts will be given to those attending and samples of several crafts will be shown. The workshop is free, but registration is requested. If less than 10 people register, the workshop will be canceled. To register, call 573-4464.

Pine Mountain Settlement School will host a FALL PARTY HAY RIDE at 5 p.m. on Oct. 30 — meet in the library. Join in for lots of fun, games and refreshments. For more information, contact Judy Lewis, community coordinator, at 606-558-3586 or the Pine Mountain office at 606-558-3571.

LOCUST GROVE Missionary Baptist Church in Dizney will have missionary Andrew Tonkin as the guest speaker on Oct. 30 beginning with a time of fellowship at 5:30 p.m. Bro. Andrew Tonkin is a Baptist missionary serving in Brazil and the Amazon Basin of South America. Everyone is welcome.

OCT. 31

Halloween will be observed in Harlan County on Oct. 31. TRICK-OR-TREAT hours are from 5-7 p.m.

The Cumberland Tourist Commission will host TRICK-OR-TREAT ON MAIN from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 31 on Main Street in Cumberland.

TRUNK OR TREAT will begin at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Dressen Church of God.

Loyall Church of God will host TRUNK OR TREAT beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 on the church parking lot.

OCT. 31; NOV. 13

Registration is now open for the TASTE OF HARLAN COUNTY event to be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the Harlan Center. Taste of Harlan County is an opportunity for people to taste the best food in Harlan County and fight cancer at the same time. Registration fee is a minimum donation of $20 per dish. Each dish submitted should be able to provide around 200 bites (bites, not portions) A regular casserole dish would provide at least 200 bites. Restaurants, caterer’s and cooks that would like to enter a dish/dishes can call 606-505-5084 for more information. This is a Relay For Life fundraiser for Relay For Life teams Harlan County Realty and Friends and Harlan’s Hospitality Heroes. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The registration deadline is Oct. 31.

NOV. 1

The annual Homemakers HOLIDAY BAZAAR will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 1. Vendors will be selling a variety of items including crafts, baked goods, scrapbooking supplies, jewelry, cookbooks, wooden crafts, Avon and much more. If you’re interested in selling items, call 573-4464 to reserve a table. No set-up fee will be charged.

The Blood Sweat Fear 5k Obstacle ZOMBIE RUN will begin at noon on Nov. 1 in Cumberland for ages 14 and up (under 18 must have a parent sign and participate with you). For more information, visit www.harlancountytrails.com; email tricitychamber@windstream.net; or call the Cumberland Tourist Commission at 606-589-5812 or Harlan Tourism at 606-573-4495.

TODAY-NOV. 1

Ronnie Owens Farms’ CORN MAZE PUMPKIN PATCH will be presented from noon to 10 p.m., Friday through Nov. 1. For more information, call 423-733-8581 or visit www.ronnieowensministries.com.

NOV. 2

The third annual LADIES TEA in memory of Dot Disney and Doris Yaden will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Tri-City Senior Citizens Center. Tickets are $10 per person and will be available at the center. Seating is limited — don’t forget to wear your pretty hats. Proceeds from ticket sales, less expenses and all donations will be given to “Breast Cancer for the Cure” in memory of Disney and Yaden.

NOV. 11, 14

Local artists are sought for the Artists’ Attic “Echoes: Creations inspired by famous works of art” EXHIBIT on Nov. 14. Take a piece of art that is familiar worldwide and putting your own spin on it. Art submission deadline is Nov 11.

NOV. 12

Harlan County High School’s revised SITE BASE COUNCIL 2014-2015 meeting dates are Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 11, April 8, May 13 and June 10. The council meets at 3:15 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month in the HCHS Media Center. Everyone is invited to attend.

NOV. 13

Tri-City Funeral Home will sponsor the Annual Tri-City Senior Citizen THANKSGIVING DINNER beginning at noon on Nov. 13 at the Lynch Church of God fellowship hall — dine in only.

The Wilderness Trail Area HOLIDAY COOKING SCHOOL will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the London/Laurel County Optimist Club. Tickets are available at the Harlan County Extension Service — tickets will not be sold at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 573-4464 or come by the Extension Office at 519 South Main Street.

NOV. 18, 19

A JEWELRY WORKSHOP will be taught on Nov. 18 and 19 at 10:30 a.m. You need attend only one class. Participants will make two pairs of Christmas earrings (angel and Christmas tree). Cost is $15. To register, call 573-4464.

NOV. 20

ALL THINGS IN MIND, a support group for those affected by depression, anxiety, bipolar or other mental health disorders, either as a patient or family/friend, will have its first meeting on from 6:30-8 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the Harlan Public Library Community Room. This is a supportive group and will offer no diagnosis, but rather tips on coping, caring and living a healthier lifestyle. For more information, contact Greg Sturgill by leaving a message at 606-573-4223 or 606-273-5139.

NOV. 22; DEC. 6

The 2014 Harlan County CHRISTMAS PARADE will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 with lineup starting at 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Christmas Through the Decades.” Parade entry forms are available at Southern Wholesale, the Harlan Center, online or via email per request. Completed forms may be dropped off at the Harlan Center, the Harlan Daily Enterprise, Southern Wholesale or mailed to the Harlan County Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 268, Harlan, Ky. 40831 by Nov. 22. Entries received after this date will not be accepted.

NOV. 22

Adult/seniors indoor VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT will be held Nov. 22 at the Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg. Age divisions include 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 — men’s and women’s (pool play plus double elimination). Cost is $150 per team for all-day play. Players receive a Rocky Top T-Shirt. Sign up for the annual Great Escape Adult VB Tournament at www.signaturevolleyball.com. For more information, call/text 423-426-1705.

DEC. 13

Anthony Noe Ministries will sponsor the second annual RETURNING THE FAVOR beginning at 6 p.m. on Dec. 13 at New Covenant Cawood Church of God. This benefit gathering will raise money to provide those in need Christmas dinners throughout Harlan County. The goal is to feed a minimum of 750 families.

MONDAYS

A military SUPPORT GROUP for all active, separated or any former military men or women meets at 6:30 p.m. every first and third Monday of the month at the Middlesboro National Guard Armory, located on 30th Street. If you are facing financial, relationship, criminal, adjustment, substance abuse or other problems, this is for you.

TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS

The Harlan County WALKING CLUB meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Harlan County High School indoor track. The walking club is free. It allows the public to walk indoors. For more information, contact Cecilia Adams, Harlan County Community Education director, at 573-4330 ext. 2061.

TUESDAYS

Benchmark Family Services, serving Bell, Harlan, Clay, Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties, invites you to become a FOSTER PARENT. Free orientation classes are held from 5-6 p.m. on any Tuesday. For more information, call 606-526-6992 or toll free at 866-526-6992.

LIGHTHOUSE LIFELINE OF BELL COUNTY support group sessions will be held every Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m. with refreshments/services and support group sessions from 6-7:30 p.m. Support group sessions will be from 1-2:30 p.m. every Thursday. Sessions will be held at the Lighthouse Career Training Center, located at 980 Old Bell High Road, off of U.S. 119. Sessions are free and workbooks are optional. Everyone is welcome. Sessions include: Insight, identifying life-controlling issues — nine weeks; stepping into freedom, 12 Steps — 13 weeks; and anger management — nine weeks. For more information, call 606-337-3165 Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAYS

The JOB CLUBS of Eastern Kentucky meets weekly with a small group of job seekers and workforce professionals to gain a competitive edge in today’s tough job market. Job clubs are free and help you create a game plan for your job search link with quality employers, improve your interviewing skills, learn self-marketing skills, evaluate, negotiate and land job offers, connect with other job seekers and ease your stress during your job search. The Harlan County Job Club will meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Depot in Harlan. New members are welcome. New member orientation begins at 12:30 p.m.

THURSDAYS

The Harlan County Country Club invites everyone to sign up for the local CHURCH LEAGUE. All church members are offered a reduced rate of $5 per player for nine holes every Thursday. Sign up at 5:30 p.m., start at 6 p.m. For more information, call 573-2510.

• • • • • • •

The Cawood Ledford Boys Girls Club is RECRUITING VOLUNTEERS. What better way to give back to your community than by investing in our youth? The club is open to youth ages 6-18 for the after-school program from 2:30-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 606-573-0960.

Individuals wishing to participate in the holiday show “THE NUTCRACKER, a Christmas Dream” are asked to contact director Robyn Bingham at 573-4168. The performances, staged by members of Robyn’s Dance Academy and in collaboration with Southeast Kentucky Community Technical College, calls for cast members ages 5 and older.

KNICKERBOCKER PICTURES certificates are being sold by 4-H teens, 4-H agent and assistants, volunteers and 4-H Council members during September as a 4-H fundraiser for the 4-H Teen Club. The certificates are for two 8X10, two 5X7 and eight wallet sized photos for $10. In addition each certificate purchased during this time will include a 10X13 as a free gift. For more information or to purchase a certificate, contact a 4-H agent. Adults interested in selling certificates to earn free packages of photos can contact Raymond Cox at the 4-H office or call 273-0835, by Facebook or email rcox@uky.edu.

NARCONON is reminding families that the use of addicting drugs is on the rise, take steps to protect your family from drug use. If you know anyone who is struggling with drug addiction get them the help they need. Call for a free brochure on the signs of addiction for all drugs. Narconon also offers free screenings and referrals. For more information, call 800-431-1754 or visit DrugAbuseSolution.com.

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Feature: Hitting the mountain bike trails at Lee Valley VeloPark


Reporter Freddy Mayhew takes to the trails at around the Lee Valley VeloPark in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Freddy Mayhew, Senior reporter
Thursday, October 16, 2014

3:22 PM

Cycling in this country seems to be the thing that suddenly all your mates are obsessing over.

Heavy rain earlier in the year damaged the trails and pushed back their opening date by a couple of months

The sport has enjoyed an enormous surge in popularity following British successes at Le Tour De France and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The greatest are household names – Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton – but how many of us have heard of Team GB’s Annie Last or Liam Killeen? If you have, you’re clearly a fan of mountain biking.

Both are among our best exponents of the sport that, along with BMX, seems to have been somewhat overlooked amid the furore over the track and road events that contributed so much to the British medal haul in 2012.

The closest spot to go riding cross country for east Londoners has traditionally been Epping Forest, on the border with Essex, but that changed at the end of July when Lee Valley VeloPark finally opened up its trails.

Former infantryman Matt McCormack is an apprentice mechanic at the VeloPark and a deft hand on the mountain bike

Although coming a few months later than planned after heavy rain damaged some of the tracks in March, rendering them unsafe, there are now several runs graded from blue (easiest) to red and black (hardest), offering five miles (8km) of bike trails.

I went along to test a few of them out. It was drizzling and overcast as I pulled on my helmet and hopped on my Condor hard-tail bike, pretty much perfect conditions as it meant there were a few puddles to get stuck into.

Apprentice mechanic, former infantryman and my guide for the day Matt McCormack admitted he had been “sceptical” when he first heard about the trails. “I thought ‘a mountain bike trail in the middle of London? How good is that going to be?’,” he said.

“But since actually experiencing it, they have turned out to be beyond my expectations.”

We practice on the mountain bike skills section by the road circuit before hitting the trails

We start easy, on a blue leading us out of the VeloPark grounds and taking us up, over then along the main road that dissects this part of the park in two.

While I never truly feel like I’ve left London behind – the Velodrome looms into sight round every other corner – the course is tight and winding, demanding my concentration at all times if only to avoid being thrown off by an exposed rock.

Much like skiing – which grades runs in the same way – the blue is an enjoyable blend of fast rolling bumps mixed in with some more challenging descents covering a surprising distance. We try the red next and there’s a marked increase in difficulty.

Suddenly I find myself struggling up steep ascents and readying myself for bigger drops, battling to keep my balance.

Getting to grips with the British-made Condor “hard-tail” bikes that can be hired out from the VeloPark

For me, a relative novice to mountain biking, the trails are the prefect place to get a feel for the sport and hone my skills.

There’s no doubt a hardened mountain biker will find them less of a challenge – though admittedly I did not test out any black runs – but regardless it’s a fun day out and there’s enough to keep you coming back for more.

It also presents a nice change for the growing number of road cyclists on the capital’s streets, as self-confessed “roadie” Matt tells me.

“On the road, especially when it’s a circuit, you are just going around and around and when you’re by yourself it’s just a grey blur,” he says.

“But on the mountain bike it keeps you sharp because it’s a constantly changing environment – and everyone likes to get a little bit muddy.”

• It costs £15 for a taster session with an instructor or £6 (£4 for concessions) to ride on the tracks with no equipment hire. Click here for more information.

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    Celtic Manor, Best UK Hotel, Delivers a Personal Visitor Experience Through Wi … – SYS





    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — (Marketwired) — 10/16/14 — Xirrus®, the leader in high-performance wireless networks, in partnership with ISS and UCOPIA Communications, today announces that Celtic Manor, a five-star golf, spa and leisure resort in South Wales, has upgraded its Wi-Fi infrastructure and introduced a guest management capability to provide tailored promotional offers on-site.

    With over a million visitors a year and voted ‘Best UK Hotel’ at the MIT Industry Awards for four years running, Celtic Manor is the site for the planned new Wales International Convention Centre, scheduled to open in 2018. The Manor upgraded its Wi-Fi infrastructure for the new exhibition and conferencing centre and also wanted to utilise the wireless network for the rest of the resort to better understand the needs of its guests and provide more personalised engagement.

    Celtic Manor deployed Xirrus Access Points and introduced a guest management platform from UCOPIA, to provide the resort with full visibility, capture and management of users across the network. The deployment was managed through solutions partner ISS, which specialises in providing user engagement applications via its customisable App platform.

    Russell Phillips, Vice-President of Facilities and Development at Celtic Manor, said: “Celtic Manor prides itself on providing guests with the most luxurious experience possible and wireless is playing an important role in this. As part of our vision to provide this first-class personal experience, we wanted to leverage our Wi-Fi capability to better understand and meet the needs and desires of our customers.

    “Xirrus has unrivalled heritage in delivering wireless capability in high-density exhibition centre environments and, combined with the outstanding functionality provided by the UCOPIA management controllers, we now have much greater control of our wireless network. We can easily capture user data, better understand their behaviour and provide them with more compelling content, such as dining offers or training classes.”

    “In today’s mobile first world, it’s no longer enough for hotels and resorts to just provide their guests with free Wi-Fi,” said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus. “Wireless provides them with the ability to tap into a wealth of behavioural insights that will help them better meet their visitors’ needs and ultimately increase the likelihood that they’ll become loyal customers.”

    With better quality user information provided by UCOPIA over the Xirrus network, Celtic Manor will also be able to provide targeted promotions and post them on the guest portal, or send them via text or email to guests while they’re on site. Celtic Manor is able to set different user profiles for staff, guests and contractors, meaning they can provide exhibition partners with tailored functionality depending on the nature of the event.

    “We will also be able to track the success of our promotional offers, for example by monitoring the uptake of specific spa deals or tracking the length of time that guests spend on specific content,” said Phillips. “This will provide us with an effective way to measure return on investment and enable us to monetise the Wi-Fi via additional revenue opportunities for the resort and our partners.”

    Pete Renson, managing director of ISS, said: “We’re seeing growing demand for technologies that enable public venues to deliver more engaging visitor experiences. Whether it be luxury resorts such as Celtic Manor, sports stadiums or concert venues, these organisations are all looking at ways to make their venues as attractive as possible, and Wi-Fi is the enabler.”

    Due to the success of the deployment, Celtic Manor is working with ISS to extend the wireless capability across the entire resort and deliver more innovative solutions to increase customer engagement.

    “The heart of the fast-moving mobility landscape lies in data collection and the business-changing analytics that can be drawn from it. Celtic Manor is staying ahead of the game by implementing the winning combination of UCOPIA, Xirrus and ISS technologies,” said Didier Plateau, CEO of UCOPIA.

    About Celtic Manor
    Host venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup and the 2014 NATO Summit, the five-star Celtic Manor Resort is set in more than 2,000 acres of panoramic parkland at the gateway to Wales. With two hotels — a 330-room luxury Resort Hotel and an historic 19th century Manor House with 70 rooms — a separate country inn, luxury lodges, two exceptional spas and health clubs, fishing, adventure golf, treetop high ropes course, tennis courts, mountain biking and walking trails, The Celtic Manor Resort provides a complete experience for business, leisure and golf travellers.

    For four years running from 2011-2014, the Resort has been voted the UK’s Best Hotel by the Meetings Incentive Travel Awards and Celtic Manor was named UK Sport Venue of the Year and Europe’s Golf Resort of the Year for 2011. The Resort is the home of the ISPS Handa Wales Open, one of the premier events on The European Tour, and offers the challenge of three 18-hole championship golf courses, including the Twenty Ten course, the first course in history to be designed and built specifically to host The Ryder Cup.

    About Xirrus, Inc.
    Xirrus is the leading provider of high-performance wireless networks. Xirrus solutions perform under the most demanding circumstances, offering consistent “wired-like” performance with superior coverage and security. The Xirrus suite of WI-FI optimised solutions — Arrays, access points, cloud services, and wired switches — provide seamless connectivity and unified management across the network. Xirrus provides a vital strategic business and IT infrastructure advantage to industries that depend on wireless to operate business-critical applications. With tens of thousands of customer solutions deployed globally, Xirrus maintains operations and partnerships across the globe. Xirrus is a privately held company and is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA. For more information please visit: www.xirrus.com and follow us on Twitter: @Xirrus.

    Xirrus and XMS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Xirrus. Other trade names used in this document are or may be the property of their respective owners.

    About ISS
    ISS’ bespoke and customisable Stadium App platform is a fan engagement solution that enables venues to not only greatly improve the fan experience but also generate genuine ROI from their investment. This includes monetisation activities such as in-stadium betting, merchandise offers, concession incentives, ticket promotions and sponsor advertising as examples. The platform also delivers ‘fanalytics’ — detailed data intelligence that enables the venue to deploy targeted push advertising and messaging directly to specific fan demographics.

    ISS enables both sporting and event venues to deliver a proven interactive experience to the visitor’s device (smart phone/tablet). Using unique wireless technology, ISS is able to deliver customisable end user applications with high volumes of interactive content, regardless of the type of media, to enhance fan experience and monetise public Wi-Fi.

    About UCOPIA Communications
    UCOPIA Communications develops solutions enabling mobile users, employees, visitors and guests to connect securely and seamlessly on public or private Wi-Fi networks. UCOPIA also enables venue owners to leverage their Wi-Fi investment to create new revenue opportunities through database analytics and strengthen employee productivity through BYOD. UCOPIA is a perfect match for numerous, fast growing verticals including enterprises, public venues, retail, and government organisations. UCOPIA solutions are deployed exclusively by a worldwide channel of expert resellers in charge of deploying Wi-Fi networks in combination with UCOPIA solutions. More information on our website: www.ucopia.com.

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    Feature: Hitting the mountain bike trails at Lee Valley VeloPark


    Reporter Freddy Mayhew takes to the trails at around the Lee Valley VeloPark in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

    Freddy Mayhew, Senior reporter
    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    3:22 PM

    Cycling in this country seems to be the thing that suddenly all your mates are obsessing over.

    Heavy rain earlier in the year damaged the trails and pushed back their opening date by a couple of months

    The sport has enjoyed an enormous surge in popularity following British successes at Le Tour De France and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The greatest are household names – Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton – but how many of us have heard of Team GB’s Annie Last or Liam Killeen? If you have, you’re clearly a fan of mountain biking.

    Both are among our best exponents of the sport that, along with BMX, seems to have been somewhat overlooked amid the furore over the track and road events that contributed so much to the British medal haul in 2012.

    The closest spot to go riding cross country for east Londoners has traditionally been Epping Forest, on the border with Essex, but that changed at the end of July when Lee Valley VeloPark finally opened up its trails.

    Former infantryman Matt McCormack is an apprentice mechanic at the VeloPark and a deft hand on the mountain bike

    Although coming a few months later than planned after heavy rain damaged some of the tracks in March, rendering them unsafe, there are now several runs graded from blue (easiest) to red and black (hardest), offering five miles (8km) of bike trails.

    I went along to test a few of them out. It was drizzling and overcast as I pulled on my helmet and hopped on my Condor hard-tail bike, pretty much perfect conditions as it meant there were a few puddles to get stuck into.

    Apprentice mechanic, former infantryman and my guide for the day Matt McCormack admitted he had been “sceptical” when he first heard about the trails. “I thought ‘a mountain bike trail in the middle of London? How good is that going to be?’,” he said.

    “But since actually experiencing it, they have turned out to be beyond my expectations.”

    We practice on the mountain bike skills section by the road circuit before hitting the trails

    We start easy, on a blue leading us out of the VeloPark grounds and taking us up, over then along the main road that dissects this part of the park in two.

    While I never truly feel like I’ve left London behind – the Velodrome looms into sight round every other corner – the course is tight and winding, demanding my concentration at all times if only to avoid being thrown off by an exposed rock.

    Much like skiing – which grades runs in the same way – the blue is an enjoyable blend of fast rolling bumps mixed in with some more challenging descents covering a surprising distance. We try the red next and there’s a marked increase in difficulty.

    Suddenly I find myself struggling up steep ascents and readying myself for bigger drops, battling to keep my balance.

    Getting to grips with the British-made Condor “hard-tail” bikes that can be hired out from the VeloPark

    For me, a relative novice to mountain biking, the trails are the prefect place to get a feel for the sport and hone my skills.

    There’s no doubt a hardened mountain biker will find them less of a challenge – though admittedly I did not test out any black runs – but regardless it’s a fun day out and there’s enough to keep you coming back for more.

    It also presents a nice change for the growing number of road cyclists on the capital’s streets, as self-confessed “roadie” Matt tells me.

    “On the road, especially when it’s a circuit, you are just going around and around and when you’re by yourself it’s just a grey blur,” he says.

    “But on the mountain bike it keeps you sharp because it’s a constantly changing environment – and everyone likes to get a little bit muddy.”

    • It costs £15 for a taster session with an instructor or £6 (£4 for concessions) to ride on the tracks with no equipment hire. Click here for more information.

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      Meet Maeve Maguire

      Maeve Maguire -

      In the lead-up to the Nov. 15 civic election, the News Leader Pictorial is offering each candidate an opportunity to put their message out to the public in his or her own words.

      Here you will find campaign material as it was submitted to us, including links to various websites.

      Readers are encouraged to use the comments section to ask questions of their candidates in a respectful fashion and candidates are encouraged to respond using the same method.

      Candidate material is posted as we receive it. Any candidate looking to submit material should email editor John McKinley at editor@cowichannewsleader.com, or phone 250-746-4471.

      *****

      My goals

      A place where families stay.

      I love it here.

      I anticipate the mister and I won’t move away until we’re carted out in two pine boxes at the end of our lives. When our friends from Alberta come to visit, they love it here too, so much that they look at real estate and school options for their kids. Then, the inevitable question comes: “What would we do for work?”

      North Cowichan has all the elements for the good life: farm fresh food, maturing vineyards, innovative small businesses, recreation in mountain biking, sailing, kayaking…the list goes on. But without full-time jobs with good salaries, it’s hard for families to settle here.

      When my children are older, I want them to consider North Cowichan as their first-choice location to raise their families.

      To make that happen, we need to:

      Attract and retain companies with fulfilling and well-paid jobs so our youth and their parents no longer have to leave our community to find work. I will help to create an environment that removes barriers to success for new and existing businesses.Encourage good development. We have an official community plan (OCP) that dictates where development is possible. I will work with communities to finalize local area plans and adopt them into the OCP so areas for development are clearly identified, the environment is respected, and there are spaces where people of all generations can congregate at once.Make sure we’re getting value for our property taxes. I will review current spending before committing to status quo for another budget cycle.

      My approach

      I take a research-based approach to decision making. I consult and collaborate with community members to find a resolution people can live with.

      I am accessible to residents. I can relay complex information in plain English so everyone can understand council matters and engage in the discussion at the right time.

      We need a council that represents all citizens, including people like my peers and me: hard-working parents with kids in school and daycare who are non-partisan, and whose only agenda is to make North Cowichan a place where families can stay.

      *****

      About Me

      Living the dream

      Three children ago, the mister and I were driving north from Mill Bay through the Cowichan Valley on our way to the Crofton ferry. We got lost. One right-turn too early and we found ourselves in Maple Bay. I remember driving along Arbutus Avenue thinking how peaceful and romantic the whole place seemed. From our car we could look through the houses on the cliff to the ocean. What a dream.

      Two kids later, we were looking for a place to settle and raise a family. We didn’t want a big city and we didn’t want traffic. We wanted neighbours who said hello, fresh air, and a place to walk.

      The mister found a small cottage in Maple Bay for sale. Remembering that drive years earlier, I was sold on the idea, even after we found out the house needed a new septic system, had asbestos in the ceiling, and had sashless single-pane windows that needed replacing—for starters.

      Maple Bay is living up to its idyllic image. We have neighbours who are like family, a community of friends whose children are the same age as ours, a rowing club, a restaurant, a pub, a beach we walk most nights and an ocean we swim in most summer days.

      My work

      In August 2009, I started Describe, a freelance communications business. I write, edit, and format technical and marketing communications for clients in the Cowichan Valley, Vancouver, and the UK.

      I write a monthly column for the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, and I do the headline interview for their quarterly glossy magazine, Station. You can read my columns and Station interviews here.

      Politics

      In typical Generation-X form, I was unaware of politics until I was firmly settled into a house with a mortgage and kids to raise.

      Since then, I’ve paid attention to the decisions our governments make, particularly local government. I’ve written about local and provincial politics in my News Leader column. I attend municipal council meetings in person or online to understand what is happening in our community. I watched with interest as the Chemainus Residents Association changed the course of history with their stand against Echo Heights. I saw parents successfully advocate for their kids’ skateboard park after years of waiting. I saw one woman change the course of the Stoney Hill discussion through her determination to make sure she was heard.

      In all of those cases, I watched the council consider and deliberate over the variables they were presented with. None of these issues was or is easy to resolve. Through conversations with residents, by establishing a communications plan, research, and through consensus, they find their answer.

      When I was approached by a few residents to run for council, I hesitated for a moment to consider how it would impact our family. With the mister’s full support and encouragement, I’m excited to take a turn on the other side of the council table, and to apply a collaborative approach to problem solving.

      The early years

      I was born and raised in northern Alberta to Irish parents who came over for a two-year teaching contract and never left.

      I attended University of Alberta where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, major in Psychology and a minor in French. I played five years as point guard for the University of Alberta Pandas basketball team, the last two years of which I was team captain.

      Upon graduation, I taught English in Seoul, Korea, then travelled and worked in Australia, and toured Indonesia and Thailand. I moved on to England where I spent four years working in London for a management consulting firm specializing in human capital.

      When I returned to Canada from the UK, I brought with me a souvenir: the mister. We lived in Victoria for a few years before finding our little home in Maple Bay, where we live today.

      *****

      To contact me, email: maeve@maevemaguire.com, phone: 250 597 3388 or visit http://maevemaguire.com/

      Share

      London Could Have a Floating 8-Mile-Long Pathway Designed Only For Bikes

      All the car manufacturers are slowly turning their heads towards efficient motors, as electric cars become more and more popular. But Europe seems to be one step forward of everybody else, as the population riding bicycles increases every year. With bikers representing nearly 25% of rush-hour traffic in the central city, a group of architects has recently presented plans for a £600 million ($956 million) floating pathway designed only for bikes.

      With a mayor that is quite the avid biker and with increasing traffic that is already choking the streets, London’s authorities have been considering several plans to encourage the two-wheel riders in the past years. River Cycleway Consortium, a team of architects, artists and engineers formed to promote the development of better cycling links in UK’s capital city, has recently presented their plan to reduce or even completely solve the problem.

      The futuristic-looking bikeway would hug the south bank of the Thames river between Battersea and Canary Wharf, with the midpoint at Millennium Bridge. Designed for a 8 mile (12 km) stretch, the cycleway would run close to the south bank of the river- away from the main water navigation channel. According to its creators, the pathway would provide a car-free route that would make crossing the city a lot faster.

      12,000 bikers would ride the floating bikeway per hour

      From one end to the other, the journey would take half an our less than if the bikers with take the city streets instead. Architects claim the bikeway could accommodate over 12,000 bicycles per hour and it could be completed in as little as two years. According to BBC, the decway would feature access ramps and refreshment kiosks, as well as on-board sensors that, via satellite, would relay data to bikers about things such as traffic density and flow, as well as river and weather condition.

      What could make for its most interesting feature, if you ask us, it’s that the bikeway would rise and fall with the Thames’s tides and solar, while tidal and wind energy would supply power for lighting and other needs. The almost $1 billion project is only one of the many ambitious projects who authorities in London are currently discussing in an effort to find the right solution to the city’s traffic problem.

      London is going through a “cycling revolution”

      Safe biking has become quite the problem, with the number of cycling casualties reportedly rising by 50% between 2006 and 2011. Besides the obvious environmental and air pollution issues, records claim London is also facing a continuous growth of population, expected to reach 12% in the next decade.

      Besides the project in question, London’s mayor Boris Johnson, who is also an avid cyclist, is already pushing for a “cycling revolution” in the city. As we speak, a 21 miles (33 km) of bike paths that would be almost completely car-free is also in development.

      Share

      London mulls plans for a £600m floating bike path

      Aimed at reducing the ever-present risk of bike-meets-lorry encounters on the city’s traffic-choked streets, the so-called Thames Deckway would hug the south bank of the river between Battersea and Canary Wharf, with the midpoint at Millennium Bridge. The sleek, futuristic-looking bikeway – think Blade Runner meets Waterworld – was trial-ballooned by the River Cycleway Consortium. The group’s leaders are British architect David Nixon and entrepreneur/artist Anna Hill, working in conjunction with design/engineering firm Arup (of Sydney Opera House fame) and Hugh Broughton Architects.

      The team has yet to reveal design details about just how the bikeway would float and what materials would be used, but the project, which reportedly will be privately financed, is expected to cost an estimated £600m (about $965m). Proponents say a flat-rate toll of £1.50 per biker per journey will help finance maintenance expenses.

      The Deckway would feature access ramps and refreshment kiosks, as well as on-board sensors that, via satellite, would relay data to bikers about things such as traffic density and flow, as well as river and weather conditions. The bikeway would rise and fall with the Thames’ tides, and solar, tidal and wind energy would supply power for lighting and other needs.

      If approved, the bikeway – which would accommodate 12,000 bikers per hour and clip the time it takes to cross the city by 30 minutes – could be completed in as little as two years.

      The proposal is the latest in a series of ambitious plans designed to make London – where population is expected to grow by 12% in the next decade – safer and easier to navigate by bike. Late last year, for example, British architect and ardent cycling proponent Sir Norman Foster (the founder of world-recognized Foster + Partners and the designer of the so-called Gherkin tower), along with landscape architects Exterior Architecture and urban planners Space Syntax, unveiled a proposal for SkyCycle, an elevated bike path.

      This 220km-long (136-mile), three-storey-high network of car-free bike paths, punctuated by 200 access points, would follow existing urban rail lines. While a total cost wasn’t announced, a short four-mile-long first leg reportedly carries a price tag of £220m. But supporters say that’s cheaper than building more roads.

      In addition, London mayor and avid cyclist Boris Johnson, who’s pushing for a “cycling revolution” in London, is championing development of the “Crossrail for bike” project: 21 miles of bike paths that would be almost completely segregated from motor traffic.

      Cyclist in London

      (Getty Images)

      Safe biking is no idle matter in London, where bikers represent nearly 25% of rush-hour traffic in the central city. During a tragic, 13-day stretch in 2013, six bikers died on city roads. And between 2006 and 2011, the number of cycling casualties reportedly rose by 50%. Moreover, relative to motorists, cyclists in London account for a disproportionately high share of deaths and serious injuries.

      The biggest obstacle to Londoners eventually enjoying a leisurely bike ride on the Thames is, of course, funding. Even though proponents of such projects point to numerous benefits, such as less pollution, a healthier populace, reduced traffic congestion, fewer biking injuries and decreased fossil-fuel consumption, the road to urban-biking Nirvana is littered with visionary projects that never got rolling.

      Consider, for example, Toronto architect Chris Hardwicke’s Velo-City, in which cyclists would pedal through elevated glass tubes, or the $25m Veloway, a stalled proposal for an elevated bikeway in Melbourne, Australia, that would run alongside an urban rail line.

      Other ideas have succeeded, though, such as the Hovenring, an elevated bike roundabout that hovers like a low-tech flying saucer in the Dutch university city of Eindhoven. Or the on-going development of 11 miles of bike-only “superhighways” in bicycle-happy Copenhagen, the unofficial biking capital of Europe, where 50% of residents commute by bike and bicycles outnumber residents.

      Could the Deckway help London realise Johnson’s ambitions and wrest away the title of bike capital of Europe? Only time will tell if the idea sinks or swims.

      If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Autos, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.

      Share