Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cycling in the City: How’s your outlook for February?

Today we'll hand over to another guest blogger who will give us some hints and tips on getting into cycling and riding around the city... 

Cycle Map available from the Brighton & Hove City Council website
Brighton and Hove is a city which has a tradition of cycling involvement and it seems to be growing rapidly every year but how do you make the most of it this February? This article addresses some of the trending topics in the cycling community, with references to a few useful websites.

How to fit cycling in your fitness routine? 

A few ideas on how to do this:

Depending upon someone's level of fitness and the amount of recreational and leisure time at their disposal, a good idea would be to cycle up to four times per week for a distance which would be suitable and relevant to an individual's fitness levels.

If you can commute to work every day and if possible cycling to work is an excellent way to help with fitness and there is no shame in cycling at walking pace.

Another idea, is to record your miles on a calendar, to give that extra ‘mental push’. Like most things, if you get over that initial hurdle, it becomes much more fun.

Cycling with a group is good motivation. The ‘British Cycling Federation’ has lots of training plans for cyclists of all levels, from beginners to Intermediate.

Safety not only in numbers…but also in lights 

According to the The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, statistics mention in 2014 an overall of about 113 cyclists are killed and an alarming number of about 3401 are seriously injured, on the road.

Here are just a few tips of bike safety:

  • The most common bike safety advice is to wear a helmet.
  • Following the law is also beneficial advice. If the light is green, go, if its red, stop - Don’t jump the traffic lights!
  • Use hand signals if you can’t make eye contact with a driver of a vehicle.
  • Don’t ride against the traffic, ride with the traffic in the same direction.
  • Do not stop in the blind spot, rather stop behind a car instead of on the ‘right side’ of the car which makes you visible to traffic.
  • Refrain from riding on the pavement.
  • If you are riding at night, get a front headlight and rear flashing light
  • Wearing something bright and with high visibility, even during the day, which helps a lot for visibility.
  • Avoid busy streets and ride slowly in busy areas.

For more safety tips see what Bicycle Safe has to say or Sustrans tips for cycling on roads.

The Royal Society Prevention of Accidents 

“The moment of clarity for cyclist Emily Brooke was less like an apple falling on her head and more like the prospect of a white van slamming into her.” 

Blaze Laser lights can be preordered now and are priced at £125, ‘the light comes with a bracket to attach it to handlebars, is waterproof and the internally sealed battery is charged via a USB cable. The laser can only be used when attached to the bike. The green light is visible during the day but not effective, says Brooke, and is really aimed for night use when "you can't miss it". The bicycle symbol - instead of branding or writing - was chosen to ensure it was universally recognized.

Cycling Routes and Cycle Lanes

There are a lot of online resources to plan your cycling routes. The ‘mapmyride’ website has a few options for both cycling trails and routes:

Brighton & Hove City Council has transformed the Lewes Road, a busy 4.5km dual carriageway carrying 25,000 vehicles per day, into a rapid transit style bus and cycle corridor by reallocating an entire lane in each direction from general traffic into a bus and cycle lane.

A few examples of cycling infrastructure in and around Brighton: 

  • Old Shoreham Road, Brighton - an innovative "continental" design of cycle route along a fast road. 
  • Brighton to Eastbourne – if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous you could head out along the south coast to Newhaven traveling along the countryside of national cycle route two. The views of Brighton Marina and the costal line are not to be missed.
    Thanks to GPS and cycling walking routes we have a full description of the route
  • Devils Dyke – Venture out to the South Downs for some cross country. Perfect family day out with Food and drink facilities at Devils Dyke Inn. Check out South Downs cycling for more routes. 
A further source of information, The Cycle Brighton website, mentions 3 ‘superb’ flat cycle routes starting in Brighton:
Route 1 – Coastal Rottingdean
Route 2 – Coastal Worthing
Route 3 – Bramber Castle

The article was written by Tim Brierly of TBProcycling, who is a Brighton and Hove based consultant in commercial rights and sponsorships for professional road cycling teams, riders and races worldwide

Thanks again to Tim for today's post and don't forget to visit for more information on Cycling in Brighton

Monday, 16 January 2017

Brighton up #BlueMonday

Allegedly today, Monday 16th January, will be the most depressing day of the year. There are a number of factors involved such as Christmas memories are fading but we still have a couple of weeks until payday. And of course, it's raining too!

However we've decided to blow a raspberry in the face of Blue Monday so grab your brolly and get down to Brighton as we have plenty of ways to Brighton up your day (come on, it had to be done!).

While the Pier looks stunning on a sunny day, you know it'll be quieter today so you'll be first in line for the arcade games and the doughnut stall. Plus you get some dramatic scenes of the sea when it's wet & windy. Or why not relive your youth at the Brighton Toy & Model Museum? Tucked away under Brighton Station this gem is home to a plethora of vintage toys and model railways.

The Painting Pottery Café
In the last couple of years colouring books for adults have become increasingly popular as a way to be creative and to enjoy a moment of calm, so why not take it a step further and visit the Painting Pottery Café? Select your item of pottery and the helpful team will supply you with paints and brushes so you can start decorating. 

The Open Market. Photo by Light Trick Photography

If you fancy a spot of shopping then head over to the Open Market to peruse the independent, local traders. You'll find clothes, arts, crafts and plenty of food, I've heard the falalfel is amazing and I can personally recommend McStrong's Pig 'n' Mix.

The South Downs. Photo taken by Light Trick Photography
The rain is supposed to stop this afternoon so another great way to ditch the blues is to grab a pair of walking shoes, hop on a bus and head out for a hike in the stunning South Downs countryside

For more ideas go to Let us know your favourite ways to beat the blues in Brighton & Hove.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Looking back at Snowdogs by the Sea #brightonsnowdogs

Happy New Year everyone! Of course we should be looking ahead to what's coming up in 2017 (don't worry we will do this soon!) but before we do I couldn't resist a final post about Snowdogs by the Sea.

Just in case you somehow missed it, last year the city played host to Snowdogs by the Sea, a very cute sculpture trail featuring 45 Snowdog sculptures. Each sculpture was individually designed and they appeared at various sites across Brighton & Hove. Apart from being adorable the Snowdogs were also raising money for The Martlets hospice.

Bobby now lives at Balfour Primary School
We were delighted to be a part of the campaign and were proud to sponsor the official trail app. The figures are in and we were thrilled to see that the app was downloaded nearly 8,000 times and the QR codes were scanned 125,253 times! Plus the #brightonsnowdogs had over 11 million impressions!

While these figures are impressive the result that really blew us away was the amount raised for The Martlets.... (drumroll) a whopping £337,700! This is a fantastic achievement so well done to Sarah and all the team who worked so hard to make the event a success.

Bella will soon be found at her new home on West Street.
On a personal note it was lovely spotting the sculptures around the city, particularly seeing how happy they made everyone. I am pleased to report that three of the pooches will be staying in Brighton - Bella was bought by her sponsors One Family so she will be positioned outside their offices on West Street. Bobby is already in place at Balfour Primary School and Process Pup will also be staying but we don't know where yet...

Process Pup will be staying in the city - location tbc
If, like us, you wish you could see them all again one last time then sit back and enjoy this...

Don't forget it isn't too late to donate so you can either text SDOG16 to donate £3 or donate an amount of your choosing using the online form.