Cycle Sisters Ride CANCELLED

Cycle Sisters Ride CANCELLED this weekend. Apologies for yet another weekend ride cancellation. Large areas of the proposed route are being resurfaced and it’s too short notice to risk assess an alternative route. We are just looking out for our riders!

Bike Maintenance Course – 28/06/17

The Cycle Maintenance Courses run from 09:00am to 12:30pm.  Due to limited spaces on the courses we do require that participants book on so you can let us know by phone 01642803441, by e-mail or by popping in to see us at the Hub 17 Bridge Road, TS183AA.IMG_20170524_104533227

The courses are fairly informal and while there is a lot to fit in in a short time it is open to questions throughout.  The courses are hands on with bikes supplied by the Hub for you to practice on.  You are also welcome to cycle down on your own bike and store it in our free secure bike parking facility, we can provide advice on the specific mechanics of that bike if required.

The maintenance courses run through:

  • How to replace and patch an Inner Tube (fix a flat tyre)
  • The ‘M-check’ safety check of your bike
  • Adjusting gears & brakes
  • How to tell when to replace items (brake pads, rims, bearing etc.)
  • Adjusting your headset
  • What products & techniques to use to care for your bike

Active Travel Tales – Highlights of the Month


Having not logged a blog in for a while I thought I would offer up some highlights from last month.

  1. In at number one was the 80 year old woman who decided to get straight back in the saddle with a Bikeability lesson after not cycling for decades! The lesson earnt her a Level 2 certificate, a lot of personal satisfaction, and the respect of instructor Brian! A great example of how cycling is an accessible form of exercise and enjoyment for people of all ages.
  2. Following closely behind was the reunion of two friends after a chance meeting on this month’s maintenance course. Graham and David knew each other when they were just 6 years old! The maintenance course was the first led by volunteer Chris and his students were all very satisfied with what they’d achieved.
  3. At number 3 was the ‘school day out’ organised by Maureen for her usual group of Stepping Out In Stockton walkers from Norton. A riverside walk, a stop at the Dinosaur Park, some fresh air, a drink stop and a bus journey under Maureen’s guidance led some of the walkers to suggest it was like going on a school trip! Safe to say Maureen has already had requests to think about another trip! The Stepping Out In Stockton Away Day walk to Bishop Auckland was another well attended walking trip.

My personal active travel highlight for the month was borrowing a fold-up bike to take on the train to London for the Bank Holiday weekend. I got a bit lost cycling from Kings Cross Station to the south of the river but this meant I went through Hyde Park for the first time! Over the weekend I saved over £20 on journeys by cycling instead of taking the tube or bus! A good weekend saving £s and burning the fat pounds!

Come and visit us in the pop-up marquee on the High Street this Friday 9th June for information of how to get involved with all of our free volunteer led activities. We will have a taster session ride and walk along the river. Walk at 11:30am – Ride at 14:00pm. See you there?!

Family Fun Ride at Ropner Park, Eid Fusion Festival

Another cycling date for you all to put in your diary! We will be running family fun rides through the park on what will be a great summers day out!


There will be two Marquees, the first of which will provide English and Asian food while the second will house crafts, clothes, and a variety of other stalls.

Live entertainment as well as a disco will be on the bandstand all afternoon.

Come along to enjoy a very active atmosphere!




Away Day Walk – York.

bootham bar York

Friday 16th June 2017.

The one you’ve all been waiting for, this months Away Day visits the capital of God’s Own Country – York. No one can say there’s a lack of things to see!

The route is a flat linear walk that starts from Rawcliffe Bar on good paths, across Rawcliffe and Clifton Ings. Then on to the banks of the Ouse, concluding  at Lendal Bridge right on the city centre.

There is then a 2 – 2.5 hour period of free time to wander around York. There is lots for you to see and do, be it the Yorvik Centre, York Minster or shopping (I personally like the shambles area!). You won’t be short of things to do.

Bookings for this walk will be taken from Tuesday 30th May for the Friends of Stockton Health Walks members and Thursday 1st June for non-members. Tickets are £5 for members and for non-members £8.

Bookings are taken by telephone; the number is 07528 326094.

The coaches will be leaving from Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre at 9.30am returning at 3.30pm approx.

Book early to avoid disappointment for this great Away Day Walk.

We will see you for a walk around God’s own capital!


Away Day Walk – Bishop Auckland


Friday 19th May 2017.

We welcome Bishop Auckland to the home of Away Day Walks! The historical home of the Bishops of Durham is hosting this months walk.

A 3.1 mile circular walk that leaves from the centre of Bishop Auckland, passing through the grounds of Auckland Castle (the historical palace of the Bishops of Durham), along field paths and a disused railway line before returning to the town centre.

The walk will be followed by 2 – 2.5 hours free time in which to amble around the centre of town, have some lunch or simply shop its up to you….

The coaches will leave Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre at 9.30am, and will arrive back at 3.30pm approx. The tickets for this walk will be, as usual, £5 for Members and £8 for Non-Members.

Bookings for this walk will be taken for Members from Tuesday 2nd of  May and from Non-Members Thursday 4th May. Call 07528 326094.

We look forward to having you join us in Bishop Auckland.

Active Travel Tales – It’s Good For You!

There were some very satisfied looking riders in The Hub last week as the news story broke that Theresa May had conducted a major study and realised that cycling had major health benefits!…

The real story about cycling’s health benefits came from a study by Glasgow University. It found that regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%. It was great to see the report shared widely across national newspapers and news media to add to the messages and research that Sustrans have been producing for many years.

So how can you go about cycling more?

As many of our members can tell you first hand, cycling has brought benefits to their lives in many ways beyond just the certified health benefits. We understand that not everyone will become a cyclist overnight so we have a number of different rides and services to help you become more confident and motivated to cycle at your own speed.

The first step is very important. Simply come and give it a go! Our Easy Riders ride is set up to welcome people who haven’t cycled for a long time or aren’t very confident cycling. You don’t need to worry about cycling in to the Hub to join the ride. To begin with, use whatever transport is most comfortable for you and borrow a bike from us for the ride. The rides only cover 5 or 6 miles and include a café stop halfway. And the speed is controlled so that nobody is left behind. Many of our volunteers and participants have all been in the same position as yourselves – you might start off unsure how to use your bike or how far you will get on your bike, but over time you will realise just how much your confidence will have grown. Come for a ride and a coffee and you’ll see how much our volunteers relate to your situation!

What the report won’t have told you is how good some of the cycling infrastructure is in the Tees Valley. Admittedly there is room for improvement, but I was pleasantly surprised that I could get from the Hub in Stockton to Hemlington Lake, almost entirely on cycle paths. Another benefit of joining our rides is that you might suddenly realise how many great places can be reached safely from your doorstep.

Weekend Family Ride/Easy Ride

It was great to see some new faces, both young and old, enjoying being on 2 wheels on our ride at the weekend. We stopped to feed the ducks in Ropner Park before using the greenway along the railway line to get to Preston Park. Away from the road it was great to see the younger riders really riding with freedom. Please encourage your family and friends to look out for our family rides throughout the year. As proved, cycling is a good habit to get into at any stage in your life!

Stepping Out In Stockton – Malton Away Day

88 walkers enjoyed another good Away Day last Friday under the guidance of our committed walk leaders. The trip was nearly at full capacity and everybody completed the 3 mile walk along the River Derwent. Even a stray young cyclist joined the troop for a while although that was because he’d taken a tumble from his bike in the woods! As the Glasgow study concluded, regularly walking also benefits your health. If you wish to participate in any ‘Stepping Out In Stockton’ walks please visit us in the Hub to get the walk programme for May and June.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who make our activities possible. You make many people very happy each and every week.

The Hub Team.

Active Travel Tales – Re-sprung

Irish trip1

It has been a while since our last blog post, probably because it has been a busy couple of weeks with lots of rides, walks, and sunshine. I can’t not mention the sunshine!

Unfortunately, the one walk from Norton Medical Practise that I did get to join got hit by the rain! However, because of the other good weather we’ve already had nobody seemed to think anything of it. The route made up for the weather with some lovely quiet paths away from the roads and crossing the fields around Lustrum Beck. Please get in touch if this sounds like your cup of tea!

Back at The Hub, we were busy last Thursday hosting some Sustrans employees from Belfast who were interested in the Hub’s work formula. This included meeting some of our great volunteers, from the mechanics performing M.O.Ts, to the Pedal On volunteers and participants. Eric gets a mention yet again for making everyone feel welcome and comfortable (…) by arriving in an outfit of shades of emerald and green just for the occasion! Please come into The Hub to see the group photo taken on the day which I can’t post here because I haven’t got everybody’s permission.

Finally, a warm welcome to our new volunteer mechanic Chris! Mountain bikes are his main area of interest but he has shown he’s very capable with any bike, recycling donated bikes to be given away to those in need. He has also been busy alongside our other volunteer mechanics keeping The Hub fleet of bikes in good nick!

Thanks to everyone involved over the past couple of weeks.

The Hub