Social bike rides for 2017

We have been busy over the winter months putting together our programme of led bike rides for 2017. Our fun, friendly, social rides take place on the first and third Saturdays of each month from March through to October. Led by volunteers, our rides take in some of the most beautiful scenery in West Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

The routes on the first Saturday of each month are shorter (11 to 17 miles) and we tend to go at a gentle pace of 9-11 mph. As such, they are ideal for new / returning cyclists, or people who just want a more relaxed ride.

If you would like a longer, more challenging ride, then take a look at the second of our rides each month.  These have routes ranging from 27 to 38 miles and we generally go at a slightly faster pace of around 12-14 mph. These are intended for more regular riders who are reasonably fit and don’t mind a bit of the hilly stuff.  If you want a real challenge, then why not sign up for ‘William’s Big Wheel’ – a 57 mile epic into deepest, darkest Hampshire.

All rides start and finish in West Mills, Newbury. We meet by the war memorial between Lloyds bank and St Nicholas’ Church. Our start time is usually 9.30 am, with the exception of ‘William’s Big Wheel’ which sets off at 9 am sharp.

We try to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time on our rides. For example, hills can be taken at your own pace and we don’t rush off once the last person reaches the summit. Unfortunately, punctures can and do happen, so we ask all riders to bring a spare inner tube. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to change a tyre – we can help / advise as necessary.

Please note that places are limited to 12 people on each ride, so we do ask that you book your place in advance at to avoid disappointment. It also helps us to know who to expect so we don’t set off without you. Also, any under 16s must be accompanied by an adult who is able to take responsibility for them.

If you want any further information about our rides, then please do get in touch. We look forward to seeing you and hope you enjoy the rides!


Dr Bike Comes to Newbury

two people fixing bikes

Just like cars, bikes need regular maintenance in order to keep them running smoothly and keep you safe. However, often people neglect their bikes and only give them some attention when something breaks, or starts making a noise.

Regular maintenance checks can help identify issues as they arise and allow you to carry out timely adjustments or preventative maintenance. This can extend the life of your components and save you money in the long run. Fortunately, most bikes are relatively simple to work on and only require a few basic tools to undertake the most common maintenance tasks.

Spokes has a number of volunteers who have all taken the Cytech Home Mechanics Course and are therefore qualified to make adjustments to bikes and deliver a basic level of tuition to others about routine maintenance. In addition, we have years of experience of tinkering with bikes and even building them from scratch!

So if you have a bike that has squeaky brakes, slipping gears or just want to know how to change a tyre, then bring it down to Newbury Market on Saturday 27 August between 10am and 2pm where our experts will be on hand to carry out checks, make adjustments, or show you how to undertake maintenance checks and carry out basic repairs. The best part is that it is FREE!

If your bike does need new parts, then don’t forget that Spokes members get 10% discount at Banjo Cycles, Bikelux and Specialized Concept Store.


West Berkshire Spokes AGM 2016

Banjo Cycles

The Annual General Meeting of West Berkshire Spokes will take place at 11:30am on Sunday 12 June 2016 at the Café in Banjo Cycles, Unit 4 & 5, Norman House, Hambridge Road, Newbury RG14 5XA.  All members are very welcome to attend the AGM.

Below are links to a draft agenda, the current constitution and the minutes from the last AGM:

The final agenda will be provided at the AGM meeting itself.


Spokes launches 2016 programme of led bike rides in Newbury

West Berkshire Spokes Bike Rides

Winter weather means that cycling can be hard work. It always seems to be cold or wet and it gets dark way too early! However, Spring is just around the corner, and so we have been working hard to plan our programme of led bike rides for 2016 to tempt you back out on two wheels to discover the beautiful countryside in and around West Berkshire.

We will be running at least two bike rides each month from March right through to October. Rides on the first Saturday of the month are shorter, slower rides that are aimed at occasional cyclists, or those who are looking to get back into cycling after a break. Rides on the third Saturday of the month are a bit longer and faster and are aimed at more experienced cyclists. If you’re feeling really brave, then why not sign up for ‘William’s Big Wheel’ – a 57 mile jaunt deep into Hampshire!

All rides start and finish in Newbury and our meeting point is at the side of Lloyds Bank in the centre of town. Details of the rides can be found on the calendar page of our website. For safety reasons, we limit rides to a maximum of 20 places. To book your place, please visit:

If you want to find out more about our rides and whether or not they are right for you, then please do get in touch. We hope to see you soon!


Spokes Carry Out Local Cycling Audit

St John's Roundabout

One of Spokes’ early achievements was a Cycling Map of Newbury and Thatcham, which was produced after a detailed audit of the local cycle network by Spokes members.  It was a great success and helped to get more people out on bikes.

West Berkshire Council has now asked if Spokes can carry out another audit of the urban cycle network in Newbury, Thatcham and Hungerford, while Reading Cycle Campaign are covering Theale and the Reading fringe. The audit will help to inform how the cycle network can be improved, including for the various new developments that are planned.

The audit has to be completed by 31 March 2016, so we have recruited volunteers from our membership to help us over the next couple of months. This team effort will be coordinated by our Highways Officer, Dr Tony Vickers.  We are focusing initially on ‘commuter routes’, identifying gaps that could be filled, junctions that could be improved, and anything else that would make life a little easier and safer for a cyclist.

If you would like to help with the audit, or if you have any ideas about how the local cycle route network could be improved, then please get in touch and let us know.  We would love to hear your ideas.