Promo banner soft launch

Well, it’s been a long time coming – but we have finally been given permission to go ahead with our eagerly anticipated [ultimate biking] project in Platt Fields Park.

Introducing : Platt Fields Bike Hub : a space designed to host various community focussed bicycle projects.

This is your official invitation to our launch event.

Stage 1 launch

The contract came in two weeks ago and tomorrow – we open. You can imagine it’s been a bit of a busy time! All hands on deck and we’ve starting rejuvenating the space in the old Boathouse that we hope will evolve into an all thriving buzzing community space with bike lovers from across the spectrum – using and sharing its resources and passing on skills to help a chain of shared interest and development.

Check out our sister website for more information on what’s going to be happening there.

We would love suggestions / feedback / expressions of interest. Email us : info@plattfieldsbikehub.org.uk

Otherwise – we hope to see you on the 25th and beyond!


2

For the last week there has been a non stop schedule of free community bike events happening all of the city, brought to you by the North West Velo Fest. From bike buckaroo, to speeding alleycats, to tweed rides & bicycle polo – one might argue, something to lure in any category of cyclist. Now it was time to bring all of those pockets of pedallers together to enjoy a social evening of pedal powered tunes and merriment in a dusking Platt Fields Park. As we set up the lantern and site decorations in the pouring rain, we were disappointed to admit that there was a high chance we’d get a small intake of park pedallers on this dreary Friday evening. However, we should have had more faith! Out of the drizzly twilight and from every direction appeared drenched cheery faces loyally facing the gloomy evening to inject some cheer beneath the sinister skies; and of course they did – we have a hardcore collective of bikers here in this little drizzly town.

1

A wonderful energy buzzed by the lakeside near to our familiar set up at the Boathouse as we prepared a number of tins for the ‘ring of fire’ special illuminated performance by the vivacious collection of formidable women, otherwise known as the Spokes Bicycle Dance Troupe.

A perfect warm up for tomorrow’s main event : Envirolution

As usual we plotted and planned for future developments in this great space, as a way to strengthen and merge the small community groups that exist in this city. Cozy evenings like this form inspiring visions into what-could-be; watch this space & get in touch if you’re a Manchester based bicycle community group or project and would like to see things happen!


JKP-140517-9613

JKP-140517-9502-2

As the sun twinkled above us on a beautiful warm Saturday afternoon, we assembled last touches to our mobile music wagon – our home-made bamboo bike trailer – complete with flowers and a big soundsystem ready to boom out wondrous sunny beats. We fixed on the enormous Space for Cycling flag that we’d painted earlier in the week and went about chugging our unusual heavy loaded bicycle over to the meeting point. As the Balkan tunes kicked in we welcomed clusters of cyclists to the lakeside in Platt Fields Park; every lucky biker had the same elated grin of sunshine bliss on their face as everyone began rubbing pedals with each other and illustrating the wonderfully extensive cross-over networks of the grassroots cycling community in Manchester.

JKP-140517-9590

We were one of five cities taking part in the national campaign titled Space for Cycling; an attempt to project our small wishes to generate an improved social awareness and infrastructure for cyclists in the city. There were so many other community events happening that day, so we saw a slight fall in numbers of our mass participation since the last ride in September- but as you can see from the photographs we had more than enough to occupy the stretch of Oxford Road which formed our route for the ride. PoWWow were delighted to pedal at the front [only because we had the flag] with the families and kiddies on mini bikes; overwhelmed and elated at fronting such a first for them as young cyclists. We were amazed at the positive reception that we welcomed as we chugged down the sunny stretch of road – a route which you normally have to concentrate with the intensity of a brain surgeon in order to bike your way through hazards surfacing at every metre of your ride. After a couple of miles of waves, cheers and a plethora of screens, cameras, phones and any such device to record this slow moving brigade of two wheeled lovers, we arrived at the Town Hall to hand over our petition. If you haven’t done so already and would like to spend 20 seconds emailing your local councillor to lobby for an improved Space for Cycling, then please do so here.

JKP-140517-9655

It’s difficult to predict how much positive change events such as these bring about – but we sure feel that the monumental merging of passionate fellow velo heads is incredibly empowering and inspiring to be a part of such a movement.  If you’re interested keeping in the loop with a more informative accurate angle on current decision making developments for above mentioned cycling topics, then we are delighted to direct you to the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign website.

We were too busy lugging rickety bamboo about to take pictures from the day, so the credits for these shots go to GMCC’s sec and free-lance photographer Jonathan Keenan :)


GMCC_space4cycling_petition_424x250

Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign [a.k.a GMCC] are once again injecting their tireless energy into attempting to create a better deal for the cyclists of Manchester. As part of a national campaign [Space4Cycling] …..

Ride with us to show your support and ask your Council to provide safe Space for Cycling!

Meet by the lake in Platt Fields from 1pm, we’ll depart at 2pm on this route: plotaroute.com/map/2260.

We’ll ride together at a gentle pace into central Manchester, finishing in Albert Square.
This time there’s no party conference in town, so no police escort which means the ride won’t be traffic-free.

If you can, beautiful your rides – let’s try get a creative element to this large participation event – bring mobile sound systems, noise making devices, flags and banners on your bikes. Download this flyer to spread to your networks + keep up to speed with it all on Twitter with #space4cycling. See you Saturday!

GMCC_S4C_Flyer01


Pedal power fest

We’re sure that Northwich town centre has never seen quite that volume of cyclists all at one time before – as swarms of bikers from across the board made their way to the start line of the family friendly mass participation bicycle ride to launch the festival for the day. The driving rain didn’t seem to put people off- as the hardy clusters prepared for the ride – we saw little sprockets wearing enormous goggles and scientists glasses as they wheeled their mini bikes past our tent. We saw Castelli clad huge calved serious lycra brigades, plenty of shoppers with flowers adorning their baskets, neat couples on hybrids, older generations in their impeccably uniformed team kits and all sorts of combinations of little and large and of course, the best adapted bikes we’d ever seen including a five person tandem adorned with gold tubing and huge moving butterfly wings [it didn’t surprise us to recognise that this driving force was the wonderful people behind the all ability cycling project Simply Cycling].

Pedal Power 2 Animated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheltering from the relentless rain we rigged up our elaborate pedal powered karaoke [titled “Karao-eco]; we don’t get it out that often as it takes about a hundred hours to set up, but when the comedy element of the project kicks in + we find a line-up of panting singing cyclists  blaring out their favourite song it all seems worth it. The best effort from the day was a wonderful face painted family singing a beautiful rendition of a UB40 track – and miraculously the blue skies appeared from nowhere [we like to think the singing had everything to do with it!]

The bike line-up of stalls included collaborations with British Cycling, Breeze Network, Wheels For All and a number of local riding clubs and frame builders to provide a mini showcase of avenues to encourage people into cycling.

Thanks for having us Pedal Power and hope to see you again next year!


1660382_236066209919900_2930139452922441978_n

It’s one of our favourite times of year – not only are the days getting longer and longer so we can ride our bicycles out to the countryside in the evening but we have North West Velo Fest fast approaching! Brought to you by the Spokes – we have 10 days of community bicycle events splendour – open to everyone – come get involved!

Here’s the timetable :

North West Velo Fest 2014 will be 11 days of bicycle-related fun events brought to you by The Spokes

 

Friday 16 May

Random Tandem Bike Lock Key Swap Party

Come and have a go on a random steed. We’ll swap bikes for short rides to around Platt Fields Park so make sure you bring a tool so you can adjust your saddle height. Who knows what bike you will end up riding!

Meet at 6 pm to ride at 6.30pm. The Boathouse, Platt Fields Park, M14 6LA.

 

Saturday 17 May

Space4Cycling

Join the Greater Manchester Cycle Campaign for a mass participation ride with the aim of inspiring Councils to create safe Space for Cycling on our streets
Meet at 1pm for a 2pm departure. The Boathouse, Platt Fields Park, M14 6LA.

 

Spokes at Manchester Vegan Fair

Food, drink and a variety of performances for your enjoyment. Include The Spokes Bicycle Dancers who will be performing at 1pm.
11am to 5pm, Chorlton Irish Club, 17 High Lane, M21 9DJ.

 

Sunday 18 May

Alleycat

The now classic Spokes Alleycat – a fast paced urban treasure hunt with silly challenges. Ride in teams of two on any kind of bicycle you want. Prizes not just for speed but challenge points and perhaps even fancy dress.

Meet from 1pm, riders set off at 2pm. The Sandbar, Grosvenor St, M1 7HL

 

Monday 19 May

Open Spokes
Come have a play on our tiny bicycles. We’ll show you some moves, tricks and poses.
6-8pm. Contact us for location info.

 

Tuesday 20 May

Evening Jolly

30-mile jolly road ride with a mid-way drink stop. Bring lights etc.

Meet from 5pm, ride at 6pm. The Sandbar, Grosvenor St, M1 7HL.

 

Wednesday 21 May

01FIX1 Wednesday Night Right Out

An evening ride for the fixed gear and fixed-curious.

Meet 6.30pm, ride at 7pm. Zoo, Grosvenor St, M1 7HL.

 

Bicycle Life Drawing

Come and draw (clothed) live models posing with their bikes or even strike a pose yourself. Get a portrait taken with your ride in our photobooth.
From 6pm. 486 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton, M21 9AS

 

Thursday 22 May

Manchester Hardcourt Bike Polo

Come along or just watch, if you can ride a bike you can play! Bikes and mallets available. http://www.mhbp.co.uk/

6.30-9pm at The Powerhouse, 140 Raby St, M14 4SL

 

Tweed ride

A genteel paced ride – well one could not possibly sweat, could one? Come dressed in your tweedy, vintage or smart finery. It’s more about the tweed’itude than the clothes.

Meet at 6pm to ride at 6.30pm. Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, M60 2JT.

Ride will terminate at The Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton, M21 9EG.

 

Friday 23 May

Pow Wow Pedalpowered Party

An evening of pedal powered music and general merriment! Performers welcome so get in touch if you want to help provide entertainment.

From 8pm The Boathouse, Platt Fields Park, M14 6LA

 

Saturday 24 May

Envirolution

A free day of live music, theatre, workshops, discussions, family fun and food & drink, with plenty of bicycle based activities and stalls. This is not organised by NWVF but our very own Spokes will be performing.

1 to 7pm. Eco Garden, Platt Fields Park, M14 6LA.

Spokes performance times TBC.

 

Sunday 25 May

Messing about on the Mersey

A leisurely 5 mile cycle to the River Mersey where we will be exchanging our bikes for canoes. We paddle downstream to Chorlton where the canoes are collected and our bikes delivered to us. Post-paddle optional rides and pints then follow.
Booking is essential, see contact details below.
Meet at The Deaf Institute on Grosvenor Street at 11am for breakfast. Depart at Noon.

 

Monday 26 May

Ministry of Silly Pedals
An afternoon of fun bicycle based events including handsfree challenges, slow and three armed races, pick up duck and bicycle buckaroo. Bring a bicycle and a picnic. Hecklers welcome.

Meet from 2pm. Whitworth Park.

A couple of snaps from last year’s fest to get you in the biking mood :

1h

Bike-Lock-Key-Swap Party, Platt Fields Park

4

Riders find out who’s bike they will be riding next…

8

Hands Free Olympics – funniest event of the week by far!

11dPoWWow Pedal Power – party in the park; delightful evening of bike fun [if we don’t say so ourselves!]


10a

Day two of our pedal fuelled weekend rolled into Sunday as we welcomed another promising day of community focussed fun.

The afternoon developed into a busy buzzling Boathouse pulse that we hope will mark the first of many for the season. We had Coffee Cranks Co-op wheeling up with their cargo bike coffee cart to keep everyone suitably caffeinated and skippy for the day [as if we needed any help really, but the hot drinks sure went down well with the sweet treats that were on sale by Ruthalicious Cakes yum yum]. We had free bike fixing laid on by Revolve MCR that saw a nice range of rusty poorly steeds get given a new life right before their owner’s eyes. We had Envirolution laying on a feast of creative workshops forming a nice warm up to their approaching festival on 24th May; with clusters of carefully considered young artists scrupulously designing and painting their signage that will be installed at the event at the end of the month. Over 200 people wandered in and out of our little event over the afternoon and as we saw the finishing time come + go, we saw the bustle continue organically into the early evening. We realise people are so thirsty for hubs like this as passers by would get engrossed with the workshops and stay for hours, there is such a gap that has been formed from all the cuts and reductions in community development but we fully intend to alleviate that absence this season.

Fun day poster

Promo poster :)

10Coffee Cranks Cargo Coffee Bike

19Revolve MCR in action doing some free bike fixing…

39Our best pedaller from the day – young Joe was powering the music for about six hours – go Joe!

 


cbghposter1

There’s something about the fact that it always rains in Manchester that makes community event days in the sunshine better than ever. We were so bold in our rig-up that we didn’t even bother with the gazebo; the sun shone down on green friendly buzzing Chorlton all day long as we welcomed hoards of pedallers onto our bikes to make the fun music play for the day. As usual when working at these treat events, we don’t get to see much of what else is going on, but from what we understood there spilled a plethora of community stands, workshops and environmentally charged circulating inspiration; topped off with delicious stands selling veggie vegan delights.

As the sun rolled into the late afternoon it was time for the Spokes Bicycle Dance Troupe to begin their new line-up performance – this forms one of our favourite partnerships in the pedalling world – to power the music on bikes for a performance about bikes by bike enthusiasts is really quite something that we like to smile about. The crowd were engaged from start to finish and the women put on a great show.

The promise of a full summer of community biking lies ahead; join us! Don’t forget to keep up to speed with us on Twitter

Click here to have a better peak into the depths of what the Cholton Big Green Happening is all about..

3


13f

16

Last year we were lucky enough to organise the ride to Glastonbury Festival with over sixty beaming cyclists. Over the glorious rolling green Mendip hills, we pedalled from Bristol to Glasto in the raging summer sun. Stopping for water, snacks + merriment along the way we strode our way to the festival in supreme cycling style.

 

Fancy joining us this year? Please do!

Watch this space for our new booking system to get you + your bicycle a place – we’ll have that live over the next few weeks we promise..

To help get you in the pedalling to Glastomood – check out our write-up from last year’s ride…

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all the latest news + updates about the ride :)

Welcome to Envirolution

Fun day poster

Everybody down to the Boathouse Funraiser pedal powered party in Platt Fields this Sunday, please!

It’s a little warm up to Envirolution festival, which is drenching the park in its wonder again this May on the 24th day. We’ll be blasting out some nice tunes, eating crepes and drinking coffee from the cargo hot drinks bicycle mule courtesy of Coffee Cranks Co-operative. There will be free bicycle fix-up-tuning, delivered by Revolve MCR and some plenty of crafty workshops to sink your teeth into. Bunches of opportunities on offer to help get involved with Envirolution and their great work, so why not use this chance to come chat to the core line up + find yourself a exciting role to launch into this spring and summer in Platt Fields.