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.
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.
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