If I ring my bell at you today, now you know why.
If I ring my bell at you today, now you know why.
It’s May, which means it’s Bike Month. Of course, we’re all excited about encouraging people get out their bikes and give it a go. In London, though, they’ve upped the ante. Massively.
Central London was overrun by 10,000 cyclists today, as the biggest bike protest ever seen in the capital took to the streets.
The mayoral candidates Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones, as well as Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, joined the ride from Hyde Park to Blackfriars, which called on the candidates in next week’s local and mayoral elections to make concrete pledges to make the streets safer for cyclists. [more from The Times of London]
Ten thousand people rode to call attention to bike safety and to get their elected leaders’ attention, chanting for safer streets, in advance of their elections this week. In the rain! And in Edinburgh, another 3,000 did the same!
“We’ve done nothing like this before,” said Dave Brennan, one of the organisers. “It sends a strong message to politicians that people want to get out on their bikes.”
Although all the candidates have expressed their verbal support forThe Times’ Cities Fit for Cycling campaign, James Harding, the Editor, told the Government’s cycle safety inquiry this week that more needed to be done to make sure that “warm words are translated into action”.
Could you imagine the entire STP crowd all in downtown Seattle?
I love the STP for getting people on bikes, many of whom wouldn’t otherwise, but what would it take to get 10,000 people on a ride like this, where the goal is to send a message to our politicians — in the city, at the county, in Olympia and in that other Washington — that people want to get out on their bikes. It would take more than the fast and fearless. It would take all the people sitting on the sidelines who want to bike but are afraid. People you know. Probably some of you reading this now — the “willing but wary”. If you were out there on a ride like this, our leaders would stand up and take notice.
I salute you, London.
What do you think, Seattle?
The Romance of the Ride Around Washington
Friday, April 20, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Flagship REI, 222 Yale Ave. N
On Friday, April 20, local photographer and cascade cyclist Dan Hershman will present a slideshow and presentation on the Ride Around Washington. If you’re new to RAW, this will be an opportunity to gain some insight into what long-time RAW participants have come to appreciate and look forward to each year. If you’ve done RAW before, this fun presentation will have you ready to get on your bike and start training for this summer’s return to the Palouse.
Dan is a noted local nature photographer with clients that include the Washington State Department of Tourism, Getty Images and Oregon Public Television. He is also a contributing photographer to numerous books and publications on our region’s unique and environment. Dan’s presentation will feature pictures of previous RAW events, including our previous visit to the Palouse in 2004
RAW is not about finishing times, elevation gained or miles racked up, even though it certainly has its share of such statistics. It’s a trip to experience the beauty and nature of our state and its many communities and scenic vistas. Join us on Friday for a special event that will have you dreaming of grand vistas, unique and picturesque towns, and making friends with a community of riders who share a love for new experiences and epic journeys.
Interested in donating a bike? Drop off your gently-used bike at our office, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For questions, please email our Youth Programs Assistant at email@example.com.
When you were a student, an elementary student, didn’t you want to make your own class rules? I’m sure at some point you wanted to have a whole class devoted to supporting your art and your experience. Do you remember wanting to spray paint things, get your hands dirty and ride bikes? If any of this sounds familiar, you might have made a good scraper kid.
The Scrapers program this winter gave six awesome and creative kids a chance to maintain, design and earn a bike they could keep for themselves. This winter students were asked to come to the first class with a song they wanted to use as the inspiration for their scraper bike. They were empowered with art and creativity to communicate with the world via a custom bicycle: scrapers are art bikes with spray painted frames and duct taped spokes, replicating spinner wheels. Over the course of eight weeks they learned how to:
-Lube a chain
-Fix a flat tire
-Rebuild a hub (no small feat, I must say!)
-Rebuild a bottom bracket
-Make scraper wheels
-Lock their bikes up securely
If they successfully completed these tasks and attended six of the eight scrapers sessions, the students would be given the bikes as well as a helmet and bike lock.
But the program is about more that just walking away with a colorful bike after two months. It’s about building responsibility, creating your own rules and hands on learning.
From the very first class the students are asked to think carefully about a song they feel represents themselves, and then they are encouraged to turn that song into a bike design. Each kid came up with a wildly different design than the next: from tiger stripes and solid taped wheels to a gold frame with silver rims to a toxic waste bike.
One student even incorporated a project he was working on at school by having the whole class vote on whether or not people should text while driving. He then applied this theme to his black and yellow bike. This same student even came and helped out with the Bicycle Maintenance Parties I was running every Wednesday. His attitude encouraged volunteering and positivity among the other students.
Scraper kids learn resilience and embody an excellent DIY-spirit. A nine year old was having a particularly rough day and suffered a flat tire. When he was told that one of us could help him fix it he said “I can do it myself” and proceeded to, indeed, do it himself.
I couldn’t be more proud of the students that came through the program over the winter. They show us how effective bikes are, not only as a mode of transportation, but also as a learning tool and a community builder. If only we all got to be scraper kids…
Cyclefest and Bikemania have it all!
Friday, July 22 at Magnuson Park
5 p.m: Randy’s Urban Grill sausage cart, Jamba Juice smoothie stand, and beer garden featuring New Belgium beer
5 p.m: Bike Art, Carnival, Treasure Hunt, Adaptive Cycles
5:30 p.m: 1000 Yeahs Jump Show with Nick Halsey
6:30 p.m: Orkestar Zirkonium – Balkan-inspired, mobile, brass-and-drum band performance plays in Magnuson Park Amphitheatre
6:45 p.m: 1000 Yeahs Jump Show with Nick Halsey
7:30 p.m: Kids’ Bike Parade – we supply simple materials, you bring a bike and helmet
8 p.m: 1000 Yeahs Jump Show with Nick Halsey
8:15 p.m: Orkestar Zirkonium plays in front of the big screen at Cyclefest
8:45 p.m: Drawing for Lapierre bicycle and other great prizes
9:15-10:30 p.m: Tour de France Stage 19 on the big screen!
Ongoing: Cascade Bicycle Club booth (drawing tickets on sale!), vendor and exhibitor booths, food booths and beer garden featuring New Belgium beer.
Here’s a slide show from the 2010 event. See you Friday at Magnuson Park!