Here’s the listing for our performance from the Festival Program.
I am super happy we were forward-thinking enough to make the Bio Bike frame modular. And now that we have two different tops that we can interchange, it makes the Bio Bike frame so much more versatile.
Currently, we have two tops we can use for two different performances.
Construction started, of course, with our Bio Bike base…
Claire had done an amazing job bending the PVC piping to shape the pod shell.
We wanted the pod to look a little comical and dinky.
We both agreed that we didn’t want a fully polished piece, we liked the home-made-any-one-can-do-this feel. We also didn’t want to over-engineer, complicate or over-decorate the pod. The whole point was that it was grassroots and fun.
We also wanted people to be able to see that it was clearly made out of recycled materials and that it wasn’t ‘perfect’ – and didn’t need to be to be super fun!
Claire had a previous artwork that we refashioned to be the back of the pod. The green section gave it a bit of colour and we decided to let it flop at the front because we liked the odd and unruly look of it – made you think that there is no way this thing could fly – which was perfect!
The pod shell was constructed out of recycled PET bottles attached together. I then lay it over the pod and zip tied it to the pod frame, while Claire was working on the wings.
Then, Hey Presto! The wings were ready.
Now, all we have to do is attach the propellers and put it on the bike!
It is a great way for the bike structure to settle in, I get to see if there are any last minute adjustments needed, and it is great to go whizzing by the poor unsuspecting public and see their faces! Honk! Honk!
It makes me super happy to ride our art bikes to the festival site. It gets me in the happy, bikes-are-awesome mood and this awesomeness is carried over into when the performance starts as I am already primed for fun!
I’ve been working on the Bio Bike Project for the last couple of weeks. The Eco T(h)anks is the first of two models that will share a similar frame, but have a different (modular) top that is interchangeable depending on the event. The second variation is Your Future Thanks You, which has a UFO-style top (see next post). Given the sustainable focus of the upcoming SLF, where this project will perform, it looks increasing like we will use the Your Future Thanks You model for this weekend. However, the Eco T(h)anks was the first to be constructed as a prototype. So this post outlines the frame and how the top section of the Eco T(h)anks was made. Enjoy! NG.
Stage 1 was undertaken in Coolie’s fabrications workshop in northern NSW (Cheers Coolie!) and subsequent stages completed in my backyard in Brisvegas (Brisbane). Claire did a great job of spray painting, attaching the turret and decorating the outside.
There is still a bit more to do to complete this piece. It is great to have all the main hard work out of the way and get a better sense of what the final structure could looks and feel like. And now, only the fun bits are left to do!
Here’s how it came together…
Stage 1: The Frame
The first stage was to use a general purpose bike to get a sense of dimensions and scale. Then we cut a pattern for the side panels out of 5mm white corflute. This was double layered in alternating directions and the central seam was designed to interlock on the inside to help with rigidity.
Two sizes of recycled PVC piping we cut to make the square frame. This frame is what the side panels will had from.
My main concern here was to make the sides easy to flatpack down (for transport in a bike bag) and easy to assemble.
Of course weight, balance and manoeuvrability were key issues.
I didn’t want to the structure to be over-engineered or overly complicated to make. I had limited time, money and access the to workshop – so this meant being productive and innovative to get an outcome with the resources at hand.
As well as fashioning four custom-made hangers to attach and support the side panels, zip ties and gaffer tape were the order of the day to attach the base to the bike.
It was important to intermittently take the bike for a test run to be sure that it was still functional as a bicycle as well as relatively easy to use re: turning, overall weight, balance, getting on and off, safety, bump in/out transportability, and the like.
The last task was to make the turret and the barrel.
The front piece of the turret needed to be made of a stronger metal/resin material so that it could hold the weight of the barrel.
The barrel was carefully measured so that it did not go out too far (for safety and weight reasons), but far enough so the effect ‘barrel’ was achieved
The next challenge was how to attach this to the handle bars.
Stage 2: Eco T(h)ank base structure
Then it was time to head back home to Brisvegas for assemblage.
First step was to reconstitute the frame and the get the front of the turret on the handlebars – this took a little ingenuity. Claire ended up using a wire frame (used in fridges for wine bottles) and attached that to the back so there were points to lash zip ties to the bike – it worked a treat!
Then it was time to use 2mm black corflute to wrap around the side panels to simulate tracks (this effect will be developed further at a later stage) and to enclose the front and back of bike, whilst being mindful of how we get on and off the bike.
A few well placed large cogs of bike cassettes were screwed on meant overlay points were more rigid, helped with stabilising the structure and added a strong recycled aesthetic – which I thought worked really well.
And the final basic structure is complete!!!
The wheels turn freely and I can ride the bike unhindered.
The structure is light and versatile enough to be transferred to any kind of bike frame.
It still needs some decorations and external work done, but I’m very happy with the base structure!
Overall it took 3 days to make.
Thanks so much to Coolie, TK and Claire for their direct input, time, ideas and labour!
I really enjoyed doing this project as I got to use materials and tools that I have not used before. This was one of the main reasons for undertaking their project – to develop my technical skills and be a little bolder in what I envision and can produce – and I am delighted with the result!
The next post will show how we modified this base with a different (modular) top to make the Bio Bike Model 2: Your Future Thanks You.
The last week has been super crazy getting ready, because…
A while back, my regular creative collaborator and friend Claire Tracey and I put together a roving performance idea and application for the upcoming 2018 Sustainable and Living Festival (SLF)- and we got the news it was successful!
Sustainable Living Festival – Bio Bike ACCEPTED
The Festival’s Program Coordinator Big Weekend emailed:
Thank you for your Festival application. We are pleased to inform you that your event application has been accepted! The team at the Sustainable Living Festival are delighted to have your event as part of our program.
So, we are heading to Melbourne to perform the Bio Bike at the 2018 SLF!
This project used Leki as the basis for a pedal-powered no-money/barter/trade/swap, mobile op shop. It was sooooo much fun!
Leki and the Ova will be very familiar to regular BCC readers, given it is immortalised as the central feature image for the Bicycles Create Change homepage.
We roved the Festival and went out twice a day. We had a brilliant time and were a roaring success – the punters loved being part of it … and so did we!
It was a wicked project to make and present – and Claire and I knew we worked well together and have since joined forces on a number of ventures.
So we threw our hat into the ring for this year with our concept of the Bio Bike … and hey presto! We’re in!
So, no time to waste – we have to get organised!
But first a bit of background.
What is the SLF Big Weekend?
In it’s own words, the Festival’s signature Big Weekend event will be staged between the 9th and 11th of February. Held in the cultural hub of Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, the Festival’s Big Weekend showcases the main attractions of the Festival’s calendar.
Featuring interactive workshops, talks, technology demonstrations, art, film and live performance pieces (of which our roving Bio Bike performance will feature! NG).
One of the main attractions of the Big Weekend is the Exhibitors Market featuring over 100 exhibitors, including vendors showcasing the very best of organic food, beer and wine. Ethically-sourced clothing, sustainable building designs and gardening options will also be on show.
Treadlie and Green Magazine will be back to host the always popular Treadlie Bike Hub, with bikes, accessories and even a test track to help you make the switch from horsepower to human-power.
As an arts collective, we aim to educate, encourage and empower participants to seriously think about their ability to affect positive environmental change.
Our event is focused on raising awareness about the necessity of transitioning to a ‘below zero emissions’ society and examines creative solutions to creating this widespread societal change as soon as possible.
The Bio Bikes roving performance uses positive reinforcement and humour to create public awareness about climate change and encourages viewers to participate in the performance by interacting with the sculptural bikes when they are stationary.
So, it has been action stations to get the foundations organised and prepped for the Bio Bike. We already have a clear conceptual plan of what we want the performance to entail, but it is the props and bike itself that requires time, skills, materials and construction. With the Festival fast approaching, the making of the Bio Bike is a top priority.
So, I’ve been away for the last 5 days visiting a dear long-time friend, called Coolie, in northern NSW. (No internet there, hence the delay in uploading this post- sorry!). Coolie’s technical expertise, insight and fabrication workshop was invaluable in constructing a Bio Bike prototype which will be a major part of our roving performance.
The next couple of posts will be tracking our project development as we refine and work on the Bio Bike, props, costumes and production.
Stay tuned to see how it unfolds – and if you are in Melbourne, we’ll be seeing you at the Sustainable Living Festival in a couple of weeks!
This guest blog post is by Greg Beach, who earlier this week reported on the official announcement of the World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Bicycle. Two months ago, DesignBoom reported on this design, however, it was not officially announced until this week that Pragma’s ALPHA hydrogen-powered bicycles have been manufactured and are set to become commercially available in the near future. It will be very interesting to see what impacts and reaction this new announcement will have on cycling communities and city bike share initiatives. NG.
World first announced this week: Hydrogen-powered Bikes
Pragma Industries just became the first company to launch a hydrogen-powered bicycle for commercial and municipal purposes. Based in Biarritz, France, the company has already secured 60 orders for the hydrogen bikes from French municipalities such as Saint Lo, Cherbourg, Chambery and Bayonne.
While the bikes are currently too expensive for the commercial market, costs are expected to eventually drop from 7,500 euros to 5,000 euros, and charging stations cost about 30,000 euros.
While Pragma is not the only company interested in hydrogen-powered bicycles, they have taken production of such vehicles the farthest — so far.
“Many others have made hydrogen bike prototypes, but we are the first to move to series production,” Pragma founder and chief executive Pierre Forte told Reuters.
Pragma’s Alpha bike is able to travel a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles) on a two-liter (0.5 gallon) tank of hydrogen.
Although the range is similar to that of a typical electric bike, the recharge time is significantly reduced from hours for a traditional e-bike to merely minutes for the Alpha hydrogen-powered bike.
Pragma offers two types of recharging stations: one that uses hydrolysis of water to generate hydrogen fuel on-site, and another, more affordable station that relies on tanks of already prepared hydrogen fuel.
Due to the high cost, Pragma is currently marketing its bikes to larger commercial and municipal operations such as bike-rental operators, delivery companies, and municipal or corporate bicycle fleets.
After producing 100 such bikes last year, Pragma hopes to sell 150 this year to organizations in places such as Norway, the United States, Spain, Italy and Germany.
In addition to developing a bike that is capable of turning water into fuel without the need of a charging station, the company plans to massively expand into the retail market within the next few years.
Another is the Vycle, which was first designed by Elena Larriba.
Vycle is touted as being a human-powered vertical transport solution to address increasing urbanisation.
What is Vycle– Urban Vertical Movement via Pedalpower?
Elena Larriba is a qualified architect (MArch) and an Imperial College and the Royal College of Art (MSc & MA) alumni.
Her work is concerned with responding to increasing urbanisation and migration.
Most densely populated urban environments and cities utilise vertical spaces. Therefore innovate methods for vertical transportation are being investigated – and harnessing the functionality of cycling is Elena’s answer!
Elena’s website explains that her design is inspired by bicycles, in that “Vycle is a system powered by continuous cyclical movement. Its benefits are twofold: firstly, it will give stakeholders a more efficient and sustainable option to ascend, and secondly, variable energy selection will be able to cater to people of varied ages and abilities, whilst creating a personalised experience”.
The two choices of moving about between building levels: elevators or stairs – and both have some serious drawbacks. Elevators require a lot of energy and encourage laziness, whereas stairs encourage physical activity, but that for some, this can be onerous or too strenuous.
In a nutshell, Elena believes “that stairs require a lot of effort for a person to go up whereas lifts are 100% powered and that this carves out an area of opportunity that sits between the two.”
Comparatively, using Vylce appears to alleviate these concerns by being compact and space efficient, easy to physically propel, as well as removing any reliance or use of precious energy and thus is incredibly environmentally sound – go bicycles!
The Vylce is currently only a working prototype. Further testing is required to take this product to market and comply with regulation level safety measures for implementation.
How does it work?
The Vycle team explain that this device operates by allowing “people to cycle up in an effortless and enjoyable way. The system is balanced with counterweights leaving the user body as the only weight to overcome. Using a gearing system similar to how bikes work, the user can decide how much effort they want to put to ascend or descent”.
You can see how Vcyle works in action in the video below.
Here is a possible future that Elena hopes to provide – pretty inspiring stuff!
I love the visionary and inventive ways bicycles are being utilised, modified and adapted to help provide productive and resourceful solutions to growing social, environmental and technological issues.
I can’t wait to see more ways where bicycles are being used to create a more positive future for all.
Woodford is Australia’s largest annual outdoor cultural and folk festival.
This year, there were over 2,500 amazing musical gigs, performances, shows, talks, demos, roving performances, gardens and activities.
It is a truely amazing experience to wander around Woodfordia.
Bikes at Woodford Folk Festival
Here is a copy of the full program – EPIC!!
There is also the Speakers Program, which has over 70 talks on a massive array of topics – including many current social, political and environmental issues.
It is difficult to tell you everything you can see and do at Woodford, so I’m just going to hit the bike high points and let you explore the full shebang for yourself another time if you are interested (highly recommended!).
On arrival – bike parking
It was great to see that at the entrance, the ‘Bike Parking’ was already filling up and that cyclists had a direct and preferential access to the front entrance – rockstar parking for bike riders!
I was delighted to see Wozwaste was not wasting anything – and their market stall looked great! I am super impressed at how their product range has increased since I last saw them.
I popped in for a good chat and catch up. they are doing great work with recycling materials. While we were chatting, I asked a few technical questions about issues I was having working with bike inner tubes. They had had the same difficulties I was experiencing and so had decided to switch over to using motorbike inner tubes now as a result.
I really appreciate Wozwaste’s philosophy and commitment. It is inspiring to know people are out there whereby up/recycling is the basis of their business. It was great to see their range first hand and see what they have achieved so far.
The Rain Cloud
The heat and sun was super hot, so the organisers arranged to have the rain cloud bike roving to help cool off punters.
This is four person, pedal-powered bike which ‘rained’ a fine mist over those who stood near the clouds.
It was a great way to cool off, the drizzle was a very welcome reprieve. When the bike stopped, people were encouraged to sit on the float to rest and cool off – the kids loved it!
There were seven operators, all in various costumes who took it in turns to ride and/ore entertain as needed.
A very effective and impressive roving performance!
The Woodford Postal Service
This roving performance also served a legitimate service.
Within Woodfordia, there is the Post House, from which there is a team of Posties on bikes whose job it is to rider around, interacting with festival goers by ‘delivering letters’.
The idea is that you can stop a Postie (or they might ask you) to ‘send’ a message or letter to someone throughout the day/festival. It can be any message you like and you give a description to the postie and their job is to deliver it – which makes for some hilarious interactions as some of the descriptions are quite vague, so there are many posties going up to people asking them if they are so and so in an attempt to deliver a message.
In an age of instant text messaging, this kind of audience participation activity was inventive, creative and so much fun to be part of.
Everyone was getting into it and the posties did a great job!
Out the front of ‘The Post House’
Festival-goers on wheels
Woodfordia has a great path network and the access is well thought out, so it was great to see a higher number of many festival visitors on wheels getting around.
There were a few wheel chairs, but far more hand-driven chairs and recumbents and a few scooters.
Most notably, there was a very popular trolley stall which hired out wagons for families to wheel their tired kids around. This a great idea for storage, sleeping kids, having some shade, reserving some space and being able to find your people at a distance – GOLD!
Throughout the day, I kept seeing Jeremy and his gorgeous pedal-powered refreshments stall rinding around. I had to go up and chat to him. He is a genuinely beautiful man and was so happy to be out and about. His happiness was infectious. Great shoes and what a smile!
Unknown Pink Bikers
These guys had a compound that was open at certain times and they were entertaining people with tricks, magic and activities.
Later on, I saw them riding around interacting with punters and generally adding to the overall cheer and colour.
Great to see more bikes getting around, but some of the older guys in glitter glam hot pink Barbarella-style costuming might have scared a few of the kids.
I’m sure you will be able to get a hold of some footage of the official opening ceremony for the festival. There were massive puppets, fire work, a latern parade, an aboriginal welcoming ceremony and dancing, various singers to name a few.
Of most interest for this post was the use of bicycles during the later parade to help move the larger lantern around as needed – it was only when you looked closely could you see that bikes were instrumental in the latern below in particular.
Overall – a wonderful time!
Whether you are going for bikes or the music or the culture – Woodford has it all.
It was great to see so much wonderful music, vibrancy, creativity, colour, energy, care and community.
Given that Christmas is impending and the weather has been super hot here in Brisbane, I have sought refuge inside with a cool drink, experimenting making ‘recycled caps’.
The first experiment – making badges
I trialed these for the first time in November this year, when my cousin came up from Victoria and I’d bought up my ‘magic crafternoon box’ (which turned out to be a great idea as we had a few super wet days) and we experimented with making our own badges.
The base are beer bottle tops.
For the inserts, I had some spare inner tubes, bike parts and stickers. I had also brought pictures I had printed on recycled paper. The rest of the images we drew.
We experimented with inner tubes, paper and cardboard types as the base. Then with epoxy, superglue, hot glue gun and Mod Podge to see what different functions, finishes and adhesives we could achieve with each.
As you can see below, some worked out better than others.
Most importantly, we spent quality and creative time, only used items we had recycled and we had great fun doing it together – plus we made our own custom made badges to wear! Sweet!
As the afternoon worn on, we got much more adventurous – and structural!
Second Experiment – other materials
So, in the lead-up to Christmas, I’ve had another crafternoon to test some other materials and found objects. This time they were just caps, no badges.
As last time, I used bottle caps (so easy) and decorated them with recycled inner tubes, a bike chain, small bike parts, but this time also used bits from a $5 mixed jewellery op shop bag, some of husband’s old guitar strings – and any thing else I’m game to try, like a beetle shell and bottle pull rings.
Unlike the first lot, none of these are set in resin or epoxy. I wanted to do a selection without a finish to see how the cardbord and set trickets respond to not being coated.
I’m very happy with this second batch.
I tried some different designs and I really like being able to reuse the small and fiddly bike parts that ususally get discarded.
These caps are great as Christmas tree decorations, as a gift itself, or as an embellishment for presents, or any manner of other uses. I’ve got a few other ideas for these caps.
But considering the time of year, these caps are as close to mainsteam Christmas as I dare to get.
It was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a hot day. I survived only by having a few beers, having Queen’s 1986 Wembley Concert playing and taking regular intervals to walk the dog. A lovely way to spend an afternoon – and stay away from the crazy shopping crowds!
So however you chose to decorate your holiday this week, I hope you a great time.
There were 10 PhD candidates presenting – but one stood out for me.
James Novak is a Griffith University design graduate and is currently undertaking his PhD.
He was presenting his 3MT on his 4D pro-cycling helmet. It was very interesting to hear how this helmet functions differently in relation to how technology, engineering and design features use sensors to automatically respond to rider needs for air flow, temperature control and areodynamicism.
After James had presented, I saw signage for the AEL School to the side of the stage.
One of the pictures on it was a bicycle frame (see below). I was already chuffed that there was a presentation on bikes/cycling being the focus of PhD research and though it was schewing my view of reality. I turned to my friend and said “I see bicycles everywhere!” With James’ presentation still fresh in my mind, I quickly jumped online to see why the bike was featured on the poster.
Well, imagine my surprise when I find out that the bike is also one of James’ designs – and more so, that it was the world’s first 3D printed bike!
His blog also has tutorials and free downloads and when I spoke to him after his presentation, he was really keen on sharing, and exchanging information – which is something that he genuinely supports as evidenced through on his blog. You can also see more of his work on Instagram @edditive.
Prior to his 4D cycling helmet, James had already been extending engineering and design applications by utilising 3D printing to produce the world’s first 3D printed bicycle.
James created this bike in 2014 and it has exhibited in Australia and overseas and in 2015. He was also awarded the prestigious Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award at the RAPID conference (Los Angeles) which is the world’s leading 3D printing industry event.
How did he do it?
The process of making the 2014 bike: “What does it takes to 3D print a large and complex object like this? Although he spent about 150 hours modeling the item in 3D on SolidWorks over a couple of weeks, he says modeling wasn’t the most difficult part of his 4-month project. According to James, what has taken the most time and energy was actually discovering what’s possible with 3D printing, understanding the limitations of this new manufacturing tool, and re-imagining the concept of the bike frame. For making things easier, James decided to print his design via our (i.materialise) professional online 3D printing service. After the bike frame was 3D printed in mammoth resin through i.materialise, the item was exhibited at a seminar in Brisbane, Australia this past July (2014)”.
The bike is custom designed specifically to James’ body dimensions and preferences.
HIs bike is a prototype and not yet ridable, but by designing and producing the bike, it invites future explorations and developments to work towards producing a fully functioning bike. It’s what I like to call a ‘gateway innovation’!
To this end, James’ view is that “3D printing has changed a whole range of manufacturing areas, but cycling is really interesting. The shape of the bike hasn’t changed a lot over the last 100 years, but everything else can be rethought and re-designed to take advantage of 3D printing technology. As 3D printing allows you to create one-off products, a design can be made specifically for a particular athlete. In the next few years, I imagine we’ll be printing this bike in titanium, or carbon fibre, and I’ll be the first one riding it down the street!”
It seems that James’ prediction for subsequent innovations have come true. Since Jame’s original 2014 innovation, there have been a number other ‘world first 3D printed bicycles’ – but each has a different aspect, such the 2015 world’s first titanium alloy 3D printed mountain bike. Or more recent road bikes developments such as the 3D printed road bike using 3D printing welding process or using different materials such as the 3d printed stainless steel bicycle – both of which came out last year (2016).
In discussing his bike and the video (1′ 56”) below, he also posted that “A lot of people look at me with a mixture of excitement and confusion when I tell them what I do for work, probably because it sounds a bit futuristic and weird. And it is! But hopefully this profile video prepared by Griffith University and the Gold Coast City Council will explain things a little better than I can, featuring my FIX3D Bike 3D printed by Materialise. I always get a kick from sharing my knowledge of 3D printing with kids still in school since it is really going to affect their lives in the most exciting ways; hopefully videos like this can inspire them to take up the careers of the future.”
What about future 3D Printing of bike frames?
As it is still in its infancy, the materials being used are very traditional like resin, plastics and metals. I’m very keen to see how the new generation of 3D printing materials could incorporate (more) sustainable materials into this space to explore how 3D printing bike frames can minimise wastage and demands on resources.
I’d be excited to see a 3D printed bike made of PLA, which is a sugar-derived polymer (for which other ‘green products’ have already been made and are in current world-wide usage and are “compostable” and “made from corn”). Could PLA be stable, durable and strong enough for a bike frame? If not PLA, then what other green material could be utilised?
If this could be accomplished, it would put a new spin on of my fav rainy day road riding quips – whereby if a friend says they won’t ride in the rain, my retort is “Your bike is not made of sugar, it is not going to dissolve in the rain! Lets ride!” – I hope I may have to change this adage accomodate future 3D printing inclusion of sustainable material innovations!
…so, I am delighted to see the US-based Riding for Rescues, inviting other riders to put their cycling kms towards supporting animals in need.
It is also great to see an alternative cycling fundraiser that is not the large-scale, long-distance charity, road-riding fundraiser – that model has been totally (over)done!
What is Riding for Rescues?
Riding for Rescues in affiliated with Running for Rescues – both of which raise money to help, rescue and sponsor animals to get them out of a high-kill shelter and be re-homed instead of being put down.
Riding for Rescues donates all funds received to small, grassroots frontline NGOs that are dealing firsthand with pulling animals out of shelters before they are put to sleep.
The cost associated with these interventions can be very high – and not many people stop to think about this aspect of animal welfare – things such as getting shots, healthcare costs, getting an animal neutered, transportation, boarding and/or food while the animal is being fostered.
How to use my cycling to help?
The Riding for Rescue approach is super easy as you can pick whatever cycling event , where ever you want and fundraise independently – so you can do it when and where it suits you.
It is a terrific model of practice and very easy to use.
Step 2. Tell all your friends and family know that YOU are going to put yourself out there and make a difference – all to benefit an animal who would otherwise be euthanized.
The you raise more than US$500, RfR will give you one of their cycling jerseys (see below)
I applaud those who give this a try.
I think there is great merit in utilising riding to support animals in need – and where the animals are rehoused into households where they will make a super positive difference – personally, emotionally, health, fitness and happiness wise. Why not lend your legs for this oft-forgotten good cause?
Congratulations to the Riding for Rescue team for having the enthusiasm, dedication and passion to keep this humble, yet highly important service going. I salute you!
I had a great time and made the most of my time there networking and getting the low down on current issues, debates, research and trends in urban and rural cycling.
There were so many great sessions it would be difficult to cover them all, so I’ll give some event highlights in the next post. I was super impressed by the range and scope of the cycling (and some walking) presentations.
My session was entitled: Bicycles Create Change: An innovative guide to creating memorable and meaningful engagement in community bike projects.
Basically, my roundtable session used some of my community bike projects as case studies to explore a number of key aspects I think are important to consider when planning, managing and running community bike events.
I undertook each of these ‘case study’ events as a private, individual community member, which means that I did not get paid for them, but I also didn’t get any money from the events either – it was purely for the love.
I had 4 classifications to present 6 case studies, some of which you can see more of on the PROJECT page.
The classifications (and case studies) were:
Individual (Leki, and Art Bikes)
Pair collaboration (Leki & the Ova)
Group (Bicycles Create Change Summer Internship)
Wider community (Recycled Dreams Community Storybook and #Bikes_CISTA)
Create community bike events where the focus is NOT on the actual ‘riding’ of bikes. This is because I think there will be better acceptance of bikes in general if the general public have more every day, positive and fun interactions with BIKES (in general) and not just see them in relation to RIDING – so create events that doesn’t rely on fitness’ access, confidence, age, or even having a bike, etc. This will mean that bikes are normalised into daily community life and are more readily accepted.
Not to see cycling/biking only as a ‘sport’.
Create ‘Bike events’ that cater to non-riders – create positive bike exposure
If they don’t come to you – you need to go to them! Bike events need to go into the community- no more events where the riders are (physically or otherwise) separated from the general public
Debunk the ‘road-riding-is-the-only-type-of-cycling-I-see-in-my-community-and-that’s-not-me’ myth – create events where the focus is not on the type of riding, but that it is fun and anyone can use a bike for all kinds of things
Seeing bikes as an object other than just for riding – better integration of bikes into our communities in ways that are not solely about riding
creating events that invite participation, celebrate ‘local heroes’ and local surrounds
Creating events that have a zero-waste policy. No more cycling events with plastic cups, copious amounts of advertising flyers in musettes or crappy McCrap-crap that goes along with far too many cycling events – better still, how about bike events that have a reverse-rubbish feature and turn any waste brought into the event into something more positive?
….and I’m sure you can’t think of your own ideas as well. I’d love to hear them!
I presented 3 x 10 minutes, each followed by 15-minute discussions.
To add a little interest, spark and creativity, I presented in a custom-made outfit made out of recycled bicycle tires and parts. I had the idea for this outfit as a prototype for a series, and as I was busy getting the presentation prepared, so my collaborating partner Claire Tracey made the outfit and hat based on my requirements and infused a little of her own magic. (Thx CT!) I made the accessories. This ensemble was the prefect compliment – and reflection – of precisely the points my presentation was making – Hazah!
I was very interested to hear what people thought of the ideas and projects I presented – and the questions and discussions that ensued gave me a lot to think about.
One of the best outcomes? Following the presentation I was approached by a group of young marketers who are working on a behaviour change project to get more local people aware of – and riding – bikes. They want me to bring the Bicycles Create Change perspective to their project and consult! A wonderful presentation result. Whoopee!