The Manchester Evening News today announced that there had been an 83% increase in people cycling in Manchester over the last 10 years, according to the census.
Now, the MEN is not the most bike-friendly newspaper, but the headline is welcome as a way to get even more people out on the roads. Digging deeper, the statistics are a little flawed and actually, the proportion of people who get to work by bike is still barely 2%. There is a long way to go.
Therefore, it’s great to see that there are some exciting events coming up that I hope will inspire even more people to get out on their bike and catch the cycling bug whilst the weather gets milder.
First up, it’s the Chorlton Big Green Happening this Saturday 26 April. Amongst an array of green-themed stalls and shows, this rather odd contraption will be turning up:
There will also be a number of cycle-specific stalls including TfGM who will be giving out local maps, information and freebies and Dovetail Bikes who are showing off their bikes made out of bamboo. Based on the Bambike frame, bamboo bikes are light yet sturdy. I’m a fan of steel personally, but I’m very keen to have a go.
We have been test riding the BamBike today! Too much fun! pic.twitter.com/q5fd3ytOXL
— Popup Bikes (@PopupBikes) April 19, 2014
The event will also see a special performance by The Spokes, the inclusive bicycle dance troupe who I’ve mentioned before.
Oh wow! @ThespokesMCR have created a piece especially for our Chorlton Big @greenhappening on Sat 26 Apr, St Clements Church
— Clare Hutchinson (@PAChorlton) April 21, 2014
Be sure to catch them at 4pm at St Clements Church, Edge Lane.
Talking of The Spokes, they’re running an event of their own! The North West Velo Fest kicks off on Friday 16 May and runs for 10 days to Monday 26 May 2014.
Described as a grassroots cycling festival, the Velo Fest is in its third year and set to be the best yet. Some of the fun and friendly activities lined up already include the Ministry of Silly Pedals (think a school sports day – but on bicycles), a pedal-powered party and an evening ride out (probably) to a pub.
There’s more, of course and like previous years, The Spokes are bringing together other cycling groups under the Velo Fest banner to encourage as wide a spread of things to do as possible.
Events are just starting to be announced, so keep an eye on their Facebook page and invite all your friends.