Dancing on bikes – 30 Days of Biking: Day 3

I had a really positive response to yesterday’s blog post, particularly the link to the London Cyclist blog. Yep, I know I’m in Manchester but many of the learnings collected there can be equally applied wherever you are.

There are, of course, plenty of great bike blogs in Manchester and I hope to bring you highlights from some of those over the coming days. One of my favourites is Manchester Cycle Chic, which shows off cycle style in Manchester. It’s a great way to show that you don’t always need to be kitted out in Lycra or body armour to get around on the bike.

It’s been quite a “bikey” day. I had to edit down this blog post after I published it to give it some focus :)

This afternoon saw a huge celebration as UMBUG (University of Manchester Bike User Group) hit 1,000 members. With almost 40,000 students and 3,900 academics, it’s not surprising that a significant number are bike users and have signed up to the BUG, making it the biggest in the UK.

UMBUG celebrated this milestone with a mass photograph of members and, most excitingly, the debut performance of the Spokes bicycle dance troupe!

The Spokes at UMBUG 1000

The Spokes are the UK’s first – and only! – bicycle dance troupe, sharing the joy of cycling through the medium of dance. It was described as their debut performance as all the members, except Kat, had joined only a few months ago. Even more amazingly, they’d only started to rehearse eight weeks earlier! So it was a pretty big moment to go out in front of the gathered UMBUG crowd.

Sadly the photos do little justice to the energy and enthusiasm put in by the Spokes, even in the face of the sound system not quite working. That didn’t dull the excitement as the crowd joined in by humming – first the Blue Danube waltz by Strauss which then broke into Beyoncé’s Single Ladies. Let’s hope the video goes up soon.

The UMBUG event was pretty good, with TfGM also in attendance freely handing out badges, puncture repair kits and optional hi-vis jackets. Tea and coffee was also available and Dave from mobile bike repair service Revolve MCR was doing on-site maintenance. It was good to see him out despite recent reports of a break in.

The day was rounded off with a quiet drink and catch-up with my former colleague and bike buddy Gabrielle. We reflected on the sad news this morning that a fellow rider lost their life in London. Something I don’t really want to dwell on, but the truth is, cycling and heavy goods vehicles really don’t mix. If you want something more in-depth about cycling and relatively safety, this is a good blog post about how it compares.

Finally, over the next few days, I’ll be on holiday in London so it’s unlikely I’ll be able to post much. Nonetheless, I’ll try and keep up the tweeting and, at least, use those to form the basis of some new content. I’m also really interested to hear what you think I should write about. Feel free to drop me a comment below.