Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Various Space for Cycling bike rides are being organised for 22nd April.   The date is two weeks before the elections and is also International Earth Day, so it seems fitting. I think it will prove to be a very powerful message if cities all across the country take part.   What should the West Midlands do?

We discussed this at the Push Bikes meeting last night.   One possibility would be to have people ride in to a significant location in Birmingham from all over the West Midlands.   Those that don't want to ride the entire distance could let the train take some of the strain.

But we were trying to figure out a way of making it less Birmingham-centric, given the resistance to the idea of "Greater Birmingham" in the Black Country (despite there already being a "Greater London" and a "Greater Manchester").   I have to say we failed, as if everyone is going to meet up somewhere, it needs to be somewhere vaguely central, and it needs to be somewhere that doesn't require the media types to travel more than a few metres.   Maybe we could just fly our local flags from our bikes?

Do you have any good ideas?

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Bit of a poser isn't it.  If you want lots of people then you can't expect them to be able to ride between say the city centres of Wolves, Brum and Cov.....much too far for the average person and a 'mare for everyone to get home. 

I'd be inclined to think that rather than one 'protest' event where you rely on lots of cycle 'activists' to make up the numbers and make a noise, you'd put on two or there city centre events (Wolves, Brum, Cov?) that are more laid back and attract normal people on bike(TM) who just want to have a ride around and some fun.....a fun family bike ride to highlight people's desire for better facilities.    Have them stop in a park for a picnic at which point info could be given out, petitions signed, etc.  If we sell it as a cyclists political rally then you'd have many fewer turn up.

Just my off the cuff 2p's worth.

Let's all meet up in Tipton.

Meriden has the cyclist memorial a big green to picnic on with shops and decent pubs. Localish train station an easy ride from Solihull station n Coventry. Plus it's the centre of the country (allegedly)

If you want to do it it has to be in Birmingham and most would understand that. However space is rather limited so millennium point ?

I like Simon's idea of lots of local smaller events, maybe co-ordinated with a time and theme.You'll only get the most hardcore types travelling any distance and families in particular will find getting all their bikes on the train or cycling any distance a pain.

It's tricky when you have limited volunteers, but maybe BCR and local cycling clubs could help in a 'Bike to the local park' type event? That could be coupled with a bigger central event and possibly we could all release balloons or ring our bells at a set time.

Releasing balloons is a no no these days. It's littering and harmful to wildlife. Ringing bells is acceptable between 7am and 11pm :-)

Agreed.  Perhaps with coordinated rides for more the hardcore types between the events.

Some sort of relay, maybe, with a baton being passed between toddlers on balance bikes, hardcore roadies, mums on shopping bikes, gnarly mountain bikers, multi-modal Bromptonauts, teenagers on BMXes, wheels-for-allers, and any other cycling stereotype that cares to get involved.   Would make for some good photos, at least.


Savlona said:

I like Simon's idea of lots of local smaller events, maybe co-ordinated with a time and theme.You'll only get the most hardcore types travelling any distance and families in particular will find getting all their bikes on the train or cycling any distance a pain.

It's tricky when you have limited volunteers, but maybe BCR and local cycling clubs could help in a 'Bike to the local park' type event? That could be coupled with a bigger central event and possibly we could all release balloons or ring our bells at a set time.

Oooh, like the idea of a relay!

Well thank you for the thoughts, but for me the problem with organising lots of rides is that it takes a lot more work, and the numbers on each ride can only go down.   And Birmingham cyclists haven't exactly turned up in vast numbers to anything.   London cyclists do, so they get the attention, and all that follows from that.

And Birmingham cyclists haven't exactly turned up in vast numbers to anything. 

Yeah, this is what i was getting at- if people think its something political then the average cyclist is less likely to turn up....normal people don't want to be associated with all those leftie pinko tree hugging grebo anarchists ;-)

I'm wondering if you sell it as a big family ride just to ask for improved facilities (put across in very easy, straightforward, non confrontational terms),  you may find people are more interested in coming?

I can see your point Robert - it is rather like banging your head against a brick wall. However, something large and centralised will by definition become self selecting, because not many people have the skills and confidence to ride into town from all city areas.

Is this ride still happening tomorrow? 

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