Drawing the link between bikes, cars, and environmentalism
Drawing the link between bikes, cars, and environmentalism
Pedals the sound system…perhaps you’ve seen it at Critical Mass or at a protest. It was built originally for the 2005 G8 protest ride from London to Scotland! Since then it has appeared at innumerable protests/bike rides/protest bikerides, most likely in part due to both it’s impressive sound and durability: “Pedals set the standard for mobile sound with its incredible volume, sound quality, and low power consumption thanks to features like a 6th order bandpass bass enclosure, class D amplifiers, and a highly efficient horn speaker and tweeters” (Bicycology).
How to DIY your own?
History of Pedals!
Here are also some photos and links to check out of mighty Pedals through the years!
In two years alone, Pedals was used in:
Critical Mass to Calais : Bikes Beyond Borders!
August 29-31st, 2015
>>Got a bike and want to pass it on? This is an attempt to get bikes and other provisions to refugees in Calais.<<
If you have, or can source a bike to donate, then please, please join us this August bank holiday weekend on our little trip cycling across the channel: Critical Mass to Calais, taking bikes beyond borders!
We will release more details nearer the time, but you can get involved in any way shape or form (there are many, many ways) just scroll down and pick from the options below.
The vast majority of people living in the camps have left their home countries for reasons of war and persecution in search of safety and security. Now, having been forcibly evicted from autonomous camps in Calais to a new ‘designated area’, 7km from the town centre, there are in the region of 2000 people, including women and unaccompanied minors, living in conditions of poor sanitation with minimal access to support and services.
Most cyclists can relate to the sense of freedom, mobility and self sustainability afforded by the bicycle. For people living in the camps, bicycles are an invaluable asset, improving quality of life by increasing access to basic essentials like the local shop and support and advice services, currently over an hour’s walk away. Some organisations have already began taking bikes to the camps, but many more are needed.
Here is how to JOIN IN THE FUN:
1) THE BIG ONE – 2 Day Cycle from London to Calais leaving Saturday 29th August with overnight camp fun to break the journey – Location and route details TBA nearer the time.
2) 1 Day Cycle from London to Calais leaving Sunday 30th August – For the faster riders or those with time constraints.
3) 1 Day Cycle, starting at overnight camp (location TBA) to Calais – For those who want a shorter ride.
4) Just get to Calais! You may want to donate a bike and visit Calais with us, but perhaps don’t fancy the ride or don’t live in London or the UK…so just find the best way to meet – perhaps even starting a critical mass from your own city!
Don’t have a bike you are able to donate?
1) Come along for the ride! Donating is not mandatory at all, the more the merrier, so join in the fun at any of the stages listed above!
2) Talk to your pals! Do you know there are 7 times more unused bikes in garages and gardens in London than out on the roads, so speak to your friends or neighbours to get your hands on one!
3) Get a second hand bike from your local bike shop or one of our recommended providers – details to follow.
Don’t fancy the ride?
1) Get your bike to Calais in any way you can! We know that riding isn’t for everyone, the main objective is to get as many bikes to the camps as possible, so if you have another way of getting yours there, then find us at either Dover or Calais on the Sunday.
2) Join us as a support vehicle! You never know what might happen the road and we would love to be accompanied along the way! There will be mechanics in the group but parts and refreshments will need their own ride.
3) Donate any spare bicycles to the cause! There are many organisations who refurbish unused bicycles and donate them to asylum seekers and refugees, message us and we can connect you!
LWP is a member led space for asylum seekers and refugees. A place to socialise, relax and learn from each other. Our aim is to reduce isolation and create solidarity among asylum seekers and refugees. A hot lunch is cooked every Sunday alongside board games, a bicycle workshop, informal English learning, workshop on CV and job applications, chatting and different activities
Kick off against the London housing bubble* on May 24th!
8-a-side footy, so start looking for teammates. Kickoff at midday.
All day music, picnic, and food with team registration until midday for you lazy punks!
Come with your family, kids, dogs, rats and cats.
*See #9: Fill empty homes
We are warriors the moment that our asses touch these seats
And we are free.
– Tonight we Ride, Mike xVx
Dotted all over the country are grassroots bike projects using bicycles to contribute to positive social change. They offer things like affordable or free fix-your-own-bike workshops, free bikes for refugees, cycle confidence training, bike re-use and recycling and all ability cycling clubs. We think everyone should know where their local grassroots bike project is so they can use and support these great services. So do you know where your local DIY bike project is? Chances are, there is somewhere near you, so check out the list at the bottom of this post which was compiled by Ethical Consumer magazine.
This month the 4th annual UK Bike Gathering is happening at the Broken Spoke Co-op, where these projects will come together to network and support each other, a vital resource for projects many of which exist without outside funding and are often run by committed volunteers.
These diverse projects have different aims and structures. Some of them are politically radical spaces run by collectives such as 56a bike project, some are workers co-ops such as Broken Spoke Co-op, some are social enterprises, like us. But what they have in common is that they try to use bikes in some way to work towards positive social change. They are not ‘normal’ bike shops. But what do they do and how do they achieve this grand aim? Well, lets take the Bristol Bike Project as an example. Amongst other things they have a long running Earn-a-bike scheme which gives marginalised people access to affordable and sustainable transport – bikes are donated by local people and fixed up by volunteers, then the final few repairs are done by the project user with guidance from a mechanic. This scheme has given free bikes to lots of people in Bristol who really need them, like refugees and homeless people who are living on very little money.
A lot of attention is (rightly so) given to the project’s concrete and measurable outcomes ie. free bikes for people in need. But another real success of this project lies in its culture. The Bristol Bike Project aims to ‘provide a valuable and empowering service for underprivileged and marginalised groups of people’ and ‘to provide an inclusive, non-judgemental, vibrant and supportive workshop environment for volunteers and project-users alike, from all walks of life, that encourages and promotes skill-sharing and independence, where new skills are learned in a way that is empowering for all and friendships are made.’ For me, this is key. Having been a volunteer at the Bristol Bike Project myself, I can vouch for the fact that this was really happening during my time there. There was a culture of skill-sharing, a feeling that people from all sorts of background were actively welcomed, and a mix of skills and abilities which was really cohesive socially – people were helping each other out who might have walked past each other on the street and never engaged. If it’s done right, this is a real strength of community bike projects, and is its own form of social change. But this kind of culture is hard won, and is only created and maintained through its members’ regular reflection, both personally and more formally in meetings, on their project’s power structures and culture. And crucially, reflections need to be not just general, but specifically related to the real interactions and conversations that happen between people at the project. It’s useful to ask questions like: who populates the project? Who might feel comfortable there? Who might feel a little uncomfortable or like an outsider? Are the inevitable instances of racism, sexism, ableism and classism actively and compassionately challenged? Do people feel empowered to learn even when they’re new to bike mechanics? If a project can get this culture right, they will start to attract the ‘hard to reach’ people so often described in charity funding applications, but they will do so in a mutually beneficial way, and have a great time doing it.
by Fenn, mechanic in the Bikeworks ReUse Centre
UK Bike Project Directory:
Becycle, Aberdeen http://becycle.wordpress.com/
Birmingham Bike Foundry, Birmingham http://birminghambikefoundry.org/
Cycle-Re-Cycle, Bradford & Halifax http://www.cycle-re-cycle.org.uk/
Cranks, Brighton http://cranks.org.uk/
Kebele, Bristol http://www.kebelecoop.org/
Bristol Bike Project, Briatol http://www.thebristolbikeproject.org/
Cardiff Cycle Workshop, Cardiff firstname.lastname@example.org
Coventry Cycling Centre, Coventry http://coventrypeacehouse.wix.com/coventry-peace-house
The Bike Station, Scotland http://www.thebikestation.org.uk/
Gloucestershire Bike Project, Gloucester http://www.gloucestershirebikeproject.co.uk/
Cycle ReCycle, Hebden Bridge http://www.cyclerecycle.org.uk/
Freewheelers Bicycle Workshop, Lancaster http://www.freewheelersbicycleworkshop.org.uk/
Pedaller’s Arms, Leeds http://pedallers-arms.org/
ReCycles, Liverpool email@example.com
London Bike Kitchen, Hackney, London http://lbk.org.uk/
56a Bikeshop, Southwark, London http://www.56a.org.uk/bikeshop.html
Tower Hamlet’s Wheelers, Tower Hamlets, London http://www.towerhamletswheelers.org.uk/
Hackney Bikeworkshop, Hackney, London http://hackneybikeworkshop.com/
Pedal MCR, Manchester http://pedalmcr.org.uk/
Bloomers, Manchester http://bloomersmcr.org/
Recyke Y’Bike, Newcastle http://www.recyke-y-bike.org/
The Broken Spoke Co-op, Oxford http://bsbcoop.org/
ReCycle, Colchester http://www.re-cycle.org/
Recycle-a-bike, Stirling http://www.recyke-a-bike.co.uk/
Bicycology, UK wide http://www.bicycology.org.uk/
York Bike Rescue, York http://www.yorkrecycling.net/