Friday, 29 June 2012

June Critical Mass

Todays Critical Mass had 3 sound systems - this was the smallest.



There were balloons,



and flowers and big smiles.



And there were lots of bikes..





Music mostly from x1 Project (Wayne Huff) Lunar Beach from Ultima Thule programme 643, Nightmares on Wax's Smoker's Delight and Hybrid's Live Angle: Sydney and finished off with ARC's Rise.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Irwell River Path Mud

The Irwell River Path is very muddy in places following the floods.



The worst place is under the Ring Road, A6042 Bridge where the mud is several cm deep.





It is quite slippery and not nice for anyone who has to then take their muddy bike indoors.


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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Popup Bikes

I dropped in on Popup Bikes this evening.



Popup is an independant cycle centre on Corporation Street in Manchester, just North East of Victoria Station. It was featured on the Guardian web site last week.

It has facilities for bike parking,



bike maintenance,



a cafe



and lounge area, complete with lawn mower :)



I had a lovely chat with owner Dipak Patel who has tried to get help from the local council & transport authority, but he has received no help at all and in the end has gone it alone. Dipak is a realist, but also very much into the social and cultural aspects of cycling and I hope he makes a sucess of this venture.


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Friday, 15 June 2012

How Manchester plans to have "20,000 more cyclists" by 2017

If you listen carefully to this piece on Radio 4's You and Yours, you can start to unpick the figures and find out how Manchester City Council and British Cycling have chosen a measure of cycling that fits the aims of British Cycling whilst leave the general cyclist out in the cold.



The measure they have chosen is Sport England's Active People Survey. It is a measure of sports participation not transport choice.

The survey currently puts Manchester 8th in the country for levels of cycling with 43,000 people getting onto a bicycle once a month. Yes, that's right, the survey counts the number of people who cycle at least once a month and has nothing to do with the proportion of journeys by bicycle.

In other words Manchester City Council can meet its chosen target of 20,000 more cyclists even if the level of cycling on Manchester's streets falls significantly.

All it needs to do is get more people driving to parks and cycle trails and cycling round and round a track for an hour to reach its target. Stand by for massive amounts of council money being spent on facilities for British Cycling and the Sky Ride whilst on-road conditions get even worse...

.......

There is no sign of a press notice containing these figures, and no sign of the Cycling Strategy document on the cycling section of the council's web site. There is no mention on the Leader's Blog either.

If you know what you are looking for you can find the full thing here, and it is rather less of a headline grabber...

.......

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Abandoned Bikes Block Workplace Cycle Parking

We've all seen it - the abandoned bicycles blocking parking spaces at work, left there by one-way cyclists who rode to work one day and took a taxi home.



Even worse are the bicycle that have been stored at their place of work because they don't have anywhere to store the bike at home. For those of us who cycle to work every day these people are taking up valuable parking spaces.

Maybe Bike Week should include a "Cycle Home Again" event...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pedal Power on Parade

There were lots of pedal powered machines on show at the Manchester Day Parade.



And the occasional city councillor...



Some had fewer wheels than others.





























By the end of the day some people looked knackered!



Whilst the clean up operation joined in the spirit.



Whilst the machines were mostly pedal powered, the sound systems etc were battery powered - some people were clearly not aware of the dangers of exposed battery terminals!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Even more reasons not to put bikes on pavements

The other end of Chester Road this time.

I assume that NCP put this sign up and secured it to the street furniture.



The cycle track on the pavement is shit - this lamp post is in the middle of it, but it still doesn't excuse NCP's behavior.





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Monday, 4 June 2012

Pirates on the Mancunian Way

Today was the Great Manchester Cycle event in which lots of people paid money to ride against the clock whilst conforming to a set of strict rules. Not my idea of a fun day out, and anyway, when I asked I was told that my 4-wheeler was banned from the ride, so that put paid to any idea of taking the sound system. Not that I own a qualifying hard hat either.

Despite the monotony of cyclists dressed up as mobile advertising hoardings, a few participants did stand out from the crowd. I spotted a couple of three-wheelers, one recumbent in fetching pink sporting the skull and crossbones.



The other a rather nice green handcycle.



In the two-wheeled class was this machine, where the rider can't sit down.



No chance of saddle sores there!



And these two gents riding these lovely scaled down machines who gave a shout and a wave as they rode past.



And I spotted one, just one, participant in the ride who managed to buck the trend of monotonous headgear.




For the rest of us the opportunity to ride the Mancunian way was too much of an opportunity to let pass and the marshals didn't seem to object to the presence of non-participants on the route.



After all, it was pretty easy to spot the riders with bare heads, no numbers and in most cases a more leisurely approach to cycling.





Though one thing that struck me was how much of the time the closed off roads were empty, it seemed such a waste of a good road closure. Also, as the video below shows, there were, unfortunately, rather a lot of motorbikes on the route too.



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A Grim North was also in the area...