A few months ago Bicycology was invited to have a presence at a summer celebration on the 2nd and 3rd of July called Who do you think you are, Letchworth? As a Hertfordshire resident I was keen to go so I accepted the invitation on behalf of Bicycology and committed to it even if it meant doing it on my own. As it turned out a number of Bicycologists were away on a “Silent Victories” tour (a report will hopefully appear on this blog) and others were unable to go due to having recently taken time off to do Glastonbury, so it was just me. I could have spent both days there but decided that one would be enough and chose Saturday.
It turns out that the woman who invited us is the daughter of a friend of mine and is involved in Transition Town Letchworth which had space in a reasonably large marquee that was referred to as the “eco village”. She was keen for me to bring a pedal generator but I didn’t have one so I told her I would take my new soundsystem instead, which is now mounted on the front of a Long John cargo bike. I have never tried getting the system on a train and the twenty mile ride from my house seemed a bit daunting but luckily a friend was going to Biggleswade on Friday in a camper van so I strapped the bike to the roof and went up there with him. On Saturday morning I got up reasonably early and set off on the ten mile ride back down to Letchworth. Fortunately it was pretty much flat for most of the way and I got there in an hour and a half (if you think seven miles per hour is slow you should try riding the beast yourself).
I arrived at the event just before 10am when it was due to open to the public and parked up on the grass outside the eco village marquee. I didn’t have a table so I laid out some literature on a couple of chairs and put on some tunes. I had a fair bit of interest in the soundsystem but most people assumed it was pedal powered and when they learned that it was running on batteries they wondered why I had even brought it. I explained how it was designed to use minimal power compared to conventional systems but perhaps I should have made the extra effort to take my solar panel as well (ideally someone else from Bicycology would have gone with a generator bike and hooked the soundsystem up to that). Anyway, it was a talking point and I did have some interesting conversations with people, most of whom went away with some of our literature. My friend with the camper van showed up later in the day with his kids which meant that when I packed up I was able to load the bike back on the roof and get it taken away while I got the train home. I was feeling rather the worse for standing in the sun all day but I guess it was worth it.