The recent Bristol Cycle Festival was billed as Bristol’s first community organised bike festival. Bicycology were there and Liz wrote the following report:
In the Park
For the classic bicycology event we had a nice mix of people who’d come along because they’d seen it in the program/on our posters, and those who were just passing. Unknown to us there were at least two other community fair type events happening in the immediate vicinity at the same time, so we had a steady trickle of interest rather than an overwhelming crowd. Patrick’s bubble machine and Si’s smoothie maker drew in the punters particularly nicely. The kid transporting section innovation went pretty well too, with several parents coming specifically to try before buying and chat to others to hear the benifits/drawbacks of different systems. Im, Ms Miles, the OJ and even my sister, were rocking the craft section. Plus we had a Tabs.
Then it came to the carnival day and it all got a bit random… We were up making crazy dino tails the night before, and arrived late to the muster point still trying to safteypin bones to jumpers. When I asked the steward if he’d seen another dinosaur he kind of giggled a bit and said- ‘not the huge, unmissable, life sized stegosauras skeleton?’. Sometimes, when you enter a carnival for the craic and to try and reclaim a bit of a political angle from what was effectively a council created critical mass, it’s worth having a professional puppeteer and her mate on hand. Emma, our flatmate, had left the chaos of our terrace some 4 days earlier for Trevor’s, with a large pile of scrap store kit and some of our bio regional yard bamboo. They emerged bleary eyed but triumphant on Trevor’s tandem under the most amazing creation- whose head could be made to move in time with the pedals beat.
There was only one other very dinky sound system so Kt and chris’s mix was basically the soundtrack to the whole thing, (which was huge, at least 250 costumed riders at my guess) and Oj and Im where throwing far finer shapes in the dense crowd than the mini bike dancers managed in the splendid dance off later.
And then we discovered that they were awarding prizes, and we’d won! Patrick was sporting ‘Carboniferous Carnivores against Capitalism and Car Culture’ and Mole had ‘Burn cars not Fossil Fuels’ all over his tricertopsy skull as the mayor (or similar besuited dignatry) dangled a ‘made in china’ plastic medal from it. All most surreal. Then there was top performace stuff and loads of schemeing about properly forming our own syncronised tricks troupe.
Food is our Fuel
We started off with amplified speeches outside Tesco, and 16 riders gathered. From brief chats en route it seemed alot of people who came were new to the area, and it was a great opportunity to introduce them to sections of the cycle path they might not have used before, and the amazing allotment projects they could get involved in. We covered a huge amount of ground in 3 hours- both in terms of sites, tastes and topics. The atmosphere was really conversational, with some of the student types getting to ask about kale, to everyone blagging foraging tips off the gloriously excentric Mike, who did the most condensed but useful intro to permaculture I’ve ever heard. OJ head-cheffed the dinner and apple and hazelnut cake, so it was allll good. Catching one of the last fine evenings of summer and being surrounded by masses of fruiting abundance felt pretty lush.
Huge big ups to all the crew who came and long distance love to those who couldn’t. The festie organisers are talking about doing another one next year you know..
More photos here on Flickr.