Bicycology is a collective formed by riders who wanted to build on their shared experience of the 2005 G8 Bike Ride and organise future events of a similar nature. By focusing on cycling we aim to persue our vision of a just and sustainable world through a combination of education, entertainment and creative direct action. The collective was formed during a weekend meeting at the Sumac Centre in November 2005 with 15 original members. There is a Bicycology website at www.bicycology.org.uk.
Here are the latest flyer designs:
The next Bicycology meeting will be at St Matts from July 13th to 16th. The following people have said they will be there (though not necessarily for all four days). Feel free to add your name if you are going: Matt, Charlotte, Aurora, Pete, Alice, Dan, Jack, Chris, Ian, Imogen.
The new website is up and running.
Bicycology Roadshow 2006
Current (hopefully final) plan.
The tour will be starting at FinFest, on August 13th. From there:
Monday, 14th: Aylesbury, for the afternnon. Tuesday, 15th: Cycling to Coventry. Wednesday, 16th: A day in Coventry. Thursday, 17th: Cycling to Leicester/Activities in Leicester. Friday 18th: More Activities in Leicester, then cycling to Nottingham. Saturday 19th: A day in Nottingham. Sunday 20th: Cycling to Sheffield. Monday 21st: A day in Sheffield. Tuesday 22md: Cycling to Leeds. Wednesday 23rd: A day in Leeds. Thursday 24th: Cycling to Lancaster. Friday 25th: A day in Lancaster. Saturday & Sunday: Cycling to the Climate Action Camp.
We will be cycling one day and stopping in each of the above places (except Northampton) the following day, to do workshops, films, BMX competitions, bike polo, parties, etc. There is still much work to be done, and although there is still a feeling that we don't want to open this up as much as the G8 Bike Ride, we do need more people to get involved, especially if they have skills/interests in any of the above activities.
We're still looking for a few dedicated individuals with particular skills to come along on our roadshow. At the moment, we're looking for people with interests/skills in: street theatre/performance art; bike modification; documentation. Please get in touch if you're interested or want to know more.
We're also looking for people in Aylesbury, Nottingham and Leeds who would like to help organise our stay there.
List of Kit - NEEDS UPDATING
Article for revision to send to Adbusters, Red Pepper, Cycling Mags...
Against Global Warming, Against the G8, We Cycle, We Recycle, We Resist and Recreate
Tony Blair’s claim that the 2005 G8 Summit was to prioritise Climate Change fell on many suspicious ears; the record of road-building and airport expansion did not quite match the rhetoric. Determined not to let the hypocritical leaders of 8 of the most polluting countries of the world usurp our language and concerns, a bunch of cyclists resolved, ‘Fuck the rhetoric, let’s Ride!’
The G8 Bikeride was born at the 2004 Anarchist Bookfair. The planning meeting was inauspicious - few attended, and no one even had a map - but nine months later upwards of 50 cyclists made their way from London to Edinburgh and beyond. Fuelled only by muesli, cheap cider and hope, they took part in the blockades at Gleneagles and Faslane Nuclear Submarine Base, Critical Massing every town along the way – joining the regular CM in Manchester and covering Preston, home of the first motorway in the UK.
Many of the riders met for the first time on the evening of June 17th, sitting on the roof of the RampArt squatted social centre, under the stars, and the shadow of Canary Wharf and the HSBC and Barclays Bank buildings. They left London in style on June the 18th, 6 years after the demonstrations that rocked the City. Blaring Fela Kuti from the ‘Pedals’ soundsystem they took a quick sightseeing tour past Parliament and Buckingham Palace, stopping off at Downing Street for a brief blockade before lunchtime.
The Bikeride was always intended to be a way of showing solidarity with local campaigns and raising awareness about opposition to the G8, as well an environmentally-friendly way to get to the protests. The group met anti-bypass campaigners in Linslade (leaving a trail of mysteriously uprooted surveyor's equipment in its wake), a protest at Coventry Airport against proposed expansion (a wake of traffic cones), and stayed at the 9 Ladies anti-quarry Protest Camp in the Peak District (named after the stone circle on the land it defends, one of the most advanced protest camps in the country, we slept in the outlandish tree-houses). At Lancaster University a Critical Mass was held in protest at the prosecution of the ‘George Fox Six’ – students arrested for aggravated trespass after disrupting a corporate conference held on the campus.
Once in Scotland, riders participated in the blockade at Faslane, acting as messengers, relaying coffee, biscuits and gossip between the four blockaded gates, and providing music for the locked-on to tap their toes to. On Wednesday 6th of July, they contributed to the attempt to blockade the summit. Intending to cycle as close to the Gleneagles Hotel as possible, the group, by happy accident ended up Critical Massing – very, very slowly - the sole access route to the Media Centre, creating a huge tailback and making sure every journalist arriving knew of the opposition to the summit, though few of them bothered to interview us through their police-pen lines. We laughed at George Bush’s cycling accident at Gleneagles: offering him training and a supportive environment to make it to next year’s summit by bike. The offer’s still there, George...
En route back to the rural convergence centre, some members of the group made a slightly foolhardy attempt to Mass the A9 (the dual carriageway trunk road passing the Gleneagles Hotel), holding both lanes for about 45 minutes. The huge tailback eventually led the MET to force everyone off the road and confiscate all the bikes.(Well, most, some managed to escape for a midge-infested hidey-hole.) Ouch!
It was almost worth it to see the look on the policemen’s faces change from smirks at abandoning us bike-less to dismay as an activist minibus arrived in seconds to return us to the Stirling CampTHIS MIGHT NOT MAKE SENSE IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT).
When in Perth reclaiming the bikes, the riders offered their support to those being taken to court arrested in the previous days' actions. Travelling on to Glasgow, riders participated in a bridge blockade against the extension of the M74 motorway and in the evening partied on a squatted piece of land turned into a community garden on the proposed route.
The ride also provided an excellent opportunity to visit some of the country’s Environmental and Social Centres: the Redfield Low-Impact Living Initiative, our first stop, has [blurb], the Coventry Peace House is a [blurb], the Sumac Centre in Nottingham, home of the Veggies Vegan fast-food Catering Company [etc], the Basement in Manchester [blurb] and the Talamh Life Centre [blurb]. [rest day time for crucial bike repairs and horn making, and a little canoeing. Penrith we slept among books in the Bluebell Bookshop].
As well as an environmentally-friendly way of reaching the protests, the Bikeride was a great way to see the country - an implicit aim was to promote tourism within the UK as opposed to Climate-disrupting flights abroad. We were blessed with mostly beautiful weather and much of the landscape we rode through - the Peaks, Lakes and much of Scotland in particular - was stunning (and helped feed the anger at the sight of open-cast mines and concrete jungles).
OK, so it was a bit of a copout to return to London by coach, but we felt we deserved it (some of the more determined did cycle home again). Gaia must have had a different opinion - at Watford (it would be Watford) the coach got a flat!
Through non-hierarchical organising, the (mostly unconnected) pain and thrill of the trip, the group became close-knit – and many members are planning further rides this summer: The Bicycology (anti-)Roadshow in the UK, and a feeder ride for the German ride to Russia for the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg.
Run by the newly formed Bicycology Collective, the (anti-)Roadshow will make its way to the Climate Action Camp in the North of England this August. The tour will again leave from London and stay at Aylesbury, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Lancaster, this time staying for a day each time to show films, give talks, play bike games and attempt bike ballet. The Collective is still looking for people who would be interested in joining or helping to host the ride, particularly if they can offer customised bikes (tall-bikes, choppers, multi-bikes, bicycle-powered washing machines, you get the idea), tricks, street theatre skills or anything that can help interest people. This year we will be taking a pedal powered monitor to show films as well as ‘Pedals’, our sound-system (suggestions for bike-related films - especially shorts that cars behind us can digest on a Critical Mass - and songs we can play along the way would be welcome).
Keep on Ridin’
[Fit in maybe... A navigational error ensured that we failed to enter Scotland at the point appointed with the media, and had to return to England to get the shot required. We sang our rousing anthem ‘Oh flower of Scotland, when will we see your like again, that fought and died for your wee hill and glen and stood against him, proud Tony’s army, and sent him homeward, to think again’....]