Bicycology/RoadshowDebrief

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Debrief Write up from the Bicycology Roadshow 2006

Positive aspects

  • No one lost their tempers despite everyone being tired and stressed at time
  • We went to, and were successful in places where things didn't normally happen, eg Little London and parks
  • We really enjoyed the group tour
  • We all want to do it again
  • Everyone in the group pulled their weight - literally and as a successful team
  • Everyone was respectful of others strengths weaknesses and ideas
  • Good group dynamic
  • Food was bought together which is more communal as well as cheaper. Lots was either skipped or locally sourced and organic
  • What we did continued to stay fresh rather than becoming a stagnant routine
  • Lots of people's individual skills came out
  • Consensus worked
  • People were pleased to manage the cycle
  • Doing the roadshow was a success in facilitating our aims
  • Some people really enjoyed the night riding as a group
  • We did what we planned and it was great
  • Our strengths were in our face to face conversations
  • Diversity of skills and knowledge of issues
  • Sense of humour was maintained
  • Our roadshow was well attended, always busy. Fixed up to 50 bikes in a day, but other equally worth while, but unquantifiable results also produced
  • Diversity of bikes and successful use of silliness
  • Sheer rush of riding with a group
  • Lots of outreach, even without conversations as lots of bikes and trailers flying past
  • The debrief enables ideas to come together
  • Some of the group had never cycled this far before. Sense of personal achievement for all
  • Documentation will enable us to relive it!
  • Art work was really valuable and united all aspects

Aspects to improve on and difficulties

  • Not having a personal bike and panniers caused some confusion
  • Conveying our political message was difficult
  • Need to work on combining political issues with practical ones
  • Punctuality
  • Stopping without knowing why and so loosing time
  • Could be a lot sharper
  • Pacing ourselves, it was a hectic timetable
  • Different pace and personal preferences about camping and food. From Ian, eat morning and night properly and snack between, press on when in adverse weather conditions to Anne. Eat at 3 set times, start earlier and stop irrelevant of weather at dark!
  • Those with damaged knees etc felt guilty about not being able to pull trailers
  • Health, we need to be able to sustain our activities
  • Weather! We need alternatives to show that cycling isn't just for good weather
  • Beautiful bike workshop and cinema were not always felt to be utilised fully
  • Develop film night and questionnaire
  • Wasn't always that clear what we were, but people came anyway!
  • Gender issues, though fairly well balanced the women were more focused on children and men on mechanics
  • Tail team, much better than last year - same people taking responsibility were they happy?
  • Rationalising the things we take
  • We mainly reached kids with bikes, how do we access those without?

Ways to improve

  • Quick daily meetings would have been better
  • Campaigns stall could do with more focus
  • Waterproofness of displays etc
  • Taking a structure with us so we don't get as wet!
  • Dummy run of leaving London, cos the southerners are scared by the idea!
  • Vary route away from G8 bike ride to reduce nostalgia and be more inclusive
  • More rest days
  • More smaller stops
  • Getting people to legs in advance to make timings easier
  • Designating one person per day to facilitate day - moniter faffing, know when to leave etc.
  • Promotion of film nights
  • Using mike on Pedals - getting more people to feel confident
  • Media coverage? Role for someone to take on?
  • Individual responsibility for time keeping
  • More planned stops then unplanned ones wont escalate
  • Meet every 10 miles
  • More time to play cricket
  • Labelling tools and better trailer organisation
  • Changing the colour of one of the trailers so easier to describe where things are
  • Communication of organisation of each place needs improvement, rather than based on trust alone
  • More maps so splitting for various reasons is more feasible
  • Group training on public discussion
  • Leaflets about us could be more descriptive (we realised this was due to printing pressures this year and not deciding what exactly we would be doing)
  • Bicycology library. Having the pages of the guides separate so that those relevant to the discussions people have had can be given individually
  • More effort to link to other cycling groups
  • More local knowledge needed - where to get parts, cycle training, maintenance workshops
  • Ensure we compliment other groups, rather than appearing to be in competition for funding
  • More individual day events so less pressure

Ideas for next year

  • North to South tour of cycle demonstration towns and small towns and villages, with impromptu Dr. Bike. - Pump up tyres, set saddle height and glass of water
  • Lancaster events. Tuesday and Friday of Freshers week, then every other Tuesday for 4 occasions. Local events. This is already planned
  • Two or three smaller UK events on more of a campaign level
  • Local group pages on website
  • Cooking tour - solar cookers, sprouts, veganism, local sourcing, seasonality, food transportation issues, allotment trailer. FOOD IS OUR FUEL
  • Film nights and discussions
  • Other sorts of bikes
  • Storage space when not in use
  • G8 ride - not bicycology
  • Faslane 12th and 13th October
  • G8 feeder ride - looking back at what the G8 promised and achieved in two years and what we have done in the same time
  • Skeletal tour - minimalist, all in costumes, minimal stuff
  • Roadshow stuff at other festivals
  • Alternative society events at oil refineries, motor shows, combined with protest
  • Avoiding cycle demo towns as then we reach places where there isn't the focus
  • Circular routes
  • Peace cycle, try and get them not to fly!
  • Inclusive from beginning to get more people on board
  • Student tour - to get them to form more sustainable lifestyles before employment which means they can buy a car! Could get funding from students unions, enables us to reach the middle class
  • Warwick in February? bike festival?
  • Velo vision article to promote ourselves and to see if we can get bikes donated
  • Cycle the routes of nuclear trains to raise issue
  • More actions
  • All year activity - but not camping in the snow!
  • Meetings where we skill share rather than organise
  • Cycle tour/roadshow in Europe
  • Display info and interactivity
  • Greater creativity
  • Pledge wall - get people to say how they are going to become more environmentally sustainable and write it on the wall
  • Tour of middle class, middle aged middle England
  • A week in one place to reach more aspects of the community
  • Put guide, maintenance and pledges on website
  • Sponsored ride. Get different legs of the rides we do anyway sponsored to raise money for a cause
  • Promotional video to show how to set up local bicycologies
  • Puppet show - to portray political message

We discussed in depth the idea of having different bicycologies in different areas. Everyone agreed to the autonomy of these groups, as long as their activities were things that are inline with the politics and written aims of the group. Having a network of bicycolgy groups would be amazing, and everyone said that they would be into coming to Lancaster (the only place with things already in the pipeline) if possible. It was thought that the groups could organise autonomously, but use the email list as a forum to discuss contentious issues or seek help. Web pages for local groups are also planned for the website.