As a whole-hearted community bike project, we celebrate welcoming groups of people from across the board; and our humble scrappy abode never fails to help encourage people into pedalling – but you can imagine our thrill, our delight and [slight] fright when we found out our proposal to host the national press launch for CTC’s new whopping campaign The Big Bike Revival had been accepted.
So – last Thursday morning, we gathered together a small showcase of some of the regular bike activities you’re likely to find at the Hub – mobile bike fixing, coffee from a cargo bike, pedal powered sound system, bike recycling stations and similar kind of magic like that – and waited for our important guests to arrive.
As the sunshine struggled to defeat the intimidating skies, we welcomed the flashiest automobile The Hub has ever seen [the only automobile The Hub has ever seen] – and out stepped Martine McCutcheon and her team. We also welcomed the top teams from CTC and Diva Creative as well as Julian Napier and Alison Franks from the Department for Transport. Local and national journalists opened their lenses and therein started our launch.
The pedal powered sound system made sure people kept pedalling through the event as we tried to make sure the music wasn’t too ‘unusual’. Refugee Action would pedal laps past our event enjoying a wonderful beginner cycling session hosted by Transport for Greater Manchester. Complimentary coffees and delicious hot choccies whirred into action and were handed out to our guests from the cargo bike, whilst our head mechanic Dave got to work on some exhausted bicycles whilst preparing himself for the first photo shoot of the day; “This is the most surreal maintenance session of my career” he confesses.
Martine and the press disappeared inside the Hub for a while to run some interviews whilst we enjoyed chatting about bikes to our special guests. Soon it was our turn to get in front of the cameras – which we did so with eager pride.
Around high noon we welcomed our next batch of special guests for the day – a cluster of awesome pedallers from St James’ Primary School in Fallowfield. They arrived in absolute style – a bike convoy behind their super teacher Mr Hewitt. First they munched on a picnic whilst listening to pedal powered tunes and getting grilled about their bike habits from yours truly – then it was time to play!
Three instructors rounded up the kiddies and we went through a simple bike check. To our delight, they pretty much knew everything already so we got to ask some trickier questions.
Then it was time for slow racing – a few rounds each with the girls winning every time!
By this point Martine and the press had joined the small audience that had formed and suddenly the kids were in the cycling spotlight, as the games progressed to “Circle of Doooom” – much skill from the kids was seen as the photographers got stuck-in trying to capture their beaming faces.
Time flew by and it was already time to start thinking about sending the kids back to maths class. Not before giving them a cycling goodybag with some treats from Transport for Greater Manchester and rewarding their energy levels with a special mug of cargo bike hot choccie.
A few autographs from Martine on their new high vizzie vests and it was back to school for our cycling superstars, [after a few cheeky goes on the pedal powered juke box – a suspected delay to that maths class for a little bit more.]
The press and Martine’s presence at The Hub was great and certainly generated an atmosphere we’re unlikely to witness again in the park. We hope that her status will help put the Big Bike Revival up there on the reputable platform of hype and press coverage that it deserves. Watch out for Platt Fields Bike Hub super Big Bike Revival events on 31st May and 7th June.
“I think most of us have a lot of happy memories of cycling as a child. The Big Bike Revival is a great chance to dust off that bike you’ve forgotten about, get back in the saddle and remind yourself how much fun it is!” Martine McCutcheon, 30th April 2015