WE had been eagerly awaiting permission to begin the new bike project in Platt Fields Park for some time, so when we were finally given the green light two weeks ago – of course we leapt ahead of ourselves and decided that we’d open up the shutters for bicycle busy splendour before the month was out. At the time of making this decision, the space was nowhere near ready for the public eye. Sitting lonely and solitary for the last few years meant that it was well overdue some care and attention.
So, here’s how we opened up our new community bike project in under two weeks. And yes, we had a fiver in the pot to do it with as well.
1. Recruit our ace team – of mechanics, artists, bike dancers, students, cargo bike builders & coffee suppliers, software engineers & all round bike enthusiasts
2. Beg, borrow & steal everyone’s time away – an hour at a time. “Who’s got a bike trailer available later to shift some stuff” – a common question.
3. Gut the Boathouse, be ruthless.
4. Paint the Boathouse, try not to get carried away with colour.
5. Tap into the tool supply [thank you Manchester Student Homes]
6. Make a dodgy rushed logo [better one coming soon, we promise]
7. Make a quick website [more interactive one coming soon, we promise]
8. Print off some dodgy flyers, photocopy them & cut them out with scissors.
9. Work weeks of 14 hour days
10. Figure out what everyone’s skills are and get them to work them into the space.
11. OPEN !!
We had a super great launch day; the shutters opened at 1pm & stayed that way well into the evening.
There was an open Tool Club running throughout the day, with our pro mechanics [including the awesome Revolve MCR] on-hand to help anyone in need. The workshop was soon buzzing with all sorts of mechanical magic; the interior space taking on the form of a circular bike fixing hub with numerous stands & poorly bikes getting healed.
We were also running free bike fixing for people that wanted to chill outside on the deck chairs with delicious coffee-from-the-trike brought to you by Coffee Cranks. A fully luring bike jumble kept the public topped up with bargain bike goodies throughout the scorching afternoon and when people started overheating it was time to play “Soak the Cyclist” [pictured below].
Manchester Bike Hire who will be renting out hire bikes from The Hub were also there offering lucky pedallers a free spin on the cruising beauties of bikes, also pictured.
And when the sun turned orange it was time to crank in the pedal powered tunes, fire up the veggie paella and welcome Critical Mass riders to the park for a twilight bike party.
There will be plenty more full days like this one – but for now, check out our current timetable for opening hours & what’s going on