Big Bike Celebration

You may remember me posting about the Big Bike Celebration in Southampton at the end of June. Luckily, my bike arrived just in time for me to be able to attend with my friends Rachel and Lorraine, and we had a great day at Weston Shore!

There was plenty to see and do, including a chance to go on some more unusual bicycles, plus plenty of led rides – more on that in another post!

There were loads of stalls, too, and although there weren’t as many selling things as I expected, the Sustrans stall was brilliant, and the guys working there were amazing. They had loads of great maps and information leaflets, and I came away armed with a bagful to go over in the weeks ahead!

This was by far the weirdest contraption I’ve ever seen – a bicycle powered by several people which went up and down the central pathway seemingly all day. I didn’t get a go on it, but it looked like fun!

Even the mayor turned up – he doesn’t look that happy here but I’m sure he was having a good time…

The weather was pretty good – warm but not too hot. As you can see from Lorraine’s picture, above, we did come prepared with coats, but ended up not needing them!

…Although, occasionally the sea breeze got a little bit nippy…

All in all, it was a great first outing for my bike, which proved incredibly comfortable – so much so that my friends are now lusting after a comfy saddle like mine! I have to say, the Allant really is a very comfy bike to sit on.

But obviously, it has its limitations, so you won’t be seeing any stunts like this from me in the near future… (Or ever…)

Exciting bike news!

Well, I finally ordered my Trek Allant WSD from the bike shop – very excited! She’ll be in on Friday in time for the Big Bike Celebration on Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to it. I had a test ride yesterday and the saddle is extremely comfortable – although it did have a mark on it. I ended up getting a discount on it because of that, as I figured that the saddle is going to get marked from wear and tear anyway – I guess it gives the bike a bit of character in the meantime.

While I wait for my bike, I’m going to be looking into the somewhat complicated world of anti-theft devices. It seems to me as though there are several steps to this: registering your bike frame, tagging your bike frame, getting insurance, and getting some good locks. My frame is going to be registered at the local bike shop I’m buying the bike from, and I’m also going to register it with the manufacturers as well, but as well as that I’ll be getting it postcoded on Saturday with the local police, and registering it on sites such as Bike Shepherd. Locks and insurance are just as complicated as far as I can see, as you have to make sure your lock is approved by your insurance company, and then in case of theft, report it to the lock company, insurance company and local police, at the same time as gathering evidence of the theft too. It’s really depressing to contemplate my lovely bike being stolen before I’ve even picked it up from the shop, but being prepared is half the battle!

Big Bike Celebration

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It’s a very exciting time to be into cycling in the south – even if you didn’t decide to get your knickers off for the Naked Bike Ride today, you can still join in the fun on Saturday 25 June at Weston Shore for an amazing variety of bike-related events. And, you not only get to wear your clothes, but I’m pretty sure everyone else will be wearing theirs, too.

I spoke to Thea Bjaaland, active travel project co-ordinator in Southampton, about the event, and she helpfully gave me these flyers to share with you. She also told me that last year, this event attracted 2000 people – amazing! There are some great activities planned, including some led bike rides which look like fun – I hope to get a place on one of these (they’re first come, first served – and you don’t even need to have your own bike, as bike and helmet hire for these are free!).There will be food stalls as well, and Thea promised ice-cream, which should be enough to entice anyone to attend. A variety of organisations will be present, including Sustrans, Southampton City Council, Solent NHS Trust, Southampton Cycling Campaign, Transition Southampton, Active Nation and the Veteran Cycle Club. We’re pretty lucky to have so many organisations working together on an event like this.

The event takes place between 11 and 4 on the Saturday, near the Pitch and Putt. There’s parking available, but I reckon you should come on your bikes – right?

My thanks go to Thea for her help in gathering this information!

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