BCC, a real and pleasant force for Bristol.

Now i am not an anti car, pro cycling, hair shirt wearing lentil boy. I do like bicycles, sometimes wear sandals and do have the view that it should be easier in this day and age to get about by bike safely and in comfort.

With this in mind i have popped along to one or two meetings of the Bristol Cycle Campaign, the meetings are held in the Cornubia pub monthly, and the ‘few’ (I’ll be honest) meetings I have been to have been interesting and friendly, its just like any other group of people that share a common thought. There are chatty folk, odd folk, fit and not so fit, folk that sit in the corner looking a bit sheepish (that would be me) but all the folk there seemed genuine and focused on bettering Bristol for the benefit of cyclists and bicycle users.

From attending the few meetings and going on one or two of the old Copenhagen chic rides, I felt some affinity with this group, we do share a passion for bicycles even though we perhaps come at it from different angles. It’s Passion that brings together people with differing backgrounds and experiences into a group, The Bristol Cycle Campaign has done a great job in the past, prodding and cajoling the thinkers and decision makers in Bristol, helping change the infrastructures of Bristol back towards the bicycle.

With my few meeting experiences in mind, I responded to a note in the magazine and volunteered my services (and the lovely Kim) to help fold the quarterly magazines ready for posting, it was a very civilised night in downtown Bedminster, just a few folk, pleasant conversation was had, a cuppa tea or two, a glass of wine and nibbles, it was a most enjoyable evening.

So why, I hear you ask, are you writing about a nice night out. Well, it’s my view and experience that campaigners of any sort are by their very nature notoriously opinionated, pushy, rambunctious folk, combine that with the fact that ‘cyclists’ can be a tad off-putting at get-togethers with their clingy garb and with eyewear decorated like a mod’s scooter, so combine the two and you would think that a Bristol Cycle Campaign meeting would be akin to a night with Fairport Convention in the Royston Vasey town hall.

In the year or two I have had knowledge of the Bristol Cycle Campaign, I have always been impressed with their endeavour, but in the last little while I have experienced a warmth that has begun to draw me in a little more, and this is what I wish to bring your attention to. We need folk in this world to shout and rant, we need folk out there on the street in Bristol, gathering information about existing cycle ways, suggesting improvements, we need folk in Bristol that can support and write letters, we need all these things, Bristol as a whole benefits from a group of people doing these things.

Perhaps once you felt like a group like the Bristol Cycle Campaign could not be for you, perhaps you felt like you had to be a activist, a radical, a political animal, These days I am pleased to say that you can have a part in promoting  bicycle usage and, affect the development of the bicycle infrastructure of Bristol over a nice cuppa tea and a biscuit, a glass of wine or a frappachino in the company of some nice people wearing similar clothes to the ones you do.

The Bristol cycle campaign is no less passionate than it ever was; there is a mix of folk there, a mix of ideas and opinions too. If you enjoy your bicycle in Bristol you could do a whole lot worst than increase the head count of the membership, if you don’t like meetings, you could just miss the meetings and take advantage of  one of the cycle campaigns excellent rides. Now there’s a radical thought for you….

Join, support and encourage changes for the better for bristols bicycles


p.s. they need help with the website too…..any offers?


4 thoughts on “BCC, a real and pleasant force for Bristol.

  1. I’d love to join, but alas I’m a bit too far away. I wish there was something similar here, but most people think if you ride a bike it’s because you have lost your license, are too poor to own a car, or are a zealot. I belong to none of those, just want to get around without a car when I don’t really need it.

    It does sound lovely, though… ” affect the development of the bicycle infrastructure of (where I live) over a nice cuppa tea and a biscuit”…

    • I actually think that this area is blessed with energetic folk and some dedicated visionaries too. Together it would be great to keep moving Bristol Forward as a cycle city.

  2. There is also a yahoo group you can join, good for discussion. We need to get more involvement from S. Gloucs folks, as a lot of the cycle city money seems to be spent there ensuring bicycles stay out the way of important people driving.

    I seem to recall you heckling at one of my presentations. troublemakers are welcome too 🙂

    • Steve, nice work on the blog (http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/ although i do find it a tad baffling…and i am a lover of twisted ideas…it does make very good points and from a different tack, very thought provoking.. …I am sure it makes a difference…I too am of the opinion that Bikes should be out of the way of cars…I am very much in favour of segregation where bikes are concerned…even if its just a kerbstone separating cycles from traffic..
      Thanks too for bringing my attention to the yahoo group, i shall have a look….will you tell me where I can find it?, (or is it an underground discussion group??)
      As for heckling, i believe comments from the floor were welcomed…and trouble making….you and i must have a different definition of ‘trouble’, but we share the same goal…BCC needs a balanced and progressive outlook, i thought once that was lacking, hence the ‘heckling’..i was not alone, i continue to do what i can to support the campaign and help provide a balance between what might be construed as anarchic top dog bashing and the tweedy gently gently cycle chic approach.
      For my bit, i make comfortable low maintenance bicycles available to Bristol (and Bath), i give Bristol bike buyers a choice and the opportunity to see and ride progressive bikes, child seats and different non bikey bags….
      Cheers for the comments Steve, if you could post details for the Yahoo group that would be great, Its great to have the input of a fellow troublemaker…especially one with such pedigree..:-)


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