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?