The Bristol Pound and the Bicycle.


One’s a currency, one’s a transportation device. Not much in common there..

But they both help you spend money locally…simple as…

In the world where Globalisation is currently changing the lives of  bare footed folk the world over, we in the UK have clutched Globalisation to our bosom for centuries now, you could say we invented it, or perhaps that was the Romans, perhaps the Greeks. whoever it was that started trading between the continents it only became possible locally because of the bicycle. people (women too, shock horror) began to move goods between villages and town, just 150 years ago we just had the horse, and only then if you were wealthy or fortunate. So the invention of the Bicycle was a big deal, then came the steam car, the petrol car changed the game, and encouraged by successive governments and big industry the car took over, even in the last 10-15 years the concept of ‘out of town’ has for some folk, made stocking the cupboard a car centric activity.

So as petrol costs rise, congestion increases, and the car park space becomes increasingly illusive what can we do to spend our pennies and fill our cupboards without the car, well, a rack equiped bicycle can carry quite a bit, bit pannier or a specially designed bicycle like a Donky (www.donkybike.com) or a sturdy upright bike with a good rack like those designed by Gazelle (www.gazelle.nl). The bicycle now means that when a walk to the local shops is too far with shopping bags and frankly a bore, it helps you travel that little bit further away, chicken food, cement, big bags of dog food are all possible on the right bike. 2 slabs of beer, no problem.

The Bristol pound (www.bristolpound.org) is trying to improve your access to local produce and suppliers too. It does 2 things, first highlights traders that are part of the pound network, these traders will by their nature be innovative, free thinking traders with a knowledge and love for their product. Whether its a corner shop, a cafe or restaurant, bike shop or fluffy jumper emporium it will introduce you to the finer delights of something perhaps not experienced before,  and also perhaps give you a better shopping experience with more interesting products..

What both do very well is to help invest local money locally. The bicycle helps you move away from the larger shopping centres and towards your own nearer neighbourhood,, spending Bristol Pounds ensures that your money circulates  locally, no luxemburg tax havens for the £B.

So next time you need something, instead of jumping in the car,force yourself to jump on your bike and cycle to your nearest little shop, it might be a nice one , it might be a run down one, if it takes the Bristol pound even better..but everyone local wins when you shop by bike, Bristol becomes a little more local when you spend with the Bristol pound.

Local is the new Global, its a whole new local world out there, and a good one too, it will be even better if you invest your money where your home is.

 

Happy riding and spending…

(remember to chain your bicycle up too…you can buy nice ones with the Bristol pound, just check the list http://bristolpound.org/directory )

 

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