Bike Week 2002

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 43.

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This recumbent bicycle at the Cycle Try-out Show is a conversion of the popular Brompton folding bike, and gives an exhilarating ride.

And the sun shone – a bit unwillingly on the first Saturday of Bike Week, for the Dr Bike event, but that was fine – we were not on the sunny side of the square anyway. Despite the World Cup, about 40 bikes were checked over and as many were security coded by the police. Philippa Slatter, our Mayor, can now ride safely round Cambridge (assuming that she took advantage of the Dr Bike advice and of the discounts offered by bike shops).

The Mayor also presented one of the prizes for the Bicycle Art Competition. The first prize was awarded before the football got going. And what a well earned prize it was. The quality of entries to the Art Competition was superb and gave the judges a hard task. The exhibition of both competition art and information about Cambridge Cycling Campaign was admired in the Library at the beginning of the month and in the Guildhall during Bike Week and beyond. Many thanks to Philip Rundall, Margaret Schofield and Estheranna Stäuble for acting as judges.

A pleasantly warm and sunny Sunday brought out the crowds to enjoy the many and varied bicycles provided by the Company of Cyclists, by, by Drakes and by many individuals at the Cycle Try-out show. With enthusiasm or trepidation these exciting machines were taken round Parker’s Piece to the delight of the riders and the amusement of the passers-by.

Monday dawned bright and very hot, so we went to the pictures to see ET. Very enjoyable: a few laughs and a few tears and well worth watching. And ET kindly allowed us to watch an exciting police chase with bikes leaping down banks and skidding round corners before he took them smoothly into the air for an easy escape. My pleasure was a little marred by my worries about those lamps draped in bits of cloth in the toy cupboard!

And then we had breakfast in the sun. Croissants galore and lovely strong coffee. And even at 8 am it was warm enough for me to once again sport my T-shirt with the Bike Week poster design cleverly ironed onto it by Simon. We must thank Estheranna for again producing such a lovely and eye-catching poster and for producing the wonderful banner that was hung over Guildhall Street for the week.

Evaluating the week

This year we’ve seen greater interest shown by local businesses and authorities

This year we asked those attending our events to give us feedback via questionnaires. People overwhelmingly thought that Bike Week was a good thing and they said the events were well organised and supported. They certainly enjoyed themselves at the Cycle Try-out show which was the biggest event the Cycling Campaign has ever held. It was also interesting to note that a few other things happened because of Bike Week. A motor dealership on Newmarket Road bought their staff new bikes, and a local supermarket launched a trailer hire scheme for its customers. Our membership figures have also received a significant boost. Perhaps, more importantly, this year we’ve seen greater interest shown by local businesses and authorities in what we are doing. I think Bike Week in Cambridge has grown to a point now where we have to look again at how it is organised. It takes a lot of careful planning over many months and as ever we welcome new input and new ideas.

We should like to extend a warm thank you to all our sponsors this year:

Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council Travelwise, Hobbs Pavilion, Ben Hayward Cycles,, H. Drake and the Dr Bike discounters.

Lisa Woodburn and Simon Nuttall

Pictures by David Earl and Clare Macrae

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The easy way to try recumbent cycling is on a tricycle at the Try-out Show. Very fast and exciting handling especially on the corners. This one is a ‘Thorax’.

The highly popular Barrow Bike at the Try-out Show. Capable of carrying a good deal of your weekly shopping, there are also seats for children, though at the show they were popular with adults too!

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The Mayor of Cambridge, and Campaign member, Philippa Slatter, awarding Fourth Prize in the Art Competition.

Art Competition: The winning entry.

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City Council staff including the Chief Executive, Rob Hammond (on the right carrying his helmet) and Director of Environment and Planning, Peter Studdert (on the far right) get on their bikes to enjoy the free Bike2Work breakfast at Hobbs’ Pavilion.

The Mayor of Cambridge with her cycle under the scrutiny of Dr Bike.

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Visitors trying the ‘Zero Emission Vehicle’ at the Cycle Try-out Show. This four seater bicycle, from Switzerland, can be very fast and has exciting cornering characteristics.

Irresistible fun at the helm of the “Ondervater” Dutch tandem at the Cycle Try-out Show. Unusually for tandems the captain (who steers) is at the back, and this means she has to see over the head of the stoker, who is usually a child.