This article was published in 2010, in Newsletter 91.
This took place during the Town and Country Fair on Parker’s Piece on 12 and 13 June. Gorgeous weather, not too hot and not windy, made it a relaxed and enjoyable event. The Town and Country Fair itself was a collection of stalls, an excellent Punch & Judy show, a steam traction engine, loads of farm animals and a variety of unusual inflatable contraptions (some priced at £5 for four minutes) that provided distractions for kids.
The bike fair spread itself along the arm of Parker’s Piece from Reality Checkpoint towards Parkside Community College. The campaign’s stall was just a small part of the festivities. There was a display by locally-based bicycle designers ‘Airnimal’ exhibiting their range of smaller-wheeled bicycles and tandems. Next door, the bike delivery and cycle training company, Outspoken, was hard at work repairing and servicing bikes. On the Saturday, a bike disco provided by Magnificent Revolution from Hackney provided the sounds. Their offering was delightfully simple – the bikes powered the hi-fi, stop pedalling and the music stopped. Five bikes were hooked up, and so by jumping on a bike and pedalling you could join the band. Kids loved it and pedalled away for hours, providing a real sense of occasion.
Blendavenda provided another simple novelty – a liquidiser attached to a bike with a direct mechanical drive. Simple, and it produced a steady supply of smoothies throughout the day.
Cycle Cambridge had a large and attractive stall and were kept busy giving away loads of cycling- related information – maps, guides – and signing up people for cycle training.
A Stagecoach bus was also present during the day and provided an opportunity for cyclists to climb aboard and sit in the driver’s seat to get an idea of what bus drivers can see (see next article).
Finally there was a cycle try-out show, which provided much more durable entertainment. Small bikes, big bikes, a small penny-farthing, box bikes, tandems, bikes equipped for carrying two children, and a few recumbent bikes busily rolled around the paddock all day long. A great opportunity to ‘have a go’.
A feisty 80-year-old pedestrian came to the Campaign’s stall and told us that cyclists were dangerous, pass her very closely on the pavement and that they could easily kill her if they knocked her over. I told her that I agreed with her and that the Campaign very much supported her views and that pavements were for pedestrians. I said that campaigning work, such as we’ve been doing on Gilbert Road, was exactly the sort of thing that would help her. It was very pleasing to see she was comforted by that.
Congratulations to Cycle Cambridge for organising this hugely popular, relaxed and enjoyable event.