Bike Fabulous – Cycle Wear Cycle Everywear
During this year’s Bike Week, Manchester FoE took on the city’s biggest shopping arcade to dispel one of the myths around cycling… that fashion and bikes don’t mix.
Recognizing that this is one of the barriers to commuter cycling, the group decided to highlight practical yet chic styles that everybody could wear to get about the city.
Not only did the group hold four fashion shows over the day but they also took the opportunity to engage with members of the public about all things cycling, from pedal powered music and mics to the practical elements of cycle safety.
The day, the brainchild of Manchester FoE member Katy Carlisle, was supported by the Manchester Arndale and many of their shops, as well as many local bikecentric concerns who all donated their time and expertise.
The fashion show models were all ‘real’ volunteers who strutted their stuff down the catwalk. The shows featured beautiful helmets, strategically placed underarm zips and reflective strips mixed in with slimline demin and cheeky skirts.
Despite a bike tyre exploding due to over zealous pumping, and an initial dead microphone panic, the group managed to pedal power the whole event and to serve over 200 fruit smoothies to those who were prepared to work for them on the pedal-powered smoothie maker.
Meanwhile, kids (and adults wanting to be kids) glued, cut and painted away to turn your average reflective bike vest into a fashion masterpiece in a ‘pimp my ridewear’ activity. In the process they also managed to decorate a sizable portion of the mall with glitter!
On a more educational note, ‘Dr Mary’ from BikeRight! held four bike maintenance sessions covering everything from cleaning to tube changing. The BikeRight! team was also on hand to speak to the public about Manchester’s new scheme to train adults to cycle confidently, signing up 30 people over the day.
Beauty product shops Lush and Bodyshop also lent a hand in keeping cyclists fabulous on their bikes; with makeovers and a raffle prize being offered to those who signed up to the Manchester Friends of the Earth group.
Not surprisingly, one of the most popular attractions was the prize draw for a £300 bike from Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op. Over 360 entries were collected – which was more than one a minute!
Despite a very weary group of volunteers at the end of a very long day the team felt that the event had indeed been fabulous! The opportunity to be so prominently placed in a shopping centre that sees 80,000 people through its doors each Saturday allowed the group to engage with a new and important audience about not only the benefits but also the delights of cycling.
And although the group members are still brushing glitter from their hair and having nightmares about reflective vests, there is sure to be some more bike fabulousness in the near future.
More info on the website www.bikefabulous.org