Eureka! Cycling Einsteins in their Element

On Sunday 19th June, Love Your Bike organised ‘Bicycle Bloc’ in the Manchester Day Parade. The theme of this year’s parade was ‘Eureka!’ and tens of thousands of people lined the streets of the city centre to view the science-themed displays from a wide range of Manchester organisations.

Love Your Bike rose to the challenge with their own rickshaw pedal-propelled mobile weather station with giant rainbow, clouds, thermometer, barometer and weather vane, rounded off with a pedal-powered sound system featuring a playlist of hits with a science twang – think Einstein-a-go-go and She Blinded me with Science for starters.

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This installation was accompanied by around 40 people on bikes sporting flags from the periodic table, scale(*) models of well-known elements. Those with red flags represented common air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, making the serious point that more bikes and fewer cars means clearer air and therefore better health for all. As the parade progressed the bikes were scene moving in circles and snakes, representing chemical reactions and keeping the crowds entertained.

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Thanks to all who took part, those who spent many weekends and evenings getting the weather station and other props ready, and to artists Claire and Julian of parade organisers Walk the Plank.

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More photos available in our Flickr Album.

(*) scientific precision not guaranteed

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