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Bike Month Calendar

Oy vei… the Bikeology Ride-In Movie is awash with change… to SEPTEMBER, AND LATER, kids… so join us (and NOT all the mozzies), on September 6, 9:30 for a viewing of Grand Budapest Hotel, which my fine friends, has bicycles in it…yes indeed…

SO, hope to see you then, there, at Victora Park Cricket pitch where we will not be inundated with mosquitos, nor threatened with storms…

Oh, Alberta weather… how you mock us…

Catching up…
I’m taking a short break from the fourth article in my “Bikeological Musings” series. In the meantime, I’d like to share another piece of bike writing from a few years back. I think it fits in pretty well with the current series.

The Comfortable Mass

For thirteen years, Edmonton’s Bike Month has dominated my springtime. I have co-organized eco-fairs and movie screenings, produced bike shorts, promoted, staffed and administrated events for cyclists. I’ve written thousands of words extolling the bicycle as a vehicle for sustainable cities, living local and healthier, happier people.

I’ve been so busy I have barely had time to get on a bike. So, I translate and wonder about the full-time transportation cyclist’s special connections: to their ride and each other.

One evening, after Bikeology: Movie Monday at the old, downtown Metro Cinema location, I experienced the transformative magic myself. It was a rare night I had my bike, and a group of us found ourselves outside at the rack, heading home in the same direction. I had no headlights and was glancing worriedly at the slowly setting sun. My friends said we would ride together.

I felt the power of the peloton as the five or six of us occupied a whole lane on the almost empty road. Leaders dropped back to chat as others glided into the head position. I stayed centre and let my pack light my way. I felt energized by the silence and calmed by the cheerful camaraderie.

In the warm gloam of a late-June evening, we were a group of speedy ghosts, free and purposeful, experiencing our city from outside its conventions.

Barbara J. Allard
Edmonton, Alberta

Hey Folks, it’s time for another Meandering Market ride to 124th. As usual, we are going to meet at redbike at 6:15ish on Thursday July 31st and leave at 6:30pm to head to the 124th Grand Market. Then afterwards, we are going to get refreshments at Daravara. Bring your cruiser bike, single speed or whatever for a fun ride… See you there?

Heyo BikeWriters… Join us to Robert’s place to write tonight at 6 – join us at: 11602 – 103 Street.  We welcome everyone and here’s something to chew on too:

McCauley Writers Atlas chapbook series is seeking submissions for our summer issue on the theme of Bicycles and Cycling!

We are seeking stories, poems, letters, postcards, comics, drawings, quotes, memes, maps, photos, found art and other creative musings about one of the greatest inventions of all time – the bicycle.

Please send submissions to:

McCauley Writers Atlas
C/O McCauley Apartments
B08, 9541 108A Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5H 4G8

Or email to mccauleywritersatlas@gmail.com

Deadline for submissions is Thursday July 31, 2014.

Everyone whose work is published in the McCauley Writers Atlas will receive copies of the publication.

For more info call 780 424 2870.

I’m continuing an overview of all Bikeology does to support an emergent bicycle culture in Edmonton. In addition to our classic one-day and “days of the bikey week” events, the following are projects that we co-create. I believe they could continue to grow in the hands of larger networks.

Edmonton’s Bike Month
Since 2002, Bikeology Festival has helped to keep bicycles on Edmonton’s transportation map by putting them in the public eye as many times as possible – in June. We were delighted when the City inaugurated Edmonton’s Bike Month in June 2004. Our Bikeology Festival website calendar became a semi-official Edmonton Bike Month reference, and we use it to cross-promote all forms of bicycle events.

Commuter Challenge
Bicycles compete with other modes to see which is the most energy efficient as they cross the river and head downtown in the early morning commuter rush. Bagel Units allow comparisons between food calories, gasoline and electricity over distance. I have stated that it may be getting awkward for a bicycle society to host a competition we win every year, and perhaps 2014′s lack of sign-ups confirms this. On a larger scale, I see that Albertans were number two in signups for the Canadian Commuter Challenge this year!

Local Bike Store Day
We have a special, long-term relationship with Edmonton’s independent bike stores. They donate sensational swag to fill our prize bags each year. They are an irreplaceable part of Edmonton’s expert cycling communities. June is the busiest time for local bike store staff, and we have had little luck inducing them to display at our events. In 2012, we decided to bring Bikeology to them. We created a day on the Bike Month calendar to inspire folks to go into their local bike store, where they receive in-store specials and customer appreciation.

Bike Movie Film Festival
I’m super proud of our unique, annual Bikeology: Movie Mondays and Bike-in Movie events. From time to time, we have sponsored screenings of bike-lectic short movie compilations out of Edmonton, Vancouver and Portland. But then there’s the high-profile glamour of a whole weekend devoted to the latest, international blockbusters, such as New York’s Bicycle Film Festival. One day I hope it tours through Edmonton.

Bikeology Future

It’s no surprise there is a growing demand for bicycle celebrations, well beyond the capabilities of our little not-for-profit society. Right now, VELO is discussing the following:

Can we inspire other individuals or organizations to host bicycle events in their communities? We have always shared the benefits of our experience informally through our networks. An authorized “Guide to Bike Month Event Planning” has a nice ring to it.

Another concept that is very twenty-tens engages the social networking movement – virtual events. If we encouraged Edmonton cyclists to independently ride to any theatre on “Movie Monday” or any restaurant on “Foodie Friday,” would they then Tweet, FB or blog about it? With no experience in social networking myself, I wonder if the incentives are inherent or we should we dip into our prize bag.

Next time I will address how a month for bicycles promotes more transport options year round, but for now…

Bike Month Awaiting

My bicycle seems okay after years of neglect, but I don’t want to ride too far until it’s been checked over and the chain has been cleaned and oiled. I’ve missed (again!) all the free bike check opportunities we provide during Bike Month. The shoemaker’s child has never been so barefoot.

I’m confident I can do the chain myself. I’ve seen this done enough times, and I found an easy guide on wikiHow… However… on further reflection, washing dust off my bike in the back plaza is one thing, but I’m not feeling good about setting up to do maintenance anywhere on the property. Hmmm…

Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society provides workspace, tools, parts and expert instruction for nominal fees in two locations. A website search tells me that Edmonton Transit System has installed bike racks on all city buses this year! I could bus my bike there. Estimate for DIY option is $25.00 and four hours. I practiced putting my bike on the bus rack at Bikeology Festival Day… once… many years ago…

I gave my local bike store a call. I could walk my bike there in 20 minutes. Total will be about $200.00 for a check, tune-up and replacement of the missing parts. It’s their busy time. Turnaround is ten days…