Glasgow Cycle Festival
Nearly a year ago I sat in the ‘office’ - a shipping container with a sofa - at Free Wheel North with three cycling colleagues eating cherries as we airily suggested ideas for our yet un-named cycling festival. We didn't have any money and it wasn't in anyone's work plan. But we didn't let that stop us. One funding bid, a lot more talking and a whole load of work later the first Glasgow Cycle Festival is about to launch...
Funded by the 2014 Celebrate It fund, the festival features a varied programme of events for all ages and cycling abilities, including an introductory cycling session for under-5s from Play on Pedals and an open day at Free Wheel North, giving people with disabilities the chance to trial specially adapted bikes.
Over the two weeks, a total of 15 led rides will cater to a variety of cycling abilities and offer the chance to explore Glasgow and its surrounding areas in a new way. A number of these rides will be led by Belles on Bikes Glasgow - the ‘original Belles’ ladies' cycling group affiliated to CTC. Rides include a day to the Isle of Bute for a tour of the island and a picnic at the fantastic Mount Stuart.
The Belles will also be hosting a Summer Social at the Bike Station on Tuesday 17 June, featuring a very special guest who cycled 15,000km from Chaing Mai to Edinburgh!Abi Wingate is an adventurer, mental health awareness campaigner and all-round cycling enthusiast and will share her experiences on the night.
Glasgow Women's Library will also be hosting a number of events, including a Cycle Festival Special evening with Kate Rawles, author of'The Carbon Cycle', which tells the story of her 4500 mile bike ride from Texas to Alaska along the spine of the Rockies, during which she explored North American responses to climate change.
There are also a number of events available where you don't have to get on a bike, such as the creation of a Commonwealth Games mural at Free Wheel North's premises in Glasgow Green and a pedal-powered cinema at the Bike Station showing 'Wadjda', the first Saudi Arabian feature to be directed by a woman. Shot in the suburbs of Riyadh, Haifaa Al-Mansour's film tells the story of a ten-year-old who wants to buy a green bicycle to race against her friend Abdullah .
I'm delighted that our wishful thinking has turned into a fantastic reality - we hope you can come and enjoy it too.
Visit Glasgow Cycle Festival for a full programme of events.
Most events have to be booked in advance so please email for more information or to book a space at an event.