Creating a pop up Bike Hub in Cardiff
Creating a pop up Bike Hub in Cardiff
This year, we had our first ever Bike Week pop up Bike Hub thanks to Rory Fleming, of the Morgan Quarter, who just a few weeks before Bike Week began, offered us a prime location in one of Cardiff's beautiful Victorian shopping arcades. I then had a busy few weeks making sure that we had the people and resources needed to make the Bike Hub a place that people wanted to visit.
Bike Week is our annual celebration of all that is great about cycling, it's a week during which we encourage everyone who can to ride their bike whatever their journey and to share their pictures and stories of what cycling means to them. We create some fabulous resources to add to the fun and have some really exciting prizes too.
There was an amazing amount of support; colleagues getting together some fantastic resources, For Cardiff, the business improvement district for the city centre sponsored two Dr Bike sessions provided by Ride My Bike Cafe (a previous Cyclist Cafe of the Year winner) as well as the use of their gazebo all week.
Cardiff Cycle Workshop provided the bike checks on Thursday and on the last day we were joined by accessible cycling charity Pedal Power. Throughout the week we had Cardiff Cycle City members with maps highlighting the progress that has been made in Cardiff and gathering information on the gaps that still need filling.
Bike Week happened to coincide with Volunteer Week this year and I was lucky to be joined by a great bunch who engaged in some great conversations. answered a myriad of questions and shared their enthusiasm and knowledge about bikes, routes and campaigning with people of all ages.
The pop-up Bike shop was great! I had chats with all sorts of different people about what they think about the new cycle ways in Cardiff, about how to fix their bikes, (old and new), active travel, types of cycle holidays. I even met the leader of Cardiff Council who cycled down with his toddler.
Emma, Cycling UK member and volunteer
I loved being able to chat to people in person after a long year of mostly Teams meetings and Zoom calls! Great to catch up with lots of Cycling UK members, including a few from across the border as well as to have the opportunity to share what we do in terms of lobbying and campaigning with a wider audience and to speak to a number of those who are leading on the changes that we so badly need.
One of our first visitors was Jane Davidson, who as a Minister, started the process which saw 'the first piece of legislation in history to place regenerative and sustainable practice at the heart of government' - the Wellbeing of Future Generations (WBFG) Act.
Later in the week a 'virtual visitor' Natalie Rees, took part in our Cycle Friendly Employer Linked In Live event with my colleague James Palser. As Transport for Wales' Sustainability Manager it's Natalie's job to ensure that TfW apply the principles of the WBFG Act in practice and she leads by example as she gets about by bike and will be commuting from Cardiff to Ponytpridd when they start returning to the office.
Our final open day was Friday and it was a busy one. I was really pleased that Oasis Cardiff were able to join us and encourage people to cycle a few miles in support of their 'Kabul to Cardiff' campaign which is raising awareness of the journeys that refugees and asylum seekers must take to reach safety. One visitor even skipped his spin session and cycled the distance from Cardiff to Newport on the static bike instead!
In the afternoon I got to catch up with fellow cycling advocates and friends from Sustrans Cymru and Welsh Cycling. Throughout the week we had Breeze rides leaving from the hub and many of them popped some Sustrans maps in their goodie bags before they left.
Bike Week is just one week of the year but I and many others are working in Wales to enable everybody who can to ride bikes more often, to more places and to face fewer challenges when doing so. Whether or nor we have the numbers to prove it, it feels as though more and more people want to ride bikes, they want to know how to fix their bikes, where they can ride and that their bike will still be there when they return from the cafe or shop. I do think that everywhere would benefit from a Bike Hub - a place where you can find out all you need to know about getting about by bike. Rumour has it that we may well be seeing such a place in Cardiff soon so I'm eagerly awaiting these developments.
If you would like to find put more about what our plans are for the next year or if you'd like to hep make Wales a better place by bike then I'd love to hear from you.