Progress continues towards what I hope will be one of this year’s most exciting events for those of us concerned with making cycling an ordinary means of moving around, Building Cycling Culture/s. I’ve blogged about the event already; here I want to mention a couple of developments, and point anyone interested in registering for the event in the right direction – here.
There are many diverse energies contributing to the event, and I hope that will be one of its strengths. I assume like Rachel from the Cycling Cultures project, I want to talk about my current research, and particularly to discuss its main findings, and what those findings tell us about the task of building a broad and inclusive British cycling culture. But I also want the event to be a coming together of the many different constituencies with an interest in building such a cycling culture, and a joyous celebration of our shared love for cycling. I’d love for activists, academics, campaigners, students, policy-makers, local authority practitioners, cycling enthusiasts and anyone else to feel that there’s something for them, and to add their energies, convictions, insights and voices to the mix.
As locals to Leicester, Andy and John are especially committed to making the event appeal to individuals and groups from across the city. We hope that by holding it on a weekend, and putting on a range of activities, we’ll make it accessible to anyone who’d like to come along. I guess we’re all, albeit in slightly different ways, committed to Building Cycling Culture/s embodying our visions of the cycling culture/s we’re trying to build – in my case that’s big and broad, welcoming and inclusive, vibrant and tolerant, and loads of fun.
The event’s going to have much more than local appeal – Andy has managed to get two brilliant speakers from across the Atlantic. Jon Orcutt is the Director of Policy for New York City Department of Transportation, and so at the centre of exciting recent transport developments in the city. Karen Overton is the Director of Recycle-a-Bicycle, New York’s bike re-cycling project. Both will I’m sure have interesting and inspiring takes on the task of building cycling culture/s on both sides of the Atlantic.
There’ll be workshops, stalls, activities, rides – lots of stuff, something for everyone. And the venue is just great. Phoenix Square is big and bright, new and classy, and in the city’s centre. There are large spaces for the main talks, and lots of smaller spaces for workshops. There’s a cafe and bar – the food I’ve had there is delicious. I’m back there on Monday, for lunch and our next planning meeting. With just three months to go to the event itself, it’s probably about time we finalised the programme. Look out for details soon.
And if you’re thinking of coming, don’t forget to register. Although we’re aiming big, there’s a limit on numbers, and it’s only a tenner, food included.