It’s been one week since the official launch of Lady Pedal and we still can’t believe just how amazingly our first event went!
It was an early start for the team, getting to the park at 8 to meet our van driver and head off to do the various collections necessary to begin setting up for the event.
Whatever anxiety we might have felt were quickly dispelled by the arrival of our team of set up volunteers, and once the marquees and decor started going up it really began to feel real as things came together!
Before we knew it, everything was assembled, and there was no shortage of curious passers-by enquiring about what was to come, and assuring us that they would be back. Then as we approached our start time of 1pm, we already had people lining up to join the workshops and sign up for bike checks!
The Beginners Maintenance Session with Sylwia was incredibly well attended, by a diverse crowd of women.
The rest of the afternoon progressed in a similar fashion; Sylwia and Dave from RevolveMCR were in high demand for bike checks and maintenance and we soon had to create a reserve list! Meanwhile our Lady Pedallers were doing basic maintenance and teaching puncture repairs. It was fantastic to see punctures demystified for many who might never have thought to attempt their own repairs, who might have previously given up their flat tyred bike as broken or in-need-of-expensive-repairs. For anyone who missed out, don’t worry – check out our DIY & Maintenance page for more info on where to sort out your bike niggles.
Just opposite the workshop space, over 25 people made the most of some of the many bikes on offer to try out around the park, courtesy of Whalley Range on Wheels whilst many more were in the creative space getting painted, contributing to our lady pedal banner, and getting their bikes well and truly blinged. All this to the sound of a number of talented female artists, poets, and speakers.
The event came to a leisurely close with acoustic acts playing into the sunset as we tidied away the workshops and got ready for the pack down. Following the final performance, we had a short speech from Poland, Lady Pedal’s founder before rallying together for Manchester’s first Critical Lass! A feminine take on the classic Critical Mass which would take riders from the park to the official after-party at the Old Abbey Taphouse where we were met with home brewed ales and free pizza for the first arrivals! A beautiful way to end a beautiful day, we felt empowered and uplifted by all the support and enthusiasm we’d received.
We’ve had a week off to recharge, watch this space for our next events!
Kickstarting our community with a festival was an ambitious way to begin, and we couldn’t have done it without pulling in a lot of favours and a lot of help.
Envirolution – use of marquee and other decor
Galivantes – use of PA and other sound equipment
The Old Abbey Taphouse – after party and food
Whalley Range on Wheels – bike rental and tool provision
Revolve MCR – maintenance and advice
TFGM – freebies, liaison and support
Police – bike security marking
The Big Bike Revival – funding
Cycling UK – advice, liaison and publicity
Alexandra Park – use of facilites (and emergency power from the cafe when the generator stopped working!)
And last but not least, our team of amazing volunteers! Thank you to everyone who got involved!