Lady Pedal first (of many) Monthly Ride!

After the success of our second annual festival, we’ve decided to get into organising Monthly Rides for everyone who expressed their interest at the events along the year and at the festival!

We will be meeting at the Coffee Cranks cafe in Alexandra Park at 11am on Saturday 28th of October, having a coffee and checking in with everyone with an aim to be riding off at 11:30!

We are planning to ride along the Mersey Valley and Stockport Way all the way to Tandem Coffee House in Stockport, SK1 1JQ. We’ll then take you back to Alex Park for about 3pm.

The ride will be about 7miles each way and the pace will be leisurely. We want to encourage women who don’t usually feel confident cycling long-ish distances to join in and we will make sure everyone feels included. If you want any information or feel a bit worried about any part of the ride please just get in touch so we can arrange something to accommodate you.

All genders and abilities welcomed!

https://www.facebook.com/events/362577614202254/

2017 CycleHack Manchester Weekend Event

Our friends at CycleHack Mcr are putting on a jam packed weekend of cycling related talks, activities and CycleHacking, getting the people of Manchester to take a DIY approach to help reduce the barriers to cycling!

On Friday, they have their launch night kicking off at 6pm with an evening of guest speakers and inspiring talks, and just £6 and Lady Pedal will be there too! Get tickets here!

For the weekend events, please register your FREE place on CycleHack’s Eventbrite page!

If you’re already going, GREAT! But do come down to Lady Pedal Festival to try out and test your ideas, we’d love to help!

For more info, please check out their Cycle Hack website!

Lady Pedal does a CYCLING-THEMED PUB QUIZ! 

 

With less than a month before Lady Pedal Festival, we’re back with another fundraising event that all can get involved with. Do you know your crankset from your casette ? Do you know your Peugeot from your Pinarello?

Come down to show your bike knowledge (or lack of) on the 12th of September from 7pm at the Old Abbey Taphouse.
£2 per person to enter the quiz- We will be selling delicious home baked cakes too (vegan option available).

All profits will go into making this Lady Pedal festival one to remember!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1536849743028544/

 

Lady Pedal Pay as You Feel Meal!

 

This September, we’re heading back to Alexandra Park for the second ever Lady Pedal festival! And we want to make it bigger and better – which means we need some funding!

On the 1st of August at the Old Abbey Taphouse, the Lady Pedal team is getting together to cook you guys a THREE COURSE VEGETARIAN MEAL!

Arrive for 7ish and the first course will be served at 7.30pm in a buffet style. The Old Abbey bar will be open too for that cheeky Tuesday evening pint.

All profits will go into making this Lady Pedal festival one to remember!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/130999604171575/

 

Shakespeare on Bikes

All of us here love bikes, and a good number of us are into theatre. But I doubt there are many who would imagine how these two passions can be related.
Last night the all female troupe of the cycle touring theatre company, the Handlebards arrived in Salford after a two day trip across the Peak District for their 27th show of this year’s tour performing Shakespeare’s “As you like it” in a charmingly chaotic fashion.

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The Handlebards formed in 2012, originally as an all boys theatre troupe with a love of adventure and a “yes man” mentality and have spent the last summers since touring Shakesperian verse with props, set and character all piled onto their bicycles. As you can imagine, this will take its toll on their two wheeled steeds, so it was only natural that their bikes should get a little TLC on arrival! The BikeHive’s Jo and Lady Pedal’s Hannah got to work in the Manchester Bike Hire workshop to check over all the essentials and do the most thorough job possible in the time frame before the show. It was a rare treat to be servicing custom built bikes and investigating this intriguing combination of parts – The girls troupe is sponsored with new edition Pashley tourers, sporting disc brakes and an 8-speed hub gear painted in special edition maroon.

We had the privilege of cycling the final two bikes from the workshop up to Ordsall Hall where the troupe was preparing for their performance in the beautifully kept grounds of the manor under a warm evening sun. The lawn was scattered with camping chairs, blankets and picnics. The show itself began with a bang with the girls bursting into song to the tune of a ukulele. Audience participation and blurred lines between character and reality made for a feeling of authenticity and a fantastically hilarious show with cross-dressing, character swapping, and a hilarious use of props. The performance was high energy and fast paced, keeping everyone engaged throughout – had I not met them on arrival it would have been easy to forget just how far these talented girls had cycled to be there, they are truly a force of nature with seemingly endless reserves of energy!

We had a thoroughly pleasant evening and it was a real pleasure to meet these most talented and resilient actors who have done an excellent job of doing what they love, in a sustainable and productive way! Well done Handlebards!

If you missed the girls’ troupe this time, the boys’ troupe will be performing at Ordsall Hall on the 10th August.

See their full schedule for dates, venues and booking links here.

 

 

 

Bikes and bodies: connect and create

Drawing is a perfect way to connect with and notice your surroundings. We decided that drawing bikes and bodies would be a great chance to learn about both of these things and their relationship to each other.

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We gathered at The Wonder Inn, a creative wellness centre in Manchester, to draw and discuss and learn. The group was drawn from a cross section of the Manchester community and women had come for different reasons. Some were intrigued by the original idea, some love bikes, some were feminists and wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day, some wanted to try life drawing for the first time, others wanted to connect with their creativity.

We started by doodling – the first key principle of drawing is to connect your mind and your hands and to understand how your materials behave. This also gave us the chance to feel comfortable in the room, get to know our model, Maggi-May, and to see our marks on paper without fear of making mistakes. We mused on what we value about our bodies. Whilst we doodled we listened to each other’s pride in the power of our bodies and each celebrated the value of our diverse bodies.

As we moved through a series of poses, learnt the value of just looking and grew more confident in our mark making we discussed the specific experience of being women and women who cycle. We noted how different and diverse women’s bodies are but how our experiences are often characterised by a conflict with our bodies. A few women noted how cycling has reduced this conflict through feeling powerful, empowered, not caring, losing weight, gaining muscle, changing shape or feeling free (or all of the above!).

An interesting discussion about our favourite bodily sensation inspired a renewed love of cycling in a number of the group. Women enjoy the feeling of wind, rain and sunshine on their skin and in their hair. One woman echoed a consensus that feeling powerful, especially standing up and ‘absolutely going for it’ was a great sensation. The meditative rhythm of breathing and pedaling was noted, as was the sensation of being out of breath. One woman mentioned the lovely feeling of weightlessness you experience when one your bike. And everyone agreed it’s a great place to think! I personally love feeling the wind through the hairs on my legs! A great reason not to shave your pins if ever there was one! We all agreed that a child-like sense of abandonment and freedom was something very special about cycling (and drawing!).

We ended the session by celebrating each other’s drawings and discussing the importance of mindful creativity and mindful cycling. The session was so incredibly uplifting; I think we all floated out the room on a wave of empowerment and solidarity!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated! A huge thank you to Maggi-May who participated and modeled! And thanks again to The Wonder Inn for hosting us.

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Here’s what some of the Lady Pedallers had to say about their experience:

 “It was great to spend time with a group of women sharing our experience thinking about body positivity and making art”

 “Great session! I loved the celebration of feminism, empowerment and cycling-we need more of this in Manchester”

 “It was one of the best afternoons I have spent. It’s helped me get in touch with my creativity and love my body and inspire me to bike more often.”

 “Always leave Lady Pedal events looking forward to riding my bike.”

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Photos: Patrycja Marczewska