Sunday 28 April 2013

April Critical Mass - in Kraków

Zygmunt Wysocki of Coffee Cranks Coop has just posted this on Facebook

This is what Critical Mass looked last week in Kraków, Poland. 830 participants. Any ideas of how we can help Manchester Mass grow?

I missed Manchester's April Critical Mass, but I'm sure it wasn't anything like this big.

How do we grow the movement to the kind of levels they have seen in Poland?

Sunday 21 April 2013

Popup Bike Jumble

Popup Bikes is an odd-ball bike place in an archway under the tram lines in Corporation Street, near the new Coop building. Dipak, who runs it, has an easygoing but entrepreneurial attitude mixed in with a large helping of social purpose. What with the film nights and photo exhibitions the place is almost like an unofficial/alternative Manchester bike centre

This Saturday Popup Bikes hosted a bike jumble.

It was small in scale, compared to the events at the velodrome.

There were a few bikes for sale as well as parts and accessories,

But on a sunny Saturday afternoon it seemed to end up as much a social event as a commercial one.

When I dropped in again at the end of the day the conclusion was it had gone well, so it may be the first of many.

Saturday 13 April 2013

The Meccano Bridge

I came across the Meccano Bridge whilst exploring cycle routes between Manchester and Bury.

Approaching from the west it sits astride the remains of a spectacular flight of locks.

The detail on the structure is wonderful. A real homage to a childhood favourite.

It is just wide enough to cycle across on both directions.

On the other side there are two lovely picnic benches in the same style.

It is part of the restoration of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal.

The canal tow path at this point is nominally a cycle path, but it is only suitable for rough terrain machines...

View Larger Map

Tuesday 2 April 2013

The Daisyfield Greenway

Quite an odd little rail-path this one, small but perfectly formed one might say...I came across it as part of NCN6, taking me from Manchester to Bury, more of which another time.

As you join it from the south you are greeted with this grand stone telling you about the project.

Turn right towards Bury and a wonderful wide, well lit railway path awaits.

With the exception of the broken glass it is by far the best maintained part of the route from Manchester to Bury.

The Wellington Street Viaduct even has pavements for pedestrians.

However this is where the path ends, as the rest of the rail route has been built on by the local school.

If you try going in the other direction you soon reach the end of the path.

I didn't venture beyond this point.

Bury do have ambitions to extend the path...

The problem seems to be round here that really good paths like this are short and don't go anywhere, whilst longer, more useful routes are pretty poor...

View Daisyfield Greenway in a larger map

Monday 1 April 2013

Manchester's Biggest Bike Route Barrier

There are bike route barriers and bike route barriers....

Here the gates have been left locked along the Irwell.

There are Salford's anti-tandem barriers...

and the path-width ironwork along the Fallowfield Loop.

However they are all tiny compared to the latest cycle route obstruction in Victoria Street. This road was closed to motor vehicles several months ago, but was supposed to remain open for cycles. Since when it has been mostly obstructed by gardens, but this last month Manchester has built what is possibly this country' biggest cycle barrier - a temporary cathedral!

This structure blocks the entire roadway, forcing cycles onto the narrow pavement on either side. There is no provision for bikes at all, so people are simply riding along the pavement.

Manchester City Council have clearly not thought this one through...

And yes it may be April Fools Day, but we get this kind of thing all year round.