Saturday 27 July 2013

Magical Manchester Critical Mass

July's Critical Mass was a magical experience. It kicked off with mechanical problems, I had a flat on the Brox and the Coffee Cranks Trike had a problem with the back wheel.

As a result the ride moved off fairly late, but no one seemed to mind in the summer sunshine.

The ride took some different roads to normal.

It included a section of the inner ring road - with nearly 200 people it easily took the whole road.

Followed by Deansgate,

and into Liverpool Road

Though I could have done without the cobbles in Castlefield.

The Mass then headed south along Higher Cambridge Street, Lloyd Street North, Upper Lloyd Street and Lloyd Street South

and finally into Platts Field Park

for an evening of film and food.

One of the best ever!

Thursday 25 July 2013

Bikes at the Tatton Park Flower Show

I got bored at the Tatton Park Flower Show today, it's not as good as previous years, so I ended up bike spotting...

These were being used as props on the  "Breaking the Cycle" garden. First a not very convincing abandoned bike,

and it's redeemed partner.

Then this one was selling sheds,

and this "Flyer" was selling something else...,

but the best bikes were promoting the RHS and its services.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

8 Month Closure of Liverpool Road - NCN6

United Utilities are about to close the junction of Liverpool Road and Water Street from the middle of August 2013 for approximately 8 months.

This is part of National Cycle Network route 6. It is a busy cycle commuter route and links to Princes Bridge.

The reason is a large amount of work to improve the sewers.

"When it pours down in Manchester, the sewer system can quickly fill up with rainwater. Once the sewer pipes are full, this water, containing diluted sewage, has to go somewhere and at the moment spills into the Manchester Ship Canal... We will be installing an underground chamber with filters, to block out items that should not enter the Manchester Ship canal on those rare occasions that the sewers do overflow."

I spoke to the team from United Utilities when they were on site and they are only planning to close the road itself. The pavements will still be open. However, they did not know whether there are any plans to allow people to cycle on the pavement instead.

However, on a positive note, the closure will make Liverpool Road a much nicer cycle route without all those drivers rat-running through the area. That is if United Utilities remember to block the rat run via New Elm Road and along the cobbles on Potato Wharf. If they don't there will be colisions at the junction of Liverpool Road and Potato Wharf and the cobbles will just get ripped up by the heavy traffic.

View Closure of NCN6 in a larger map

Monday 15 July 2013

Trafford Cycling in the Altrincham Parade

On the 6th July I rode the Brox and sound system down to Altringham to join the Altrincham Festival Parade. It was an experience in total contrast to taking part in the Manchester Day Parade. For a start the parade is very long, going from St Margarets Road in Bowdon, all the way to Beech Fields in Timperley and unlike the Manchester Day Parade, which is almost entirely pedal and foot powered and is strictly no advertising, this convoy is dominated by advertising for local companies and the huge trucks of the local scrap metal companies which sponsor the event.

Pippa Cameron and Emma Copson had put together an entry in the parade under the banner of Trafford Cycling.

Forming up in St Margarets Road.

Moving off - just one or two people around...

Downhill into the town centre.

We had around 40 people on a variety of cycles.

Unfortunately we were stuck behind a large truck with a very loud live band onboard, so my sound system was struggling to make itself heard.

Richard Alderson of GMCC turned up on a hired Brompton...

and there was a big contingent from Simply Cycling on all manner of machines.

Several miles in the strong sunshine meant we were pretty weary by the end.

Emma entering the festival site.

And as the prizes were being announced Pippa decided we ought to go over to where they were being handed out, just in case...

We were awarded, Highly Commended in the Voluntary entry class!

All in all it was a very worthwhile exercise and is likely to be repeated next year.


Some photos from elsewhere on the web

One of me...

and this photo appeared in the Sale and Altrincham Advertiser

Sunday 14 July 2013

July's Tweed Ride

It was a lovelly day for the Tweed Ride today, though linen was more suited to the weather.

A good selection of riders and machines set off from St John's Gardens in Castlefield and ended up in Platt Fields Park after a tea stop at Whitworth Art Gallery.

The bonus was bumping into the Reggae bike man on my way home.

You can see more about the man and his machine in this video.

The Man Behind The Bike from Rosalind Gahamire on Vimeo.