On Saturday 26th September 2015, there was the 9th Velo Vintage Occasion and Ride in Exeter.
This event is starting to be THE gathering to cycle, take tea, converse and dress with style.
It is similar to a time travel journey for a day. The participants meet, ride, eat and have fun by showing passers-by lovely bicycles, tweed suits and lovely hats.
Alistair and Seb Cope are now well established. Each time, there are more and more stylish people and there are prizes too for the best:
- dressed lady
- beard (that’s one for the hipsters)
- decorated bicycle
- good sport of the day
- dressed gent
There were flat caps and bowler hats too.
On that particular day, Exeter had another vintage event as well. It was about classic cars and motorbikes. It was taking place in Barnfield Crescent. A private Georgian crescent, where petrol heads decided to meetup and have a bit of a party.
This was the second annual classic cars and bikes event – an unashamed imitation of The Goodwood Revival, drivers and guests to dress in period costume to match their vehicles – Source
The two events decided to make the day even more special by merging at 1.15pm.
Alistair Cope was leading the classy cycles on his own penny farthing in Exeter city centre towards Barnfield Crescent!!!
The visitors of the crescent were surprised to see even more well dressed individuals making their way through the beautiful location under a beautiful blue sky.
You can imagine the kind of semi organised chaos when eighty classic cars with their drivers, twenty vintage motorbikes and about hundred people on bicycles shared a narrow space. A great family day out hosted by Turner Locker
Everything went perfectly well and it is always with great pleasure to see that technology is not necessary to have a good event.
Food, drinks, music and coffee stalls were placed on the lawn as well as Sam White’s camera obscura.
And when you hear people saying that Exeter has nothing to offer… This is a real proof that there are in fact a lot of things happening but you just need to put your ear on the ground… High Street is not always the place to be to enjoy a fun day outdoors!
Not enough people are aware of Bikeability! It is widely available and to go straight to the point it is about “Cycling Proficiency for the 21st Century“.
Being in Devon there is something even more special: Andrei Burton is involved in the scheme!
Who is Andrei Burton (just in case you are not on the same timezone)!
He is a multi Guinness World Record Holder – passionate about riding his bike.
To get the full picture, visit his website http://andreiburton.com/
In fact, he is more than just showing his face – he is backing Devon County Council’s project to make sure that Bikeability goes forward.
To clarify, Bikeability is dedicated to children who want to discover, explore and learn how to cycle safely and further down the line are able to enjoy the freedom of riding a bicycle whether in the countryside or in the urban landscape. Safety first and once this is acquired… the rest is history.
…Hundreds of thousands of young cyclists have already received Bikeability training and have been awarded coveted Bikeability badges and certificates. We want as many children as possible to have the opportunity to take part in Bikeability training, and it is estimated that more than 1.5 million will have been trained by March 2015… Source
It is also related to get the cycling community involved throughout Devon – it doesn’t matter whether you ride a road bike, MTB or fixed gear too.
Devon is the largest provider of bicycle training in England. And then, there is The Exe Trail which makes things easier for families who want to go for a casual ride along the river Exe. The map shows a rather interesting itinerary from both sides of the Estuary.
Very practical and fun if you want to spend a few hours between Exmouth and Dawlish. A real joy for tourists staying for a well deserved Break in this County. It is a real breath of fresh air when leaving their Devon holiday lodge and embracing the beauty of nature – this is what makes this area of England so unique.
In the past decade things have improved so much. Before, (shared) cycle paths were either rare or difficult to access. Thankfully, Cycle Devon has turned things around! The website has regular updates and social media (twitter and/or facebook) provides mre than a handful of information.
All this couldn’t be possible without the financial support of DfT (Department For Transport). The amount in question is £264,000, which will allow 6,600 children to be trained for the year 2015/2016.
For more information related to cycling in Devon as well as Bikeability – including Summer Holiday courses – please visit cycledevon.info
For the ones who never heard or been to BikeFilmNight – here is a short definition:
It is a casual and relaxed evening where films – mainly about fixed gear – are screened. It is about getting the Exeter cycling community (on fixed gear or not) under one roof for a couple of hours or so. The cost of a seat is generally a few Pounds (usually less than a fiver). The money taken goes to a charity not to One Gear Exeter.
In the past (since November 2012), the event took place at Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre in the cosy Blackbox space. 40 seats would receive the audience.
There were also a handful of local businesses able to show their products/services before and after the projection such as:
- No Guts No Glory,
- Magic Bike Mike,
- Alistair Cope (Velo Vintage),
as well as Dave Noakes and Juliet Elliott representing Coven Magazine and ready to interact about various things linked to fixies as both have been bike messengers in London.
Now it is time to change venue just because it is time to change venue. Always good to find different places – which doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again at The Phoenix.
This is where the real venture, battle actually starts.
Exeter can be difficult… Emails have been sent, meetings and chats happened to find a free space with projection equipment (projector, screen, computer…) and 40+ seats. Exeter has offices/boardrooms and other spaces with such installations! Just thinking of the new Exeter Library Rougemont Room with all facilities needed. However, the price for this room is a daily rate which can reach around £180! And well, it is not exactly open after 7pm anyway…
Having had various discussions with local theatres, pubs and other places, it seems that there is a rate to pay to have this type of evening! However, why having to pay a fee when 100 percent (and not only the benefits) of the money taken is going to a charity – all cash taken at the bar is in fact kept by the actually place hosting that evening! Exeter can be difficult to get the point of BikeFilmNight. Once again, One Gear Exeter is not a business and doesn’t make money but in fact drags 40+ people into their space. The winner is the host and it is great and free advertising too.
You would think that a local business would be more than happy to shelter such cycling event where everyone is welcome to watch short films/documentaries about fixed gear culture without being pretentious.
All this to explain why Exeter hasn’t had a BikeFilmNight meetup since September 2014.
Fear not, as there are a couple of quirky venues which are rather interested to receive BikeFilmNight. Date, time, address will be revealed in due course… just be patient (or try).
Thank you and follow #BikeFilmNight on Twitter for the updates.