It’s the way I tell em!
There we were just a few days ago wondering (as usual) what it will take to get more people on bikes when along comes an ‘act of God’ so momentous that it grounds Europes 28,000 daily flights (not a typo. 28,000! Jeebus. But that’s a discussion for another day). Iceland’s volcanic cloud left hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded. Many were happy to be stranded in their holiday resort for another ten days but many people simply had to get back to the UK, and as soon as possible. Desperate Brits were making their way back to the UK anyway they could. Rental car availability plummeted to zero over night. Those who could afford it paid £3,000 for taxi journeys and those who couldn’t hitch hiked their way across Europe. To arrive at the quay side facing the white cliffs of Dover with all the ferries fully booked up. Booked up for car traffic, booked up for walk-on passengers, but not fully booked up, it transpired, for cyclists.
Calais’ thrift shops sold out of used bicycles within hours apparently. Brilliant.
Ferry staff, alerted to the ‘scam’occuring under their noses insisted that the ‘cyclists’ actually ride their bikes onto the ferry!
I’ve been to a few cycle trade shows in my time; All the British ones of course, especially the big ones at Ally Pally and Olympia in the ‘olden days’ before they fragmented. The European Handmade Show. And the enormous international ones; Interbike in las Vegas and Eurobike in Freidrichshaffen that take days to walk round.
I’m writing this on the Ferry to Zeebrugge en route to Germersheim and the ‘Spezi’. The Special Bike Show is legendary among the alternative bike folks of the world, the Cargo bike people, the Recumbentists, the Velomobilers. This is the showcase for innovators at the sharp end of cycling innovation and I’ve never been. This is a very exciting moment for me, watch this space for Cyclorama’s Spezi Show report.
I’ve never been to The York Rally either, being the busiest time of the year for anyone involved in cycling I’ve always been working. I’ve got that to look forward to this year too.