Summer picnic for community cycling champions

Community picnic St James park 27th Aug

Always a bit of a gamble putting on an outdoor event during an English summer but the community team's picnic in St James Park attracted 25 cyclists who were promptly rewarded with some late summer sunshine.

The afternoon provided an informal and relaxed opportunity for projects to mix, share ideas and experiences, and encourage each other to take part in the remaining events of the yars, particularly the Mayor's Skyride.

Gwen Cook from Hammersmith and Fulham's Agewell project made the most of the adternoon by incorporating it into the scheduled rides for her group.

'Today is the last session for this course, and we rode over here so that we could also ride across the Waterloo and Westminster birdge to get some practice crossing junctions. We timed the ride to finish at the picnic for some much deserved food and drinks.It all worked out rather well!'

Fiona Smith, project leader of the Townmead Youth project also from  Hammersmith and Fulham, brought a group of youngsters along for the afternoon.

Although some of them proclaimed - quite loudly - that they would have preferred a BBQ, they soon got stuck into the crisps and cakes provided, and even eventually even went for some apples, grapes, and bananes, instead of the anticipated burgers.

'We've got our bikes now, and what we had used as an art room has now been taken over by bikes, bikes and more bikes,' says Fiona.

'As well as our new ones, they (the young people) have taken to bring in their bikes and their mates' bikes, and to fix them in the maintenance workshop which was set up with the help of the Community Cycling Fund for London.'

Rev Charles Potter from Bromley cyclists wowed the youngsters when he turned up on his recumbent cycle sporting a fluorescent pink cycle jersey, and turned heads all round.

'What's that thing he's riding? Look at that - it's well sick,' exclaimed Townmead youth. Sick meaning cool for those of you who are not down with the lingo.
'Why can't we have one of those?'

All in all, the event got a thumbs up from all attendees, particularly when they were each handed a specially devised, bright green goodie bag containing a range of Big Lottery and Transport for London branded products to take home.

'Excellent! I have a growing collection of brightly coloured cycle stuff but I haven't got one of these,' said one of the attendees from the English Churches Housing Group.'It's great when you get a going home present!'