Sunday, 3 January 2010

More pictures

Here are some pictures that didn't quite come through in time for each day's blog. Instead of retrospectively adding them to past blogs, I have made a separate blog entry for them all here.

Keith and Brenda Thompson just before setting off on The Wave from Grosvenor Square

Albert just before setting off on The Wave from Grosvenor Square

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and Beardy Man in Grosvenor Square

Mary gets a huge cheer upon announcing she set off from Bradford on her 80th birthday

Mary, Heather and Jack on stage in Grosvenor Square

The London Eye, after The Wave, approximately 16:15

Bradford route - day 2 - Sheffield to Nottingham

Sumac Centre, Nottingham

Sumac Centre, Nottingham

Setting off from Sheffield station

Halfway Junior School

Mary and Heather

Claire and Ellie



Bradford route - day 1 - Bradford to Sheffield

John Bibby leading riders out of Centenary Square, Bradford, Monday morning.

Albert, just before setting off on Monday morning

Monday, 14 December 2009

BBC Leeds interviews

Before and after the Bradford ride to The Wave BBC Leeds interviewed us. Both of these interviews were available using the BBC's Listen again feature for a week after broadcast, but now that those shows have expired, you can hear both interviews below...

Climate Chains BBC Leeds interview 1 Monday 30th November 2009

Climate Chains BBC Leeds interview 2 Monday 7th December 2009

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Wheels thank you!

Thank you to everyone who played a part in making the rides from Leeds / Bradford and Manchester a great success. Whether you rode with us, baked a cake or brewed a coffee, provided a bed, spread the word, gave us a cheer, whatever you did we are very appreciative of your help. All the riders, from age 13 to 80, who set out by bike for London made it and had a great time at The Wave, as I'm sure all those of you who arrived by train and bus from around the country did.

The rides are over but the race for action on climate change isn't won. Join Oxfam activists and take action daily during the Copenhagen Summit to ensure our politicians don’t fudge it.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Bradford route - Day 5 - Cambridge to Walthamstow

We started today with yet more cake (we're not complaining!) this time provided by local members of WDM outside the Corpus Clock (a giant time-eating insect, outside Corpus Christie).

Mary was interviewed by 2 radio stations, and then we set off out of Cambridge. Fabiola, who had put us up at a church for the night, rode with us today, and we had gorgeous weather. We stopped in Ware, and ate some legendary award winning chips, which we thought were good, but not particularly outstanding. We then took the tow path along the River Lea, which was a dramatically different experience to what followed - the hellish traffic of London town. We met up with some people from a community food project at Hawkwood on the edge of Epping Forest, and some of them led us into Walthamstow.

The day didn't pass without its mishaps. There were several punctures, Heather damaged her handlebars riding into a bollard and Sam took a minor tumble in the traffic, having made the schoolboy error of not quite separating foot from pedal. But apart from these minor incidents, it was a good day, rounded off by lush curry and chocolate cake at the Hornbeam Centre. And what a great feeling of achievement to all have made it to The Hornbeam Centre, which 4 days ago was >200 miles away!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Manchester Airport to Heathrow

Having left Manchester Airport on Tuesday morning we will reach Heathrow tomorrow afternoon. And it's official cycling between airports is much more fun than flying! We've been blessed with fine cylcing weather and meet lots of great people along the route. Today we had a lovely ride through Cotswold countryside on the leg between Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford. And 65 miles a day now seems well within our reach. Perhaps following The Wave on Saturday we'll just keep going until we reach Copenhagen. We should make it there before the UN Summit comes to a close.

Hope to see you all out on the streets on Saturday for the Climate Emergency bike ride - from Lincoln's Inn Fields at 10 am and The Wave from 12 pm.

Thanks to Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign for the photo below from Manchester Airport.

Bradford route - Day 4 - Peterborough to Cambridge

Warboys Primary School's new bike and scooter shelter

Last night we had some lovely beer, perhaps a little too much, at a micro-brewery after our lovely meal. We felt perky this morning though. That is until we had a puncture, and a broken valve, and it was raining. So our journey through the fens to Warboys was a little miserable, and we arrived there a little late. Apologies if we seemed to make a beeline for the cake when we got there, but we were more than a little cold and wet and in need of some nourishment! The cakes were delightful - five different kinds of homemade cake, of which two were vegan!

It turns out Warboys is an interesting place, and quite a key location in terms of climate change in the UK. Warboys village itself is c30m above sea level, yet much of the Parish is below sea level. So the people there are very much in the front line in terms of the impact of climate change in the UK. We learnt a lot speaking to Vicky Morgan of Warboys Greener Futures, and also staff and children at the local primary school. The school's new bike and scooter shelters (pictured) were built after they won sustainability grants from the County Council and the Red Tile Windfarm Trust.

The area of the Parish that is below sea level is 'true' black fenland, down to 2m or more below sea level. What makes this even more significant is the presence of a landfil site, which itself is below sea level. It used to be a regular waste facility but was changed into a toxic waste facility. This was outside of the area below sea level when developed, but of course if sea levels rise this waste site, and the village, will become increasingly vulnerable.

What was also interesting was that despite the village's situation and long term vulnerability, and the active local participation of Warboys Greener Futures, many of the locals feel the same as they do anywhere else we've been. Apparently the general feeling of local people is that:
  • they don't think climate change is likely to affect them much
  • they're not really sure what they could do to help anyway
  • they're glad that someone else is actually doing something
So, after a dreadful morning, we were really pleased to have visited Warboys and we wish them all the berst of luck with the Greener Futures project. Our luck had turned by the time we departed, and we were actually in Cambridge for 3:30pm.

By contrast, the Manchester riders seem to have had a nice day's weather cycling through the Cotswolds, and as yet have had no punctures. I hope I've not jinxed them by saying that, and I'm looking forward to being able to report tomorrow on the Bradford and Manchester riders all meeting up in Walthamstow.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Bradford route - Day 3 - Nottingham to Peterborough

Veggies looked after us well in Nottingham last night, and we learnt that 90% of rainforest clearing is to grow soya for animal feed. After stopping for a live phone interview on BCB Radio, we were nearly stampeded by cows! Then a hill and a demolished bridge snuck up on us, and by this point we'd had 2 punctures and were behind schedule! As we passed our half way point, we enjoyed some hot pasties by a christmas tree in Stamford, before getting a wee bit lost & suffering 2 more punctures. We were still more or less cheerful though, and met lots of friendly locals in Linconshire.

We got to Peterborough at 6pm, which wasn't too bad considering the delays we'd had. Kerry at the church cooked an amazing meal, which was followed by Green Drinks. Green Drinks is something they do here in Peterborough once a month, and on this occasion they tied it in with our visit.

We are once again touched by all the comments we've had on Twitter today.

Manchester route - Day 2 - Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station to E.ON UK HQ, Coventry

Eion speaking with school children in Ibstock about Climate Change

We left Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station at 07.30 this morning. Then, headed off on our journey towards E.ON in Coventry. A big thanks to everyone who came out to meet us Ibstock. The school children were great. We were filmed for Belgian and Swiss TV. Lets hope the message gets across in translation! This evening we were on BBC BBC Warwickshire at 7pm. So, all in all a successful day!
Eion being interviewed for TV