Next summer, the eyes of the world will be on East London as the 2012 Olympic Games get under way with the opening ceremony on 27 July – but 12 months ahead of that, Mabley Green in the Lea Valley, just across the road from the Olympic Park, will host a Celebration of Cycling Festival next month on Sunday 31 July, running from 11am to 5pm
The grass-roots event aims to celebrate “the weird and wonderful in cycling, bicycle arts and culture,” and has been developed in partnership with supporters including the Mabley Green Users’ Group, the Muf architecture and art practice, Hackney Council, Hackney Youth Services, Velobici.cc, Penguin Books, The Arcola Theatre, Bike Works, View Tube, Cycling Club Hackney and the Kenton pub, on Kenton Road E9, will be showing cycling films after the main event.
Organisers say that the event will be opened by an as yet unnamed guest celebrity from the world of cycling, and the day will include the chance to try out a tandem, plus grass track racing and other cycling related competitions – people with unusual bikes are encouraged to bring them along – with signed copies of Rob Penn’s book It’s All About The Bike on offer as prizes.
Tandems, penny farthings, tall bikes, unicycles and classic frames will all be on show, while there will be a bicycle crafting class for kids, bike workshop with free maintenance, maps and advice, a display of bicycle art and culture, as well as a cycling-related jumble sale, or ‘Bumble’ as the organisers snappily put it.
The event is promised to “have the best of a summer village fete feel, with a bicycle twist” and coincides with the Hackney Wicked Arts Festival.
Anyone interested in getting involved, whether that be showing your bike, sponsoring the event, exhibiting, taking part in competitions or volunteering to help the day run smoothly, can get in touch with the organisers by email.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.