Voting for The Fréd Awards has recently opened. The Fréd Awards recognise outstanding contributions towards cycle culture in Northern Ireland and are voted for by the public. This is the second year they have run, with last year’s awards presented by Belfast’s Lord Mayor.
The awards are run by The Fréd CC, an informal cycling club which takes its name from the derogatory term used by some road cyclists to refer to riders who don’t conform to their norms. The Fréd CC wants to reappropriate the word to mean “anyone with a deep passion for cycling”.
Their intention in hosting annual awards is to recognise campaigners, bloggers, inventors, artists and everyday people who contribute towards a vibrant bike culture in Northern Ireland. Last year’s winners included NIGreenways for Best Blogger, Peter Weir for Most Engaged MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) and McConveys Cycles for Best LBS (local bike shop).
The awards also included Queens University for Best Campaign after they highlighted that there were five cars parked for every 1km of cycle lane – making a nonsense of the phrase ‘cycle lane’. There was also an award for Worst Cycle Infrastructure which was graciously received by Andrew Grieve for the patch of road known as Cyclesaurus. This was a triangular strip of paint which guided cyclists across a three entry junction onto a two-way segregated cycle lane with those exiting the lane into the crossroads being guided onto the wrong side of the road. It has since been demolished.
This year’s nominations include Michael Smiley and Michael Hutchinson for Best Media Personality; Victory Chimp and See Sense for Best Innovation; and Lovely Bicycle and Malachi O’Doherty for Best Blogger. Winners receive a bespoke handcrafted Fréd Award in the shape of a head tube badge.
You can vote and find out more about the Fréd Awards and Fréd Festival by visiting http://thefred.cc/, www.facebook.com/TheFredFestival and @thefredfestival. Voting is open for another three weeks and the awards will be presented in the Linenhall Library, Belfast on the 12th December.