A collective formed to draw attention to the impact cycling has on the environment is organising a 'Clunkers Ride' to encourage the celebration of aged and pre-owned bikes.
Now in its third year, having taken a break during 2020, the Clunkers Ride organised by Shift Cycling Culture will take place from May 1 to May 2.
Individual organisers can step up to register a ride (opens in new tab), and a list of rides available to join will be circulated. Interest has been diverse so far, with rides in Berlin, Turin and Seattle already in the pipeline. Of course, all group meetings must be organised in line with local Covid guidelines.
Riders can choose to take part on "any bike", no machine or rider will be turned away for not being clunky enough. However, the goal is to draw attention to the consumer culture sometimes present in cycling by choosing to ride older bikes, even spending some time bringing a previously unrideable machine back to life in advance.
Shift says: "The main thing is to spark conversations and create awareness by making you, and others, think about the age of your gear and the way you consume and treat what you own. 'New' is not a bad thing in itself: it is just interesting to question if you really needed a replacement for what you had before. Was it out of date, or just out of fashion? And if it’s broken: can it maybe be fixed, or upgraded?"
Rides can be any distance, with the overnight timeframe given to add a little freedom for adventure, if this is possible within Covid guidelines locally.
One of Shift Cycling Culture's Directors is Erik Bronsvoort, author of ' (opens in new tab)Sustainability in cycling – From Marginal Gains to a Circular Revolution.'
A keen cyclist himself, Bronsvoort has cast a detailed eye over the cycling community and its tendency towards a linear economy, where frames and components are often purchased, used for a limited time, and then discarded as opposed to being reused or rejuvenated. This theme is made ever more present via proprietary components which aren't always available for the life of the frame they serve.
To organise a ride, or seek more information, check out the Shift Cycling Culture Clunkers Ride page. (opens in new tab)
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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