'Clunkers Ride' celebrates aged and pre-owned bikes

Got a bike that is looking a bit unloved and gathering dust? Let May 1 be its lucky day..

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, 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 Was it out of date, or just out of fashion?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 '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.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.

A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly. 

When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan 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 190rt.

She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 

Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg

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