It’s worth noting that even our HQ is coloured Spokes Green. Such a fact needs to be marked with a photo. It’s also a good opportunity to demonstrate the strength of women in numbers to Pop Up’s very own Dipak!

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Our first performance is only one week away. We’ve learnt the routine, next step is costumes!

A few of us spent a long evening crafting our way through all the green and black material we could find. We’re going to look amazing!

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The show starts 17:15, Thursday 3rd April, University Place, Oxford Road.

This is it, big announcement time.

 

We can now confirm The NEW Spokes have their first ever performance booked for next week! The University of Manchester Bicycle User’s Group are celebrating 1000 members. We have chosen this fantastic landmark to be the debut of Manchester’s new bicycle dancers!

 

Thursday 3rd April, 17:15, University Place (by that building on Oxford Road that looks like a giant tin can).

 

The troupe have been working very hard to write, learn and perfect a brand new routine. You’re in for a real treat if you can make it!

We are excited to officially announce North West Velo Fest will be returning in 2014. Dates have been confirmed: Friday 16th to Bank Holiday Monday 26th May! 11 days of fun and frolics on two wheels (or 3 or 1 if you prefer). Events will include: bike-lock-key-swap-party, ministry of silly pedals, Spokes-style allycat, open bike dancing session, canoeing, and much more. We are accepting submissions of event ideas to fill the few remaining empty slots. If you have a concept for a great session of bicycle-based wonderment, get in touch!

Tonight the new Spokes were born! And they’re brilliant!

The new line up consists of 5 women who have no experience of dancing or performing and haven’t been on kids bikes since they were kids. There is just one person who has done this before, that’s myself, Kat. I’m facilitating the launch with the view of this eventually being a collective with everyone contributing to ideas, rather than me leading just because I’ve done this before. I thought this would take about a month to get the new Spokes creating ideas. I was very wrong!

I pre-planned a basic introduction to bicycle dancing session for this evening. The women whizzed through it and before I knew what was going on they were coming up with ideas of their own. We now have the backbone of a routine, plus costume ideas, all in 2 hours! Their enthusiasm, creativity and sense of fun is exactly what I was looking for.

We did an exercise coming up with poses, then I showed them a few formations. From this, I tasked them with getting themselves into a pose with the bikes. And they formed this. Pretty good for day one

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Lotte fell off her bike during the pose exercise, and the way she landed is how they came up with the pose the middle row are doing. This is the creativity I’m talking about!

Last night we had our Spokes Mechanics Session. The little bikes have been laying unloved for a year, so it was time to get them spruced up ready for the new members.

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One of the many things I’ve gained from being a Spokes is bike mechanics skills. When it’s my own bike I’ve spent money on and rely upon to get from A2B, I lacked the confidence to attempt fixing things I didn’t understand. But on The Spokes bikes, well we get them in pretty bad condition, so I felt relaxed playing around with them, surely I can’t make them any worse? I’m lucky to be a part of an awesome bunch of women who enjoy sharing their skills. Knowing how to fix bikes gives you independence and freedom. It’s confidence boosting, empowering, and extremely useful. I now stop at the roadside offering help to people in trouble, not everyone is willing to accept help from a woman in a summer dress, but you’d be impressed the number of tools I can fit in my handbag!

So back on topic, with the help of Jessie and Caz, we successfully got all the little bikes into working order. An impressive achievement if you’d seen them before hand!

Bring on the first rehearsal! It’s not too late to get involved, just get in touch!

Tonight The Spokes moved into their new home! The folks at Pop Up Bikes on Corporation Street have agreed become the new Spokes HQ! Next week we’ll be fixing up the little bikes ready for them to meet the new members.

Here’s a photo of the Spokes Bikes hanging out in their new home:

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