Bios

Get to know all about your favourite Spoke!

We are increasing in numbers and always welcome new members so get in touch if you’re interested!

There’s no hierarchy in The Spokes, so we’ve listed all our fabulous members alphabetically.

 

CURRENT SPOKES

Caroline, Scientist

Favourite things in life:
I love camping, dancing to any kind of music and being out and about in the countryside so music festivals are my heaven. i love riding my bike everywhere even in the freezing rain, you feel invincible when you’ve got 8 layers of waterproofs on and you get to see all the interesting little bits of life you miss in a car or on a bus, and i love mountain biking because there’s no place you can’t go on a bike. i also love kickboxing, cooking amazing food and curling up into a little ball in big duvets.

Most memorable Spoke moment:
Discovering I can carry people on my shoulders! Or having daft ideas about what to do with our bikes and being taken seriously:)

What the Spokes mean to me:
I love the spokes! i love that we can play around wherever we like on bikes and have wild and ridiculous ideas that we can make real if we want to. i love our enthusiasm and the fun-loving attitude we all share. and i love that every time we ride our bikes somewhere it’s like a mini critical mass.

 

Chemistry Claire, Scientist

Favourite things in life:
dark chocolate, good films, beer, red wine, visiting family in Ireland, riding my bike, overtaking lycra clad cyclists with lots of gears on my fixie, learning tricks on mini bikes

Most memorable Spoke moment:
The look of astonishment on my neighbour’s face when he looked out of his bedroom window only to see me on Caroline’s shoulders!

What the Spokes mean to me:
Having fun and not caring how ridiculous we look. I love when we are together, generally giggling, encouraging each other and as a result the most seemingly- impossible and crazy ideas are made into a fabulous green and black reality. With the Spokes, anything is possible!

Eleni, Engineer

Favourite things in life:
Films, food, drink, sun and the sea

Most memorable Spoke moment:
My first rehearsal, where I felt in minutes I was among friends

What the Spokes mean to me:
Exploring limits and lots of fun

Emily, Architect and Urban Planner

Favourite things in life:
Cycling all over the city, sunny weather, New York City, dancing, fancy dress parties, Saturday mornings, well designed products and buildings, the weekend magazine, risotto, my red blue bike.

Most memorable Spoke moment:
In an acrobalance session, our instructor was trying to help me with my body shape as I attempted to balance backwards on Carloine’s knees, his only remark was “banana, banana, BANANA!”

What the Spokes mean to me:
I love being a spoke, cos I get to play on a bike with my friends! I think it’s important to give the bike a new image, to communicate to people that you don’t have to wear Lycra and have 20 gears to ride, but equally you don’t have to care what your bum looks like too! It was a bit daunting at first, but everyone supports each other and the routine has evolved and got on better with input from everyone.

Hazel, Speech & Language Therapy Student and Summer-Spoke

Favourite things in life (in no particular order:
Trees, grass, biscuits, running, sunshine, sleeping, hairy feet, climbing, dancing (I mean really dancing), making lists, being awake, reading, laughing, nonsense and silliness, that bit between being awake and asleep, poetry, music and the people I love

Most memorable Spoke moment (so far):

Anytime we ride the mini bikes across Manchester, I feel like we’re the BMX Bandits from The Warriors. Learning to ride backwards at the master class we had with Chris was probably my top Spokes moment so far – “It’s just like riding a bike….but backwards”

What the Spokes mean to me: 

To me the Spokes represent positivity, doing something fun, silly (in the best sense of the word) and creative. Basically - playing – adults often forget to do this and I think especially this is true for women. Forget about image, being cool or being whatever other people want you or expect you to be. The Spokes is a chance for me to just enjoy doing something fun with some lovely people, to have a laugh and not be judged on how good you are at something (I can just about ride a bike forwards – but this lot seem to think there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to ride backwards – or perform routines in front of an audience) Being encouraged and told you can do stuff is always awesome… And on a more philanthropic note, it’s cool to be part of a group sending this positive message to the world – communicating the joy of cycling (for example) through the medium of disco! Gooo Spokes!

 

Jen, Nurse

Favourite things in life:
Birds (feathered)
Creepy crawlies
Rock pools

Most memorable Spoke moment:
Pretending to be a car

What the Spokes mean to me:
Expanding the role of the bike in my activities of daily living.

Kat, Management Accountant

Favourite things in life:
Bicycles! The freedom they bring, being able to go anywhere under my own steam, riding with friends, challenging myself, enjoying myself, feeling liberated, loving my method of transport, connecting with other cyclists. When I’m not on my bike, I love music, festivals, gigs, touring, travelling, playing games, being silly, running on beaches, loving life!

Most memorable Spoke moment:
Our first performance at Critical Mass. The nervousness and excitement beforehand, transporting all our props into the city, the responses afterwards, the cheers and laughter! The complete disbelief that we’d actually pulled this off and (even more surprising) people seemed to enjoy it!

What the Spokes mean to me:
Having the most fun with the best women ever! Acting out our strangest ideas. Learning new skills I never thought I’d be able to manage. Communicating the joy of cycling through the medium of dance!

Miriam, Teacher

 

Favourite things in life:
Concocting fermented foods and spreading the gospel thereof.  Dreaming about one day constructing my own treehouse.  Singing, playing the piano accordion and being active – cycling, running, outdoor swimming and walking.  Slippers.  Kittens.  Living in Manchester.  Oh, and Horrible Histories.
Most memorable Spoke moment:
Actually, strictly speaking, it was pre-Spoke… the moment I realised there was such a thing as bicycle dancing: nothing has made more sense to me since.  A close second occurred on the way home from bike play one evening.  While waiting at the traffic lights on Oxford Road, the Spokes gave a spontaneous rendition of the “Bananas of the World Unite” song to unsuspecting passers-by.
What the Spokes mean to me:
Creativity, laughter, good friends, and, above all, freedom.  The Spokes are happiness on two wheels.
 
 
 
Susana, Graphic Designer
 
What the Spokes mean to me:
The chance to meet and be part of a open-friendly-active-funny-greeny/blacky – bike rider – helpful group. and feel like a child again.Most memorable Spoke moment:
For a while, I took the place of a different Spoke each week at rehearsals.Very confusing!!
Favourite things in life:
Travel, coffee, old and useless things, freecycle, the hidden beauty of things, sea-water-sand-beach, be on the water, the freedom of ride a bike, black, the pleasure of eating, sun, music, dance, lost control, “random” word, drink in a good company, sleep “a la belle etoile”,…
 
 
 
 

 

PREVIOUS SPOKES

Becca, 38, Building Services Engineer working for an environmental design consultancy

Favourite things in life:
1. Food, drink and good living generally, 2.Being active – cycling, aikido, running, swimming, walking. 3. Friends to share 1&2 with

Most memorable Spoke moment:
The first practice riding the bikes to the Unicorn car park in a gang – just felt like being 7 again.

What the Spokes mean to me:
Feeling 7 years old, good friends, good fun, fun bikes, exploring my limits

Lauren, 21, Student

Favourite things in life:
Going on countryside adventures with my beautiful bike Fudge, chickpeas, days in bed, climbing trees, hula hooping, giving food away for free, woollen items of clothing, Turkish delight, the seaside, and lots and lots of tea.

Most memorable Spoke moment:
The first time we did a “splat” from a human pyramid. Brilliant!

What the Spokes mean to me:
Learning to do fun acrobatics and ride teensy tinsy green BMXs, telling the world quite how wonderful bikes are, and wearing lots of green.

 

Tamara, 23, Chemistry PhD Student

Favourite things in life:
Cheese, crackers, wine and really nice cocktails. Hot radox bubble baths. A good cup of tea. Snuggling up in pyjamas and dining gowns. Travelling to different countries. Seeing the world from a bicycle point of view.

Most memorable Spoke moment:
Doing a headstand for the very first time. Splatting from the top!

What the Spokes mean to me:
Being around a bunch of lovely women, who are so supportive in every way – from learning acrobalance to chatting about bicycles and things in life.

Emma, 27, Schools Environment Education Worker

Favourite things in life:
My mates, anyone who can smile in the face of adversity or fight the good fight, glitchy electro, dirty drum and bass, the sea, hot beverages, bonfires, dancing in forests, laughing loudly, being busy, mountains, our allotment, being vegan, reading, watching movies, cycling (obviously) qi gong.

Most memorable Spoke moment:
When me and nes first mastered the art of flying despite being scared and found the perfect equilibrium! it felt amazing, and gave me the confidence to keep on trying despite my fears….

What the Spokes mean to me:
Laughing and learning new skills like acrabalance and building a bike powered soundsystem…Hanging out with an inspiring group of women…Thinking about creative ways to use the glorious invention that is the bicycle! Having fun!

Joanna, Student

Favourite things in life:
Mum and Dad, seminars where i get lost in the theories we’re discussing, good lecturers who care about teaching, books, when you have a nice exchange with someone who you will never see again(like a bus driver), when you have a nice exchange with people you see all the time (like your friend), grade 4 maturity cheddar cheese, that people laugh when they’re on their own, SINGING. my bed. getting a good mark in essays. understanding things. as is obvious from the theme of my answers, my degree (asking how SHOULD we govern society?/ abstract thoughts) when something good actually appears on the news/in papers/in life. mulled wine at german christmas market. SINGING AGAIN just to stress the point. when someone tells me i’m a good singer. being outside. the spokes. affection (given and recieved). the prayer of st francis. The list could go on. that friday feeling. overtaking boys on my bike.

Most memorable Spoke moment:
I reckon it’s going to be our first performance. aside from that it’s bit of a blur. i can remeber feeling really elated after 1st doing one of the acrobablnce moves but can’t remeber which one. also the first time we went for drinks together after practice and i realised that i’d got involved with something that was going to be wicked.

What the Spokes mean to me:
new friends.
women kicking ass.
confidence.
having fun.
a whole new side to cycling.
making me interested in new things like acrobalance.
not being afraid to look silly.
being committed to something.
being part of a group.
enthusiasm.

Nes, 28, Bike It Officer for Sustrans

Favourite things in life:
Hugs, dancing on my bicycle, riding fixed, fixie spotting, organising events and stuff for I Bike MCR, sitting on cliffs watching gannets dive, bananas, my job as a Bike It Officer with Sustrans, my friends, forests, wide open spaces, free parties, standing on top of mountains, holding hands with my friends, eating yummy vegan cake, kissing, getting my hands dirty, swimming in open water, whistling, writing rambling thoughts on my notebook that i carry everywhere, bears

Most memorable Spoke moment:
My most memorable Spokes moment is laughing. Whenever I think of being in the Spokes I just think of women that I love and respect, wearing funny green and black costumes, and laughing loud. So loud and free that my belly wobbles and all my stomach muscles tense up. When I think of the spokes memories of of group hugs and of adventures flash through my mind.

What the Spokes mean to me:
In many ways it means that my friends (and people I don’t know too) are willing to go along with a crazy idea that I have! Basically I was inspired by The Sprockettes and the B:C:Clettes in the U.S and wanted to start a bike dance troupe here in the UK. I mentioned it to some people and they were like “WHAT??!!” but others, who became spokes, where just like “WOW, ACE!!” and that makes me feel a little less mentally ill!!!
But really it also means having fun with some amazing, inspirational women that I’m so glad I met and have the opportunity to have this fantastic bond with. To perform as a dancer is something I never thought I’d do, but it’s so much fun and I’ve learnt so much and become so much more aware of my body and gained so much self confidence.
I’ve been organising stuff as part of I Bike MCR for a few years now and it’s all so amazing and community building. I feel part of something really special, like a bike family. The Spokes feels a bit closer though, maybe it’s because we’re all women, and I have THE MOST fun with The Spokes than with anything else!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s