Monday, 22 July 2019

The Velorution is Now!


In we went cycling in to the bike-in cinema at the De Roma in Antwerp! We watched a programme of short films around bicycles, in anticipation of the Critical Mass Belgium. This was our favorite The Climb.

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This was Critical Mass Mass Belgium 2019 http://www.critical-mass.be/
Somebody came cycling straight of the canal to join Belgiums big critical mass of the year. World Naked Bike Ride was a bit early this year and people didn't know which way to go...

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Trees! We need more trees. To arrive in Ghent the cycle path took us through the Garden of the Children. For every child born in Ghent a tree is planted in this little forest. We like!
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We like the city of Ghent too. A wonderful city where active meassures are being taken to calm traffic and increase space for the people!

This bridge, only four years ago was a four lane bridge with a constant traffic jam passing over it. Now it is a mini plaza with benches, a Fritterie and lots and lots of people on foot and bicycles! Yey! 
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You can imagine the rest of the inner city like this, more trees, more bike lanes, more pedestrian zones and less cars.
In the neighbourhood where the Bike Kitchen is the neighbours organised a Street party, road closure for three months one summer. It was an experiment to see what would happen. People loved it and a lot of good things have come out of it... the kids now have astro turf in the football court and actually use it, lots of people have met each other and are now friends and some of the street furniture is now permanent and people have somewhere lock their bikes and to hang out. Living streets in action!


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Just down that road there the Fietskeuken Gent are back in their old , now new again workshop in the Mobelfabrik. The developers never got to build their tower block because the locals resisted and the council listened. 
Gent is cool! And so is the Bike Kitchen. We had a great time playing for them for their house warming party.

http://www.fietskeuken.org/fk/
 



An easy ride from Gent to Mons, following the fietskooppunten system.
We met some old friends in Mons and got to visit their beautiful garden on top of an old military bakery, Le Jardin Suspendu de Mons. It was a super hot weekend, we jumped in the fountain in the town square and we were very lucky to have tumbled upon this oasis in the centre of town. Trees, shade, beer and happines. A perfect way to spend a sunday!
https://www.lejardinsuspendu.be/
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Le Laveur de mains a velo,           le velophant de Pneusia         et le herisson pas ecrase.
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We took the long and flat way round, along the canal to enter Lille from the north. Lots of gravel, sand and dust big boats loading and unloading until we enter the greenway that leads us into heart of Lille just in time for the Fete du Velo. It was very windy, bicycles blew away, the pizza oven on a bicycle had a hard time staying lit. The choir on bicycles was excellent, even in the wind. They were singing whilst cycling - it felt like we were in a movie.... Les Cyclistes de Lille

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And we did our show in this superb little bike workshop/ bar/ paint shop. It's busy and buzzing in here and the beer tastes yummy!
bike workshop http://lesmainsdansleguidon.fr/
beer http://www.singe-savant.com/

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Onwards to Amiens, which swollowed us and bathed us in goodness. We stayed with a real clown, visited the inside of the Cirque Municipal Jules Vernes, went to the cinema to see I Clown, some of which was filmed in this there Amiens Cirque! In and around Amiens we played our show three times and it felt like if we'd stayed we could have easily played another five shows....

To the left le clown Rafistol. He didn't steal our bike. He did give it back eventually, because he's our friend now!
https://rafistolblog.wordpress.com/ 

And here the gert lush places we played our show
http://www.lamaisonducolonel.com/

http://la.briqueterie.over-blog.org/

https://lamachinerie.org/

And a big thank you to the local cycling association for hosting us and being our agents
https://veloxygene-amiens.com/














Through the boarded up windows of an abandoned building a gateway into the world of Jules Vernes... lets go!
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Amiens is so sticky we didn't get away very easily and spent two fun weeks in the company of Alain, Francoise and Loic in Liomer, baking bread, saving horses from the heat, building Jyoti the toilet seche, cleaning tomatoes and bundling faggots....
https://paindalain.blog4ever.com/

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Fun's over. Welcome to frustrating cycling infrastructure. Maybe all the obstacles are there to test the pilgrims patience...
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We didn't go this way nor that way or that way either....
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We went this way! Short cut!
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We came out in a cave, chez les troglodyte and the tenth aniversary of Seen This. How lucky! We spend a fun filled weekend in the cool cave while the sun baked high up above the ancient fort, singing into the night, keeping the owl awake, recruiting chickens for the big chicken dance https://seenthis.net/

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Finally we got to play our show in Blois at the atelier Velo 41. It was the last open workshop before the summer holidays, it was hot again and we had strange punctures with six holes at the front and a hole in the tyre on the rear. It must be those pixies that live on the Loire.

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http://velo41.fr/

Oh, we're are we now? What's going on? What's this all about? Why are we here? DSCN1077

Yes!!! It's the tenths aniversary of Roulement a Bill in Tours! And to celebrate it cyclists from all over France and beyond have come to ride with the Velorutionairies of Tours and celebrate! http://www.roulementabill.org/

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Our third visit to Tours and our friends at Roulement a Bill but a first for a Velorution Universelle! It was a blast, a 60h whirring of free wheels, a thousand bike bells a ringing. Together we transformed Tours for a long weekend into a happy valley of cyclists
http://velorutionuniverselle.org/

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Benjamin from Recup'R Bordeaux brought his little lino print workshop with him. We made cycletastic prints!
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Extinction Rebellion, dangerous anarchist activists joined the Velorution  with freshly printed flags. Tell the truth! Act now! Beyond Politics! https://rebellion.earth/

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Just before the depart of the Velorution, we all listened to an extract of another dangerous activist the actor Jaques Gamblin talking about two wheels. It's in french, it's poetic and sublime. Roule Roule! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXsg2t940kE 

Looks like we're all dangerous activists nowadays... It's time we were!

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One last glorious outing of two wheeled fun, with a little group of us heading west we tumbled across an evening with Cine Cyclo. A perfect way to round of the weekend and this blog. We cycled into a cinema in Antwerp and in Brehemont the cinema cycled for us.
https://www.cinecyclo.com/

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Let's go get us a pic-a-nic basket

A long long time ago in another Galaxy, in the mountains of Amidon we took all our belongings off of our bikes to hunker down for the winter.

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In the town of Lure we hoisted the Extinction Rebellion flag for the climate marches.

Lure Marche pour le climat

Now winter's over and we set forth in search of bicycle fun again. And what fun we are finding!

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Our first show of the season at La Q'on Vive in Commercy was a blast! It set us of on our way to Utopia. But wait, 8215 km is too far.
We'll go 3km and have a utopian sojourn in Lahaymeix, enjoying the Vent des Forets art project.

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Onwards, following the Meuse a Velo to the french capital of marionettes Charleville Mezieres.
We met Punch and the Giant Pupeteer and played our show at Plume et Bulle cafe librairie associatif.

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Close by in Sedan, every two years they give a photographic address to the world in the form of a festival of photography https://www.urbiorbi.photo/.

Meanwhile along the Meuse a bunch of wheels and a tumble of bicycles.

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Belgium! We have arrived! It's true, there are funny sculptures and fritjes! Welcome to the slow life in Namur.
We didn't eat the snails. We ate chips!

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The green green of the woods always makes us smile.
We went the long snail way round to visit Vlanders biggest forest on our way to the Bereklauw.

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People are drowning, the ice caps are melting, whale bellies full of plastic. Follow the bear!

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Find the duck and sit with the bear at De Bereklauw.
A muddy utopia of dumpster diving, community life and being kind to each other.
We slept in the sauna, hiding from the rain, got muddy with the pigs and went on a belated easter egg hunt.

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In Mechelen we jumped into the sea, to wash of the mud and then took the minibus to.....

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.... the Antwerpart Arte Art Weekend. We went straight for the taart art at Het Bos and ate cake. Yum! We like art!

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