Spring cleaning bikes at the farmers market

Spring is here and it’s time to get the rust and spider webs off the bikes. I’m helping out in a local organisation called Cycletastic that promotes cycling by fixing bicycles, teaching how to navigate the streets, organising workshops etc. There are some really cool people involved and I enjoy taking part in the events put on. I can do the basic maintenance but still got plenty to learn so this way I get to help other people while I learn more about bikes; a true win-win 🙂

This Sunday we set up a booth at the farmers market in Queens Park and held the first “Dr. Bike” event of the year. Here is one of the guys from Cycle Training UK helping me out with a kids bike.

cycletastic at Queens Park 008

We had Ann to help manage the queue and with six fixers we had our hands on 41 bikes in four hours. Busy times but it was great to help people get their bikes back on the road.

Dr Bike at Queens Park

The cycling culture in London is still not that widespread but there are a lot of initiatives from the city and from non-profit outfits like the Cycletastic, Cycle Training UK and London Cycling Campaign. The people I meet from these organisations are really passionate about getting people to bike and it is great to see the grass-root spirit involved.

Invisible Children at UCL

Last night Ann and I went to a presentation and discussion about the child soldiers of Central Africa and Global Citizenship.

It started out as a civil war in Uganda but today, more than 20 years later, the conflict continues as a terror regime where the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continue to abduct children and mutilation and slaughter the local population. The LRA has caused the lives of thousands and dispalcement of millions of people in Uganda, DR. Congo and Sudan.

Invisible Children started out as a film project for three American guys and has turned into a grass-root organization trying to help the children affected by the conflict. It’s a conflict that hasn’t had much focus which is what the Invisible Children organization tries to do and one of the things discussed in the panel debate was how to bring attention to it.

The story is heartbreaking and what the organization is doing is really admirable in trying to give these kids a chance for an education and meaningful life. Until the conflict comes to an end it is worth reminding ourselves and our governments that we should not just stand by as this happens.

See the whole documentary Invisible Children: Rough cut.