We will be setting off from London on June 19th 2005 to cycle to Scotland for the G8 Summit. Not only is this the most environmentally sound way of getting there, but it should be great fun and will provide excellent opportunities to network, show support for various campaigns along the way, and to make plans for action on arrival. There will be opportunities to join the Make Poverty History event in Edinburgh on July 2nd, take part in the blockade of Faslane nuclear submarine base on July 4th, and of course visit the famous Gleneagles Hotel to greet the G8 leaders on July 6th.
Check out the press release.
This project is being organised collectively through open public meetings - it is important to understand there will be no one in charge on the ride! Some basic principles have already been agreed by consensus:
There has been some confusion about whether we are the "G8 Bike Ride" or the "G8 Cycle Caravan" - in fact we are both! But we are not the only people cycling to Scotland - see this list of other rides.
Once we set off from London on June 19th this website will no longer be updated and email sent to info at g8bikeride.org.uk may go unanswered but we will have two general purpose mobile phones with us:
There is also a new G8 Bikeride Blog on which we intend to post regular updates.
Here are some of the images which have been created for this project.
Registration closed on 2005-06-17. You are still welcome to join us on our ride and we will do our best make sure everyone gets food and a place to sleep but where facilities are limited we will have to give priority to registered riders:
If you are joining us you may want to have a look at this useful checklist taken from the old G8 Cycle Caravan website.
Riders are strongly encouraged to get to RampART in London on Saturday June 18th where we will be getting things organised. There will be people on hand from 15:00 to help check bikes, a meal will be prepared for 18:00 and at 21:00 we will have a final meeting/briefing. There will already be some people there (eg those cycling from Brighton) so come along in the morning if you can - we will have loads of stuff you can help with.
You might also want to get along to one of the NVDA workshops being held at SOAS - see this events listing at JNV.
On Sunday June 19th anyone wanting to join the G8 Bike Ride from the start will need to make their way to the normal Critical Mass meet-up point outside the NFT cafe beneath the Waterloo Bridge on London's South Bank for 08:00 from where we shall set off at 09:00 sharp! Our route will take us past the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street before heading up though Camden Town and then out of London on our way to Linslade and Redfield. Here is a flyer advertising the departure.
When we started planning this journey the first big decision was how far to cycle each day. One of the goals was to make it as inclusive as possible so we didn't want it to be too strenuous but neither did we want it to take too long. Keeping up an average of about 40 miles per day was generally thought to be a reasonable goal. Cheap accommodation was another requirement so we will be camping some nights and riders will need to carry tents or bivy bags. However, thanks to sympathetic hosts there will be indoor accommodation most nights at no charge! Our hosts will also be sorting out evening meals for us which means we will be able to eat good vegetarian or vegan food at minimal cost without having to carry bulky cooking equipment.
But the journey is about more than just getting from A to B! There are some interesting activities planned along the way and riders are encouraged to bring their own ideas, fancy dress, banners, props, musical instruments etc. It is even rumoured that there will be a tandem towing a kick-ass sound system so bring your favourite tunes:-) Anyway, here is the proposed route (click on place name for details of accommodation etc):
This has worked out nicely as three stages of three days each. The first stage is the longest at 170 miles but it is also the flattest. After our first rest day things start to get hilly but the second stage is "only" 127 miles. After our second rest day we should be getting into the swing of it and the final 145 mile stage, though fairly hilly should be a doddle:-)
We have agreed not to make specific collective plans for what to do in Scotland until we are together on the ride. Some people might want to do their own thing but most seem keen to stick together and that feeling will probably be reinforced as we get to know each other. Here are a few ideas of what might be going on in various places:
Because of poor provision for bicycles on UK trains, a coach from European Bike Express has been booked to get bikes and riders back down South on Sunday July 10th. This will leave at 10:00 from a pickup point in Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station probably - to be confirmed) and make one stop around Leeds before continuing on London. The cost will be £35 per head (sorry, no discount for getting off at Leeds) with a limited number of free kids places.
To secure your place on the coach you will need to pay for it when you join the ride, either cash or a cheque made payable to "London Rising Tide" (thanks guys).
NOTE - as of 2005-06-18 it looks like we have a number of spare places on the bike coach - it is worth contacting us if you think you can use one of them.
Of course there will be people with alternative plans for getting home, and there is potential for hard core riders to organise a return ride:-)
If you like the sound of our project but are not able to join us on the ride you can still get involved. If you live on the route you might want to organise an event where we can stop for a short break or perhaps you are involved with a community radio station and can help spread the word about what we are doing? Let us know if you have any ideas.
Check out some relevent links.