2006-06-12 @ RampART
Present: Patrick, James, Imogen, John, Tabs, Tim, Matt, Eva, Lilian, Jasmine, Neng, Jack, Ian (minutes)
The scheduled route planning meeting which was due to precede the main planning meeting did not take place but we had a brief report on the route planning that had already been done.
Ian pointed out that it would require backtracking too far to visit the route of the Linslade bypass on Monday morning so it was decided to pass by there on Sunday evening even though that would clearly be less effective. For the route out of London it was suggested that we try to obtain multiple copies of the relevant free LCN maps (John).
We agreed that everyone is to send route plans to Patrick for compilation and that he would work out what still remains to be done. It was suggested that grid references for key locations be included in route plans.
James reported on plans that have been made in Brighton. There will be a Critical Mass meeting on The Level on Thursday at 5pm to leave at 6pm, after which the riders will be going out for a drink. They will then meet at 9am on Friday at the Palace Pier to set off for London at 9:30.
James also spoke about arrangements for the Faslane blockade. Faslane is not actually very far from Glasgow so it was thought that those who go would probably cycle there rather than take the bus. There is accommodation organised in Glasgow but we might be staying at the Cre8 space instead. Ideally we should get to Faslane on July 3rd and there will probably be room for a few people to stay at the peace camp. If we go as a large group we would probably have to find our own space somewhere nearby. Alternatively we could leave Glasgow early on July 4th and still be able to take part in some of the day's activities.
It was decided that it would be better to have two general purpose mobile phones on the ride, ideally on two different networks to improve the chance of getting coverage in remote areas. Lilian offered two SIM cards (Vodafone and Orange) and the numbers will be published shortly. We also have offers of two phones to use them in. There was a suggestion that at least one number be advertised as "text only" and there was also discussion as to whether they be used for different purposes (eg one just for riders and one for media and other enquiries). These phones will primarily be used for incoming calls.
Ian briefly explained the difficulty of updating the main website while on the road and John offered to set up a blog which could be used for daily reporting, uploading photos etc. When this is active it will be linked to from the main site.
Patrick had received an email from Cumbria police requesting information about our route, number of riders etc and was unsure how or indeed whether to respond. There has been general advice from the Dissent! legal group not to respond to any approach from the police. There was some discussion about this issue and it was thought that the best thing would be to forward any police emails to the list and keep responses to a minimum - for example just tell them that all relevant information is publicly available on our website. No one is likely to want to take on the role of an official, named police liaison person because of the risk that they will be falsely targeted as an organiser.
During the ride the police might phone our general mobile numbers and it was agreed that we would have to brief anyone on phone rota about how to respond (eg not just telling them to fcuk off!). It was suggested that we might have a few people on the ride who are willing to return calls to the police so anyone who receives a call should just get a name and number and pass the information on.
Ian gave a report on progress with hosting arrangements. There are still questions about Nine Ladies and Lockerbie. There are a few possibilities for Carlisle but since it is only 18 miles from Penrith we made a decision to push on and attempt to reach Talamh a day early. It is 95 miles from Penrith to Talamh so if we do it in two days it is less than 50 miles per day and by then we should be fit enough to manage it! The half way point will be somewhere around Lockerbie and we are looking for a suitable place to camp. One of the main advantages of this decision is that people will have an extra day to chill out at Talamh before heading up to Edinburgh where it would be good to arrive on the Friday to join a suggested Critical Mass type event. Ian will update the website and inform Carlisle and Talamh contacts about our change of plans.
Tony was not present at the meeting but had provided a copy of a suggested rota sheet on which people would be asked to sign up to help with various tasks each day, which are (number of people in brackets):
The idea was that the head team would be responsible for route finding, scouting ahead, finding suitable lunch stops etc and the tail team would bring up the rear and help stragglers amongst other things.
In light of the decision to have two phones there will obviously need to be an extra person on phone duty. Tony has obtained 3x10 litre collapsible water containers which can be used to collect water when required, so "Water duty" is another possible job. The only other job that was suggested for the rota was a pair of coordinators for each day who would take on the task of making sure all the other jobs were getting done!
There is obvious concern about getting away on time so it was agreed that we should encourage as many people as possible to stay at RampART on Saturday night. There needs to be some sort of check-in procedure, and the more people who check in on Saturday the better.
On the Saturday we agreed that we would have people available to check/fix bikes from 3pm, a meal at 6pm and a briefing/final meeting at 9pm (this will effectively be the 7th National Planning Meeting).
Ian reported that there had been some doubt about whether we could justify chartering the coach with so many unfilled spaces but he thought that it was too late to cancel. There are about 150 cycling to Edinburgh as part of the Make Poverty History campaign and it is known that some of them are still trying to work out how to get back so it should be possible to fill the seats but it will require some sort of advertising which Ian will look into.
Two trailers have been obtained by Tim. Patrick also has one and there are probably a couple more that we can get hold of. People were encouraged to bring trailers to RampART in case we need more than two - they can always be stored there if not.
There was still no press release so at the end of the meeting we split into two groups and while one worked on route planning the other drafted some text. Patrick agreed to type it up and post it to the list for comment.
Tool kits have been obtained already and someone (??) agreed to get 3 first aid kits (it was suggested that we get some knee supports etc as well).
Someone said that they thought that the East Coast ride from Sheffield to Edinburgh is being organised by Sheffield Rising Tide.
When we are in Nottingham it was suggested that we help publicise their Critical Mass.
There does not seem to have been much effort made to contact local media, this is something that we should be encouraging our hosts to do for us.