It was our first time at the Electric Picnic. We had heard it would involve music, food, and fun. We found it was much more: tea-drinking in tepees, weddings in inflatable churches, and – oh joy – creative cycling. Here’s a description of some of the cycling protagonists.
First, there was Barry, a bike wizard from Kerry. Barry is so passionate about bikes, that at a certain point he began building them. Recently, he also taught himself to weld. With those welding skills, his bike building got to the next level, and he built the metallic blue high-seater and pink low rider that were to be seen at the Picnic. Festival goers were especially keen to try out the high-seater. Cycling like that, their head six feet above the crowd, allowed for first class unobstructed views of performing artists.
Then there was Roisin from Clare, who works for An Taisce. She set up her ‘smooth operator’: a bike pedal powered blender. From her experience with the Green Schools, she knew children love to pedal, especially when they’re rewarded with a sweet smoothie. At the Picnic, she learned that the same applies to adults. In fact; an admonishing Roisin had to tell several grown ups to let the child – pedalling ferociously, sweat on its forehead, eyes intent from effort and from longing for a smoothie – finish its run, and to wait their turn.
Finally, there was Nicola. Together with many others, she represented the Dublin Cycling Campaign. The campaigners talked and listened, and lobbied and advocated, and did anything to get more people to cycle. Nicola’s way of telling visitors to cycle, was by showing them what a stylish thing cycling actually is; with a bicycle fashion show. It featured Mondrian style rainwear, sturdy Dutch bikes, and pink flowers. In pink crates. Very colourful.