Friday, 25 September 2009

Open Cycle Ecology

After our first night, we woke early, left the Lock-Up and headed out into the morning's sun.

Before we left Victoria we had a stamp made up to help us publicise our project. This morning we found some old boxes which we set about cutting into small squares. One of us cut, one stamped and one affixed some double-sided tape to the back.

Another thing we did before we left home was to contact Dan the Bike Man from the Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre to organise three bikes for us to use while we are here. So with our advertising propaganda ready we headed off to Dan's house, the helmets that we brought with us from home, tied to our belts and banging against our legs while we adventured.

We walked and we walked. We filled our backpacks with as much plastic waste as we could carry, and we took turns putting our cards in all the many pockets of this city.

We walked and we walked (it was further than we thought). We sang and we sweated and we practiced social warming with all the locals that we met, some of whom outstretched their arms to embrace us when we told them about our project.

Dan the Bike Man established the bike library three years ago. It is made up of recycled and reclaimed bikes, collected and donated by volunteers and community people. A bike library! Isn't that just the coolest?!

After we selected our bikes, we were handed spanners and instructions so we could modify them to our individual heights.

That's James, one of the many generous volunteers on the left, and Dan on the right. (When Dan signs off his emails, he writes, Bike hugs, Dan.)

When you open up the newspaper to see it filled with ads for expensive watches and cars and flat screen TVs, it can make you wonder what on Earth we human beings are saying to convince ourselves that business is OK to carry on as usual.

When you visit a place like the bike library and meet some of the people whose energy goes in to its survival, you really come to understand the full capacity of social warming.

6 comments:

  1. A Bike Library! What a wonderful idea. Plus Dan the Bike man is a hottie! Bonus!
    Steph

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  2. The supremely beautiful bird in the photograph reminds me of this scene in the 1984 film The Karate Kid.

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  3. Hi Meg
    Yay for you guys being in Newie! I'm a friend of Gerry's and I've also been coincidentally reading your blog for a while (I think it was a link from Looby Lu) so HOORAY the worlds have intersected. Come to our house and have a cup of tea or a meal or both! I'll come in to the Lock up this week and show you I'm nice although Gerry can vouch for me- I'm an artist and a mum and stepmum of six and what's more our mulberry tree is going berserk at the moment and it's an excellent climbing tree.
    The project sounds great- looking forward to meeting you.
    Nicola

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  4. Nicola, hello!

    So great to receive your welcoming comment. We would love to come and over and climb your mulberry tree and have a cuppa.

    If we aren't at the Lock-Up when you come, Gerry has our mobile number. We probably won't be too far away.

    Looking fwd to meeting you and maybe interviewing you for my stepmum project?

    See you soon,

    Meg

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