Friday, 29 May 2009

Workshop May 2009

May has been a very busy but great month for us here at hamilton house and we have seen a lot of happy people cycling away on their new bikes! We have been working with a mixture of both young and old and male and female and we feel extremely privileged to spend time in the company of so many wonderful people from all over the world and from such diverse backgrounds.

We are continuing to receive many unwanted bikes from the general public and we are very grateful to those who have brought bikes down to our workshop and also to everyone that has helped spread the word about what we are doing. Thankyou!

bikes = freedom

we recently received an email from a friend of ours - ben moss at bristol wood recycling project and wanted to share it with you:

"Well done on your Bristol Bike Project. Bicycles = Sustainable Movement + Personal Control = Freedom in a constrained world. Free bicycles = Freedom for all.

Bicycles are a vehicle for physical freedom. But from the empowerment they give, they also create freedom of the soul. It destroys physical barriers and by doing so destroys mental barriers. My bicycle changed my life. I reckon you'll be doing the same by giving away yours".

Friday, 22 May 2009

Bike-Costuming Workshops

We are very happy to announce that we will be running two bike costuming workshops with our good friends Sylvie & Kev from Spoke n' Chain on the 24th & 25th june at our workshop in hamilton house. We will be working with a group of 15 refugees & asylum-seekers, who have previously worked on and received a bike from us. The workshops will involve a lot of cutting and painting cardboard structures that can then be fitted to peoples' bikes for the bike parade at St Paul's carnival on Saturday 4th july. The theme is seas & oceans. If you fancy lending a hand at either of the workshops, please contact us at
Be sure to come down to see the Carnival bike parade on the morning of the 4th July!! article

A recent article published about our project on here:

Thanks to rebecca and all the team for taking an interest in what we are doing and for helping us spread the word about the project!

Richard's Bicycle Book

I recently purchased 'Richard's Bicycle Book' in a secondhand bookstore on Gloucester Road in Bristol. Ballantine's book, first published in 1972, fortuitously appeared at a time when cycling was experiencing a resurgence in popularity due in part to the oil shortages of the world oil crisis and the appearance of lightweight road bicycles. He is currently chairman of the British Human Power Club and of the World Human Powered Vehicle Association.

I wanted to share this passage from the book:

“...You have to expect that I would believe bicycling is a good idea, but how do I get off expressing the notion that bicycling is philosophically and morally sound? Because it is something that you do, not something that is done to you. The most important effect of mechanical contraptions is that they defeat consciousness. Consciousness, self-awareness and development are the prerequisites for a life worth living. Now look at what happens to you on a bicycle. It's immediate and direct. You pedal. You make decisions. You experience the tang of the air and the surge of power as you bite into the road. You're vitalized. As you hum along you fully and gloriously experience the day, the sunshine, the clouds, the breezes. You're alive! You are going some place and it is you who are doing it. Awareness increases and each day becomes a little more important to you. With increased awareness you see and notice more, and this further reinforces awareness.

Each time you insert you into a situation, each time you experience, you fight against alienation and impersonality, you build consciousness and identity. You try to understand things in the ways that are important to you and these qualities carry over into everything you do”.

It is our genuine hope that the people that receive a bicycle from us will get the opportunity to experience that vitalization and sense of awareness that riding a bike can bring!