Tag Archives: Manchester

Petition to support local coop

20 Jan

Petition to support local coop

I guess this is the right time to write about the project I am supporting with all my ❤ and time whenever I can.

Coffee Cranks Cooperative is this amazing community project I’m talking about and the one that needs my, your, OUR help now!

It has been recently set up by a couple of friends who wanted to change the world but started with their nearest environment. With the help of one of the dads, they built a beautiful cargo bike which they wanted to use to ‘sell delicious and ethically sourced coffee, tea and snacks’ and to ‘bring positive change to our communities’.

Being a regular participant of the Critical Mass and many other cycling events, customers and sellers at different festivals and markets they became an inseparable part of Manchester cycling scene (and not only) and have brought such a positive change to the community!

By being a coop, Coffee Cranks promotes equality

By selling ethically sourced tea, coffee and snacks it advocates fair trade and people’s rights

By using a cargo bike instead of a car/van etc. CCC cares about the environment, climate change and promotes healthy life style

As the idea was to being a street trader, in December 2013 Coffee Cranks applied for a street trading licence. At the beginning of January the application was rejected and the Coop is not allowed to trade either in front of the Edinburgh Bicycle Coop (can you imagine a better place? Fair trade coffee sold from the bike by the coop in front of another coop) or Dover Street at Manchester Uni that is in the places they applied for.

Those who objected were Manchester University and Oxford Rd Corridor whose arguments are ridiculous. One of them is the ERDF Funding both of them refer to which apparently is one of the reasons why they can’t support projects like Coffee Cranks but when you check it online, it clearly states that:

‘The money [from the Funding] goes to public, private and voluntary sector organisations to support economic growth.

The priorities are to:

*support innovation and the knowledge-based economy

*stimulate enterprise and support successful businesses

*ensure sustainable development, production and consumption

*build sustainable communities’

And again: ‘Nine of the programmes we manage focus on regional competitiveness and employment. These aim to strengthen a region’s competitiveness by promoting innovation and enterprise, as well as development, production and consumption that does not damage the environment.’ Doesn’t it mean that ERDF Funding indirectly supports projects like Coffee Cranks? If so, isn’t such an argument an absurd?

Both the Corridor and the University mention loads of other reasons why they don’t want to support these sort of initiatives but as my dad put it: ‘The i-tree projects The Corridor refers to is an action which aims to ‘fight against climate change’- isn’t CCC the best example of how to do this? They sell their goods from a bike, they ride it (not load it on a van and drive with it), they don’t pollute the environment and also promote this healthy lifestyle among others. Isn’t it enough? It seems to me that Claire Lowe who wrote the comment didn’t even bother herself to have a look at the website to see what the bike looks like and what the project is all about but simply copied pasted the text the Corridor has got prepared to use in such situations. Shame on you and the whole Corridor Board!’

Please sign the petition and spread the word. WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW!


Thank you!



Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam

22 Nov

Have you seen the video? I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to turn left or right here in Manchester without signalising it cos every other road user is cautious and prepared for that…


North West Velo Fest 2013 and Manchester’s cycling culture

16 Jun

Long time, no post… I could find loads of excuses but don’t want to do that. Will start from writing the actual post straight away. The North West Velo Fest 2013 has ended and if I was one of the organisers I wouldn’t consider it a success. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to complain but to be honest, in such a big city as Manchester there should have been many more participants than there were. How come the closing party of the Fest is attended by 20- 25 people? How come there are only around 20 people attending the Tweed Ride? I understand people have different commitments, may not be in Manchester at the time of the events, the weather may be discouraging rather the other way round so I guess the organisers should have taken this into account and invited many more than those 300 people to the events on FB. I did that with all of my Manchester friends, only a couple of them came but I tried. If every single person tried to do the same, many more would have known about the festival and probably participated. Or maybe the promotion shouldn’t have been limited to FB only? Maybe posters left in places such as Students Unions, the International Society, Eight Day Cafe, Unicorn etc. would have done the job? Who knows…

There are over 500k people living in Manchester itself, over 2mln people in Greater Manchester. There are a number of cyclists among them and only a handful of them know about the Velo Fest, the Bike Month and even fewer attend the events. So definitely there must be something wrong about it! Don’t know whether it is a way of promoting such events, lack organisation, skills or simply organisers don’t care how many of us will come and whether there will be someone new or not. Maybe they just want to organise it for themselves and their friends not for other members of the public? Maybe there’s no one group or some sort of association for cyclists and those who would like to change something in the city? There are loads of different small groups but unfortunately, they don’t seem to be working together for the better future (of cyclists)…

I’ve always thought it would be great if there were more people coming to the Critical Mass, showing support to the idea of cycling, more being aware of the cycling culture here in Manchester and more participating in different events (if there are any) around the city. To be honest, maybe it’s my ignorance (maybe not) but I still don’t know who’s responsible for the Critical Mass, every month there seems to be a problem with the route (there’s no one set route, it’s always different and nobody never knows where we’re going) or with stopping cars from running us down. Those who are late can’t join the group somewhere on the way because they don’t know where we we are and where we’re going unless they know someone who’s taking part in it and can call them. I really don’t know reasons behind that but maybe many of those who come don’t feel the need to change people’s attitudes toward cycling and cyclists, they just come, ride, go back home and wait for the next month’s mass? Maybe they just consider it another reason to go out, meet the same people, get drunk or something else and that’s it? Nothing more. Below, there’s are a couple of photos from April’s Critical Mass in Krakow, Poland (you can find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/KrakowMiastemRowerow). Hopefully, one day the Mass will look the same here in Manchester…




Manchester Day Parade 2013

5 Jun

I never thought I would participate in such a big event! Honestly. I remember being one of the gawkers last year and two years ago too and didn’t think the parade was cool. Until this year when I took part in it myself and realised how important it is for people to be part of it, (both as participant and as onlookers). I understood that this makes people feel proud of the place they’re living in and creates this special bond with the placec. And this is one of this things people need. We like to identify ourselves with things and places and if this is the place we live in, the better!

Back to the Parade! It’s great that so many different group managed to make huge mascots, costumes, prepared special shows just to show others that they exist. I was part of GMCC that is Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (http://www.gmcc.org.uk/) which promotes cycling and wants to make it safer and easier. There was a giant cyclist on a giant bike built for this occasion, there was also a gentleman riding a penny farthing, the cargo bike brought by Coffee Cranks Cooperative (http://coffeecrankscoop.org.uk/) and many other cyclist on their (not so typical) bikes. The atmosphere was very positive and we had a really good time there. There’s just one thing that could have been done different. Instead of being taken to a storehouse right after the parade, the mascots and platforms should have been left in a park or some other open space where people could come and talk to those who made them and learn more about the ideas/places behind them. I’m sure many would like to know more about the events and classes at Z-Arts Centre (http://www.z-arts.org/) or  cycling events around the city but this is something for organisers to think of next year…

Giant Cyclist

Giant Cyclist

Coffee Cranks Cooperative

Coffee Cranks Cooperative

Penny Farthing (or Ordinaries)

Penny Farthing (or Ordinaries)

One of the cyclists

One of the cyclists