In the next issue of BicycleBusiness, to be posted at the weekend, there’s a ChainReaction piece from a one-man-and-his-dog bike shop that has run Bike Week events three years running, and garners lots of local PR in the process.
Trevor Halstead of Church Street Cycles of Gainsborough argues that it’s crazy that so few IBDs do anything for Bike Week, and Nick Harvey, the Bike Week organiser, is incredulous too.
"We’ve mailed all ACT members and everybody on Madison’s customer list a copy of the Event Organisers’ Guide for this year’s Bike Week and Bike2Work promotion, plus an event registration form. But the response has been, ahem, slow."
It’s not as though IBDs have to stage mammoth events. To become an official event organiser – and receive free posters, certificates and prize draw leaflets – all IBDs have to do is register online and promise to provide "free advice on cycling" between 14th and 22nd June.
This is clearly something all IBDs do anyway but it’s a numbers game and the powers-that-be look askance at publically-funded projects that achieve little industry support.
"The Department for Transport will stop funding Bike Week if the trade – retail and supply side – does not make a more visible effort to support what is the UK’s only professionally co-ordinated promotion of all kinds of cycling," said Harvey.
"Local authorities, CTC groups and cycling campaigners run most Bike Week and Bike2Work events, despite the fact that dealers have most to gain commercially from encouraging more people to cycle more often."
More than one thousand events will be registered as part of Bike Week this year, including many Bike2Work rides in aid of Cancer Research UK. Register at http://www.bikeweek.org.uk