‘Clunkers Ride’ celebrates aged and pre-owned bikes

Published on: cyclingweekly.com

A collective formed to draw attention to the impact cycling has on the environment is organising a ‘Clunkers Ride’ to encourage the celebration of aged and pre-owned bikes. Now in its third year, having taken a break during 2020, the Clunkers Ride organised by Shift Cycling Culture will take place from May 1 to May 2. Individual organisers can step up to register a ride, and a list of rides available to join will be circulated. Interest has been diverse so far, with rides in Belrin, Turinand Seattle already in the pipeline. Of course, all group meetings must be organizsed in line with local Covid guidelines. 

Riders can choose to take part on “any bike”, no machine or rider will be turned away from being clunky enough. However, the goal is to draw attention to the consumer culture sometimes present in cycling by choosing to ride older bikes, even spending some time bringing a previously unrideable machine to life in advance. Shift says: “The main thing is to spark conversations and create awareness by making you, and others, think about the age of your gear and the way you consume and treat what you own. ‘New’ is not a bad thing in itself: it is just interesting to question if you really needed a replacement for what you had before. Was it out of date, or just out of fashion? And if it’s broken: can it maybe be fixed, or upgraded?”

Rides can be any distance, with the overnight timeframe given to add a little freedom for adventure, if this is possible within Covid guidelines locally. One of Shift Cycling Culture’s Directors is Erik Bronsvoort, author of ‘Sustainability in cycling – From Marginal Gains to a Circular Revolution.’ A keen cyclist himself,  Bronsvoort has cast a detailed eye over the cycling community and its tendency towards a linear economy, where frames and components are often purchased, used for a limited time, and then discarded as opposed to being reused or rejuvenated. This theme is made ever more present via proprietary components which aren’t always available for the life of the frame they serve.