Biketober has come and gone; we’ve even now shot right through November, and at last convenor Robert can catch his breath and reflect on this year’s activities:
The fourth annual Biketober Festival of Cycling held in Christchurch is over for another year. How did it go ? Did you participate in any of the 53 different events ? What was your experience ? Do you think the festival is worthy of continuing as an annual event, and if so, what changes would you like to see?
The Biketober format for 2020 largely followed what worked well in previous years; staging a variety of small events organised by the team themselves, or in association with other related groups in the city. Some events were put forward by external organisations, Biketober simply added them to the programme.
Of course, this year large events were off the programme. The risk of being at Covid lockdown level 3 or even 2 any stage during the month meant that it was a better use of time and resources to focus on what was already tried and tested. It is testament to the resilience of the bicycle that such events can easily be organised in a year of such unpredictability. Overall attendance numbers were in the vicinity of 1000. Out of the 53 different events, nearly half were organised by external groups; the rest coming from the Biketober Team or a combination of both.
Again, Biketober opening event, The Rainbow Rave, was a blast. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere fun. It was great to see the numbers increase from gate-crashers who happened to be in the area at the time. Note for next year would be to commandeer the Dance-O- Mat in advance.
And once again it was the collaboration with other organisations that allowed the Biketober fun to spread further around the city with the Get On Yer Bike Day held at New Brighton, Better Beckenham ‘Loop the Loop’ Fun Ride, and Greening The Red Zone group of organisations for Velo a’ L’est – Cycle to the East on the Avon River Trail.
The Biketober MyPassport Competition and One Day Challenge remained anchor events for 2020. Despite some excellent October weather throughout the month the number of codes entered was down about 25% to 1635 from 2019. Covid uncertainty meant there were a few less business destinations and reduced prize pool. Again, however the feedback was positive. Adding a variety of static destinations was well received as they add to the interest and take participants to places not normally biked to. This year the Passport provided an alternative one day event – A Trip to the Gardens working with the Canterbury Community Gardens Association.
What will 2021 bring? The Biketober Team have generally agreed that there will be a Biketober in 2021. The popularity of everyday cycling in Christchurch continues to gather momentum particularly with further cycleway development progressing in earnest. A big thank you to all of the team for the months of hard work put into it. A shout out too to Christchurch City Council and Rata Foundation for continued funding support.
The Biketober Team looks forward to seeing you again with your friends in 2021. Before then, please share your ideas and thoughts with us.
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What did YOU think of Biketober 2020?