bike hour

Bike Hour is like earth hour, only for bikes.

DOWNLOAD MARCH 20 2014 POSTERS

Bike Hour started because a few us saw that organised bicycle protest rides weren’t serving the individualistic nature of cycling, but rather the agendas of particular bicycling tribes. Because of this, organised rides (nude rides, critical mass rides, tweed rides, etc) can never hope to bring all of a nation’s bikes out onto the street, at the same time. There are over 12 million functioning bikes in Australia alone (1.6 per household x 7.6 million households). We thought something like Earth Hour, but called “Bike Hour” instead, could potentially bring more of those bikes outside all at once.

Every equinox day all over the world, between 6 and 7 pm, anyone with a bike is invited to ride it, wherever, however, they like. Our best estimate is one or two thousand participants, centred mainly in places with active promoters, will be riding with Bike Hour in mind on the next equinox, Saturday 22 September. That still makes Bike Hour the world’s largest, albeit least organised, bicycle protest.

The message of Bike Hour is simple: most people own bikes but feel unsafe to use them. Our bikes are like trains without any tracks. In Australia, the people have made at 6 billion dollar investment in bikes, that the government has made no effort to match.

However, the freedom individuals enjoy to participate in Bike Hour on their own terms (on the road or on the footpath, in groups or alone, naked or clothed) does come at a price. Bike Hour can have a distinct lack of fanfare for most observers, who can wonder if they are the only person in the world doing this ride. Those who came looking for a party at the first Bike Hour, in March 2012, have dropped away, leaving a faithful few to build a dedicated international community. We persist in the hope it really does catch on some day, as a massive, individual, movement.

Bike Hour does get bigger though, ever so gradually, thanks to the good will of local supporters in any city, and hopefully one day every city. It has a Facebook community page, and Facebook events pages via which people tell their friends that they will be riding. We also use facebook to share pictures and videos of our individual rides, as many did last time in March.

Post-ride meetup in Cleveland after Bike Hour 21 March, 2012.

That’s about it. There is no office, nor should there ever be one. Some famous social media campaigns have withered because organisers wanted glory, or even money, to float back to themselves. Bike Hour is owned by everyone who prints out the posters, informs their local newspaper, organises drinks for some friends at the end of a ride, or who just gets their bike out and rides it for Bike Hour.

How Bike Hour looked for one man in Florida, March 21, 2012.

There is a  twitter account, for anything newsworthy. And as always there are posters to download and use how you like. We invite everyone who does Bike Hour to celebrate their ride by uploading photos or even a video clip onto Facebook. The first time we ran Bike Hour, this vid won an art prize.

Our special thanks to these mainstream media outlets: 1233 ABC Radio in Newcastle Australia, The Malta Independent OnlineThe Star Newspaper in Toronto Canada, Radio 610CKTB in Canada…
Bike Hour has grown thanks to the efforts of local go-to folk like these: Francis Chu of the Love Cycling blog in Singapore, the Wolny Rower bike blog in PolandBianca Jagoe in TasmaniaI Bike Toronto in CanadaMaydaymayday Salvaiciclisti (surely that’s not his real name??) in Italy…  (please notify us via Twitter or Facebook to have your name added)
For interviews send a direct message to @BikeHour on Twitter, or contact any local promoter.

Legal fine print: Anyone riding during Bike Hour, irrespective of whether they know it is Bike Hour or not, shall be bound by our Code of Conduck as follows:

Rule 1. Bike Hour Rides shall take place on 20 March and whenever the equinox is in September. They shall start at roughly 6.pm and finish at roughly 7pm having taken roughly one hour. The words “roughly” “start” “finish” and “hour” shall be defined (a) roughly and (b) by the individual who considers (rightly or wrongly) that they are doing a Bike Hour Ride.

Rule 2. Bike Hour Rides will be (a) in a group or (b) not in a group or (c) in a group some of the time or (d) some combination of the above or (e) none of the above.

Rule 3. Bike Hour Riders shall wear (a) their ordinary clothes or (b) cycling specific clothes or (c) some other clothes or (d) no clothes or (e) some combination of the above or (f) none of the above.

Rule 4. Bike Hour rides shall be (a) on a planned route or (b) not on a planned route or (c) both of the above or (d) none of the above.

Rule 5. Bike Hour RIdes will be (a) continuous or (b) not continuous. Whatever.

Rule 6. There shall be no rule 6. Alert readers who have spotted that this is itself a rule are permitted (but not obliged) to have a biscuit. Those who have spotted that there is no definition of “Bike” or “Ride” are advised (but not obliged) to loosen up a little.

17 Responses to bike hour

  1. we joined immediately and convinced hour bike because the project is an idea so simple that it probably will be difficult to be understood, of course we like to marry ideas like this that lead cyclists in greater numbers in the streets at the same time, the more we will be way out there we will point out the more we will be riding more safely

    • Steven says:

      Thank you! Bike Hour means different things to different people, depending on their personal aversion to risk, or exertion, or conversely, their enjoyment of those. I’m a risk adverse cycles, who likes exertion, which naturally attracts me to greenways and trails. But we’re all different, and Bike Hour aims to give us one common voice. Thanks for your support!

  2. Rose says:

    I can’t wait for the bike hour in Singapore. I’m so excited as ive a very beautiful road bike but I’m scared to ride on the road alone too many fast cars.
    I’m on cantonment road, by any chance anybody around the area are cycling?
    Please email me I’d please like to join.
    Sincerely,
    Rose

    • Steven says:

      Hi Rose, I recommend you ride on the footpath, and encourage thousands to join you. You’ll never achieve a safe critical mass on the road. You have better chances getting half of the footpath designated for cyclists.

    • Rose says:

      Thank you Steve. I’m looking forward.

  3. yay ortega says:

    Hello, we have a quite a lot of bikers here in the Philippines..many bike groups (general bike groups, bike advocacy groups, bike campers, folding bike groups, road bikers, cross country and mountain bike groups, downhill bikers..etc)
    I’m sure many will participate in this year’s Bike Hour. So glad I chanced upon the write up in Cycle Space. I hope more people hear about Bike Hour. Cheers and more power!

    • Steven says:

      Hey thanks! It would be great to see some photos of cycling in the Philippines on our Facebook community page: Facebook.com/bikehour

  4. Pingback: A bicicleta é um meio de transporte e eu “Vou de Bicicleta” para todo o lado » Blog Archive » Hora da BICICLETA

  5. Pingback: This Trip I have Mostly… « Town Mouse

  6. Pia Howells says:

    Hi there,
    I am so very keen to promote this for 2013, when will there be posters etc? The Facebook page link currently gives 2012 posters.
    Else, what is the font being used, and the details of the yellow colour for the next 2013 bike hour? Can I get my (electronic) hands on the logo?

    • Steven says:

      Hi Pia,
      we’ve always taken the view that no one owns Bike Hour more than anyone owns Christmas. So far Michael, the graphic designer who first made up the logo, has prepared witty new posters in the lead up. I’ve no doubt he’ll have something for us all within a few weeks. Meanwhile, if you would like to get a jump start, go for it. The yellow colour on Facebook will unify the event throughout the world in March. Thanks for your support! It’s turning out to be a wonderful way for us cyclists to all acknowledge each others struggle for safer conditions all over the world! Keep us posted regarded your progress, and let us know if we can help.
      Steven

  7. Shidi says:

    Hello,
    I’m Shidi from Malaysia. I have a page called “Pedal Malaya” (http://www.facebook.com/pedalmalaya) that committed to raising awareness and increasing tolerance and harmony between cyclists and motorists in Malaysia. Wondering if I can promote this on my page and is there’s any problem if I creating an event page for Malaysian?

    • Steven says:

      Hi Shidi, yes, go for it! Others are doing exactly that in dozens of countries. Keep us posted on your progress.

  8. SPCyclists says:

    Good day,
    I’m Jowy from Singapore and currently a captain of my school cycling club. I’ve taken notice of the “Bike hour” concept and its really intriguing. When will there be another “bike hour” ride so that i can involve my whole club for the ride and hopefully to spread the details throughout my school to show support :)

    Regards,
    Jowy

    • Steven says:

      Hey Jowy, welcome! I believe there was an article about Bike Hour in a Singapore bike magazine recently? Anyhow, just join us at http://www.facebook.com/BikeHour and ride wherever you like, however you like, at 6pm every equinox. Luckily that’s before it ever gets dark in singapore.

    • SPCyclists says:

      HI Steven,

      Thank you for your prompt reply and i look forward to a big participation on my side for “bike hour”.

      Cheers

      Regards,
      Jowy

Leave a Reply