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BCMAGs Bike Awareness Day.
2nd September 2000
On Saturday morning, we decended on Oldbury town centre at some ungodly hour - nine oclock in the morning! (Some of us didn't know that Saturday had a nine oclock in the morning!)
As well as the gloriously yellow contraption that is the MAG tent, we were joined by John from NABD, a couple of people representing the BMF (sorry, don't know their names - poor social skills on my part), and a guy from the AA.
We then spent the rest of the day acosting people in various ways - handing out leaflets and free copies of Streetbiker, luring children in with sweets (then not letting the parents escape!), and wandering around the car park handing out the keyrings provided by Sandwell MBC with all the phone numbers on them for reporting faults (diesel spills, faulty lights, potholes). If half the people we gave keyrings to report one fault each, Sandwell are going to hate us! (But maybe the roads will get a bit better!)
We also toured the car parks shoving leaflets on any bikes we found. We even staked out a few of them and waited for the owners to return. Had a good chat with one of the owners - a guy who used his bike for shopping and commuting, not a weekend warrior. The scary thing was, he'd never heard of MAG! We put this right, and he was really interested about it and chatted to us for ages - hope he had no frozen stuff in his shopping! He had a copy of Streetbiker and a MAG membership form from us, and sounded very keen to join. It's worrying that someone who's been biking for ages and is really into his bikes can have escaped for so long! What are we doing wrong?
John from NABD had a good chat with one elderly lady who's son had just given up his bikes due to a foot injury that prevented him changing gear. John was able to show pictures of conversion kits for hand gear changes - neither she nor her son was aware that this sort of thing was possible, and she went off with a handful of leaflets. It's good to see someones attitude towards disability changed.
Ok, we didn't start a revolution, but we did chat to some people and make our presence felt. We had one person sign up on the day, and a few more people interested enough to take membership forms away with them. Linda took charge of the donation bucket and managed to get loads of people to put their hands in their pockets. We still don't know how she did it - it could have been Dave looming behind her looking scary! (Or it could be that Linda's scary enough by herself!!) It was definitely worth the effort to put on, and can definitely be considered a success for our first go.