A. No. The whole point of this project is to give people the knowledge, confidence and ability to fix their
bike themselves. If you drop by for tool club you can use our tools and our books to help
you fix your bike for a small donation (or free to members). Alternatively you can sign up for 1 to 1 Learn and Repair where you bring us your broken bike and we fix it WITH you, teaching you how to do it so next time you can DIY!
And another option is to attend one of our maintenance courses to get fully clued up on how to fix your bike yourself.
Q. Why is Pedal MCR vegan?
A. Pedal MCR strives to make our space as open and inclusive as possible. having all vegan food means that everyone can eat no matter their ethical stance, religion or allergies. It is also important to us to choose the most environmentally and cruelty free food, that is also delicious and healthy.
We ask EVERYONE using the space to only bring vegan food inside. You will be asked to eat outside if not.
What we eat is usually the single biggest contributor to our carbon footprint, so it’s worth thinking about. It’s really important to check where your food’s coming from and cut down your ‘food miles’. When Peak Oil hits you’ll be glad you kept your local farmer in business.
Buying half your bodyweight in air freighted mange tout and blueberries every year is likely to offset any other virtuous behaviour you may be undertaking.
Try and keep your fruit and veg purchases seasonal, the artificial climates created to give you strawberries in November are really wasteful.
Organic agriculture reduces CO2 emissions by not relying on the production and import of artificial herbicides and nitrogen based fertilisers (which release another very potent greenhouse gas- nitrous oxide). Organic can be more expensive, because it employs more people. But it can be cheeper than ‘ordinary’ food. if you cut out the supermarket and get a veggie box direct from your local farm. Or better still, grow your own.
Not eating animal products can also have a big impact on your carbon footprint.
The Trouble With Cows…
While Bob and the gang were strumming against famine for Live Aid in ‘84, Ethiopia was exporting food
crops to supply the European animal feed market. In 1900 just over 10% of global grain was for animal feed.
By the late ‘90s it was 45% and increasing…An area of Brazilian Rainforest the size of Wales is bulldozed every year to make way for the soya plantations that feed British chickens and cows. The crops are increasingly genetically engineered varieties animal feed is the anonymous backdoor sustaining the biotech industry.
Resources are wasted because it takes a lot of energy for animals to live while they’re growing. 70% of
Europe’s animal feed protein is imported. The transporting and processing require a lot of fossil fuel.
Energy- One unit of energy used to make corn creates 5 units of food energy. But one unit of beef uses up 3 times the energy it yields in food energy.
Water- Beef requires 36 times as much water per calorie as wheat.
Land- A typical European diet requires 5 times the land required for a vegan diet.
The UK imports the equivalent of over 4.1 million hectares of other peoples land this way. To add insult to injury cow farts send up lots of methane- a gas 21 times more effective at global warming than CO2. Bovine bottom burps are the main source of human-induced methane emissions.
The slightly complicated bit is that for centuries sustainable agriculture in the UK has been based on animal poo. There are vegan fertilizers, but these haven’t yet been tried on a large scale. Any transition could take a while to implement, but wouldn’t be unprecedented- in Japan for example they dealt with their own shit,
literally. ‘ Nightsoil’ was collected from peoples homes to make compost.
Aside from all this, industrial farming is pretty nasty.
Even if you’re vegetarian you’re still responsible for bad stuff happening to fluffy things; Cows are made pregnant every year to ensure the milk supply. Their calves are taken away from them at one day old, and the males are disposed of. Females are exhausted by the high outputs extracted from them, and killed at 5 years old. Their normal lifespan would be 25 years. For more info we reccomend reading this: http://www.vegansociety.com/Become-a-Vegan/Why.aspx
And watching this:
Q. Why do you have some women only activities?
Because it is important to be able to fix your own bike and not to have to rely on favours of male friends or the often quite expensive bike shop. The knowledge of mechanics has been historically gendered and segregated – that is, men (and boys) are encouraged to pursue technical and mechanical activities while women (and girls) are discouraged. As such, women are often seen as unable to use tools and hence not trusted to use them. Women are perfectly capable of carrying out mechanical tasks and it is very important for them to have the space to learn new skills and practice existing skills without assumptions about ability
based on gender.
Because Feminism is not a dirty word and sexism is still something that many women experience on a regular basis. Sexism is about how women are treated in society and their need to find spaces where the agenda, tone, atmosphere and debate aren’t always defined by men. It’s about finding space where women
feel comfortable to speak, to express themselves, work together and find ways, and the mutual support needed, to challenge the oppression that women experience.
Some of the women that come along may have experienced gender related abuse: domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, male dominance. It takes a lot for some women recently abused to even step out of their door. To spend time with other women can be a safe and positive step to help them make their way back
into the world, to feel brave enough to face men again. Some women we work with are terrified of riding a bike in case it makes them lose weight and makes them attractive again in case they get raped again.
Around other women these women feel safer, stronger. Some women haven’t experienced direct personal abuse, yet they can find here a space where they can support other women just by being there and can support themselves- it’s amazing how many people come along and say that they thought they wouldn’t benefit from the session being women-only, then to find they really did.
It is a completely different experience to have a women-only workshop where you don’t need to worry about who is looking at you, and who might make a comment about your looks and abilities or try and hit on you just because you’re the only woman around and ladies in overalls are so hot!
Women only spaces can be beautiful places where women come together and share experiences and can delight in our skills and knowledge. It is a place where people with trauma can be supported and find a voice that, over time, can be used in the wider world. It is a place where women can be free from the
conscious/subconscious domination of men and the idea that is instilled in us (through media, family etc) that women are not as good as men at work like bike maintenance. It is a place where we can be more accepting of our bodies and less afraid that they might be violated. It is a space where we can support each
Of course some women may find it more difficult to interact with women due to their own experiences. We should do what we feel comfortable doing. Bloomers simply provides a space where women can benefit from women only space, for whatever reason that may be.