Tag Archives: bike

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival Cancelled

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival
From the Blackheath Society’s website:

Bike & Kite Festival abandoned for 2011

The Society understands that this very successful event held in June will not take place this year as a result of the cuts. The Society is writing to Lewisham to request that the event be re-instated for 2012 – an important Jubilee year.

Such a shame. One of the best things about living in Blackheath. A really spectacular event. Ticks all the right boxes too – family friendly, encourages healthy lifestyles, etc. It’s something that was unique to the area. Maybe a rogue flash-mob festival should be organised regardless… Get the amazing Flying Squad kite flyers to come of their own accord (I’ve seen them practicing on the heath enough times), tell the organic chicken-burger-man from the farmer’s market to park his van by the side of the heath, and ask the crazy sound-system-on-a-morris-minor to provide the tunes.

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Proper photos from the Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival
Here are some photos from the first day of the Bike & Kite festival taken by someone with an eye for a photo, rather than me.

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Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2010 on Saturday!


Here are a few tips from the locals, to all the people who will be descending upon Blackheath over the weekend, for the Bike and Kite Festival.

Take an umbrella. If it rains, you’ll need it, and if it’s sunny there’s next to no shade on the heath, so you can hide under it when you get too hot. The pubs will be packed, so best to come with supplies. (Nicholas, the off license in the village does a very nice dry cider).

Take a bike. Don’t drive – there’s almost no parking in Blackheath at the best of times, and over the weekend it will be even worse than usual. Plus, if you take your bike, there’s usually a free Bike Doctor at the festival who will check your tyres, gears, brakes, etc.

Take a kite! Just don’t take a good one! Loads of people will be flying them, and there’s a good chance you’ll get tangled up (happened to me last year)…

There are usually a few really good plant stalls, if you feel like stocking up. Other stalls include advice from the council about recycling, bike & kite sales etc.

Make sure you know what to look out for! There’s an expert’s guide to the kite performers here at The Kite Society.

Finally, if you know anything about Kite Aerial Photography, bring your rig, so that you can improve on my hopeless effort!

Below are links to my pages from the event for the last two years:

2009:

http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/blackheath-bike-and-kite-festival-2009-today/

http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/more-photos-from-the-bike-and-kite-festival-2009/
http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/the-flying-cat/

2008:
http://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/photos-from-the-bike-and-kite-festival/

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Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2010


With the weather feeling sunnier, here’s something to cheer you up! The Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival is approaching (12th & 13th June), and Lewisham Council have made a video to promote it on their youtube channel (did you know they had a youtube channel?!).

If you fancy a stall, you can download the form and request one, if you’ve got between £100-£250 to spare. Looking forward to seeing SouthEastern’s stall….

Here are some photos and a video from the 2009 Bike and Kite Festival, in case you’d forgotten what it was like.

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The flying cat!


These videos really show how the cat flew through the air – pawing the wind like water as it went! Thanks to Ben for sending them in. If you’ve taken any photos or videos of the Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival, please add them to the comments below.

And a question – do the local council make a profit from the Bike and Kite festival? My initial assumption was no, until I saw the number of traffic wardens roaming around over the weekend… They looked like they were issuing a bumper crop of parking tickets!

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More photos from the Bike and Kite Festival 2009


If you didn’t manage to go to the Bike and Kite festival on Saturday, then try and go on Sunday. It was really something special, as the video above by YouTube user Jadepike4 demonstrates.

There are always two distinct camps of kite fliers: The model fliers, like inverse puppeteers with their enormous hovering cats, people and teddy bears looming over us. And the stunt fliers, flinging their synchronised kites through the air. I wonder whether the two tribes get along. Do the stunt fliers look down on the modellers as tacky and gauche? Do the modellers think of the stunt fliers as showy and macho? Or maybe not. Maybe they’re just happy to be up in the air.

Here’s an idea for next year – one up from the flying cats (great though they were). In the 16th Century, the Chinese invented a man-lifting kite. This would draw in the crowds next year! Okay, it may be a little dangerous, but could be very exciting too… Perhaps I’ll volunteer to get hoisted up. Makes a change from attaching an old Nokia to a kite.

Click on the Keep Reading link below to view my hundreds of photos – apologies for the dodgy quality, there are far better ones inside the Flickr Blackheath collection.

UPDATE: This post has been modified from the original – please see the comments for details.
Continue reading

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Beginning of the kites!

cat-kite
The first kites! The cat is a truly brilliant kite. And Pocahontas, the blue bear (with trailing honey pot), and the flying flower are also pretty good. But the cat – it’s paws look as though it is swimming through the clouds! Such a great event – enough people to be fun, enough space not to be too crowded. Makes me love London.

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Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2009 Today!


It looks like the weather may actually hold out – the beeb says it will get better throughout the day.
If you’ve never been to Blackheath before, here’s a handy cut-out-and-keep guide (bring your special internet scissors).
I’ll be adding lots of photos later today.

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Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2009

kite-clouds

So the next Bike and Kite Festival is nearly upon us!  It’s one of the best things about Blackheath – it’s free and it really shows off the heath in the loveliest way possible.  Try and come along if you can – it is on Saturday 13th – Sunday 14th June according to Lewisham Council’s website.  Leave your car at home, as there won’t be any parking.  There’s a detailed page on The Kite Society’s website explaining who will be flying what, as well as a nice set of photos from last year.

Photos from last year’s event can be seen here.  And just to remind you, here’s a video from my terrible old camera phone showing one of the displays:

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Buying a bike in Blackheath

The Bike Shop, Lewisham

The time came to buy Mrs Bugle a bicycle.  The Bugle knows very little about bikes, but enjoys cycling his from time to time on the heath, and agreed that it would make a perfect birthday present, so we went scouring the nearby neighbourhood for a suitable bike.  Neither of us are going to be ascending Everest by bike, we just needed something for occasional use on sunny days.

First of all, we went to Halfords in Charlton.  Don’t.  I don’t know where to begin on this one.  When we eventually managed to find someone to speak to, he proceeded to kick and bash the bicycles around so much, it felt like we should be phoning the RSPCA (RSPB maybe…)  Eventually he managed to drag one kicking and screaming from the rack, and showed it to us.  I noticed that one of the pedals was mounted back to front, making it impossible to actually ride the bike.   When I asked about this, he explained that “we weren’t allowed to ride the bike in the shop, as people might steal them”.  Great.  All the bikes at reasonable prices used plasticky rotary gear changer thingies (that switch gears by twisting the handlebars, a bit like revving a motor-bike).  They looked really nasty, like they would fall to pieces in no time.  Also, he explained, we couldn’t actually buy a bike there and then, as they had to be built (the bikes you see on the racks aren’t actually the bikes you buy, which is probably a good thing).  This process would take about a week…

So we said thanks, and wondered where on earth we could find a bike.  Then we found The Bike Shop in Lewisham.  I say Lewisham, but really it is only about 10 minutes walk from Blackheath Village, straight down Lee Park road, and turn right at the end.

It was like chalk and cheese.  The first time I went in there on my own, and a very helpful girl showed me the women’s bikes, which all cost slightly more than the Halfords bikes (£200 for a starting price compared with £170), but they looked like much much better bikes – better built, with proper “clicky” gears (can you tell I’m no bike expert?), and more importantly, you could try the bikes out on a little road next to the shop, and take away the bike you tested!

The New Bike

So I took away a couple of brochures, and a few weeks later we went back together, and Mrs Bugle is now the proud owner of a pastel blue Ridgeback Motion bike.  We can take it back in 6-8 weeks time for a free service, but it doesn’t look like it will need one… As the guy in the shop said:

“One less car”.

The Bike Shop, 288-290 Lee High Road, Lewisham, London, SE13 5PJ.

Opening Hours:   Mon-Fri:  9am-5.30pm.  Saturday 9am-5pm.

Phone: 020 8852 6680

Google Map here.

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