Prizewinning entries have been chosen from the Spokes 2011 summer competition – to identify a problem related to using a bike, and how to solve it…
First was longstanding Spokes member Ken Morrison, a senior social worker in Fife, whose challenge was to visit places all over the county without excessive car use [pdf 35k] – bad for personal health and for the planet. Ken’s solution is taking his bike by rail and cycling from the nearest town. What is special is that many people think bike/rail is a hassle; but, as Ken shows, if your trips are mainly off-peak and in an area with good services, then bike/rail is a great way to get to a wide range of local destinations. And it allows working/preparation time on the train and keeps you healthy without spending time & money on gyms etc.
Second was Euan Renton whose bike had been stolen from his garden shed. Euan provided detailed, cheap and simple instructions for making a door more burglar-proof [pdf 153k] making it difficult for a thief to lever off hasp, hinges, etc.
Third was Mark James, who has brought up a large family in a rural town without a car [pdf 1858k] thanks to a wide range of bikes and trailers. His entry is truly astonishing – read it! – and even though you probably can’t fully emulate him, you’re bound to get inspiration/ideas from his experiences.
There was a big range of other problems/solutions, ranging from the ingenious to the frankly ridiculous. See our Competition Report [pdf 186k] which categorises the more useful problem solutions received, and see the full list of entries [link].
Our thanks to everyone who entered, to the prize-givers [details on the above competition report], to the organisers, and to this year’s expert outside assistant judge, Ged Holmyard of Edinburgh Bicycle.
For more on the above, and for the results of our earlier competitions – some useful, some curious and some downright silly, see our Competitions Page.