One of my highlights of 2011 was being involved in organising Papergirl Cardiff. With planning for this year's event well under way I have been thinking back to what inspired me to do it in the first place and felt there was no better place to share those thoughts than here!
I came across an article about the Berlin chapter in the excellent Boneshaker magazine and was immediately taken in. It was off the wall, it was exciting, it was inclusive. It looked like great fun! I was searching for a way of promoting cycling here in the city that had a wider appeal than than the normal sponsored rides and commuter challenges (yawn!) and decided this was it. The thing that really appealed to me was that here was a cycling event which wasn't aimed specifically at cyclists. The cycling part actually ended up being quite a small part of the whole event, but no less successful for that.
The whole process of organising the event was a joy and I felt privileged to have been involved. A couple of things stood out for me really. The generosity of people in giving up their time and energy to create artwork for us to exhibit and give away was amazing. Time is precious, we all know that living in today's society. The fact that people had decided that creating something which could then be randomly given to someone else, was worth spending time on, made me very happy. The ride itself was a great afternoon. A more diverse group of cyclists would be hard to find, and that was one of the wonderful things about it. No roadie/fixie/commuter/eco tribalism here, just a bunch of people on bikes. Doing something for no other reason than it was fun to do. So different from my normal cycling experience. The recipients of the art were funny too, ranging from very grateful to totally confused!
Submissions for Papergirl Cardiff 2012 are open now!