Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Two thousand bicycles in... Sale: Greater Manchester biking festival raises cash for disabled cyclists

Two thousand bicycles in... Sale: Greater Manchester biking festival raises cash for disabled cyclists

| By Ben Hyman

Festival goers pedalled their way into motion to attend the Sale Bicycle Village festival last weekend in aid of bike charity Simply Cycling.

Around 2,000 festival enthusiasts attended the event over the Easter weekend to raise funds for the cycling charity, which modifies bikes for disabled people.

Nearby river-side pub Jackson's Boat hosts the bicycle themed festival annually in aid of the charity and Sale’s bike rental service, The Bike Barn, works in association with the charity.

Owner of the Barn and event organiser, Arek Bartniczak, relies on the good will of volunteers to host the festival, which also has a strong emphasis on green energy and other environmentally friendly practises.

“The best thing about this event is that it doesn't cost a penny to run - this is pure community spirit,” Mr Bartniczak said.

“We do this every year for Simply Cycling and this is now our fourth year running.”

Simply Cycling have suffered with vandalism recently meaning this years Bicycle Village festival is even more important for the charity.

But as Bike Barn employee Torin Preece explained, the festival has always been important.

“We've had around 2,000 people turn up, which is great,” he said.

“We've been selling both bikes and parts, aiming to recycle as much as possible.

“We've had some vintage bikes and a range of bicycles for disabled people supplied by Simply Cycling, who cater for all types of disabilities.”

The selfless work of voluntary groups means that all festival proceeds go to Simply Cycling.

One such voluntary group are Pedal Power, who build electrical generators that produce energy through the motion of peddling.

Pedal Power's Dan Haughey explained that their mission is ‘partly to get people to think about the energy they're using and also about showing that you can build your own environmentally friendly generators’.

“It's also about fun,” another festival goer added, while peddling frenetically in order to power speakers used for the festival's outdoor music.

Event organiser Mr Bartniczak also worked in conjunction with Facebook based music promoters Alto Promotions, to bring together a number of local musicians for an outstanding live show.

Artists included acoustic guitar and violin duo Ruby & Bulak, jazz/funk jam band Queen B and the Jive Hive, Manchester rockers Tutors Insignia, surf-rock band The USBs and prog rock three piece The River Versus.

The evening's acts were extremely talented musicians who usually command a fee for their performance, but played for free in aid of the charity.

Head of Alto Promotions, Liam Smith, was delighted with the professionalism of the bands in light of their willingness to play for nothing.

“It's great to have exceptional musicians who are so eager to help raise money for a really worthy cause,” Mr Smith said.

Image courtesy of Alec Davies, with thanks