Bike Wars

The “Bikes not Cars Festival” hit the streets of Amsterdam, The Netherlands this July. With music, tall-bike jousting bike wars, a baksfiets (the typical Dutch cargo-bikes) race and more, the event brought a much needed reality check to a city without a regular Critical Mass, yet with such a large number of bikes. The Critical Mass attracted around 100 participants, many from the local squat-scene and had an atmosphere of anarchic celebration – with a selection of tall-bikes, plenty of bright colours, and of course lots of noise. The principals behind the ride could have been questioned, with many blocking trams, but the majority reacted with positivity, glad to see something more celebratory and out of the ordinary, compared to the daily hordes of cyclists that bless the city. It was a great event for bringing together individuals who still question the root of our oil-based society, and providing alternatives. The following day Carbusters took the opportunity to introduce the magazine to many there, and spread the “One Less Car” stickers. The tall-bike jousting was a success and attracted the odd confused, but always amused, passers-by, as did the cargo-bike races, and mutant bikes were aplenty around the festival site – created from bike wrecks and parts during the first two days. The hope is that the festival will continue, and help is needed in organising, and mobilising. If you’re interested then get in touch, get involved, get active!

Sam Fleet,

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