Bicycle Breakfasts are taking place monthly at Dumfries Northwest Church! For more information see the poster here which you can download and share with your congregation, and read Alison Boyes’ report below:
Bicycle Breakfasts at Dumfries Northwest Church
In September last year, I went to a `bike breakfast` outside the Council offices. It had been organized by Cycling Dumfries, a group which aims to represent the interests of local cyclists, campaigning for safer roads and also organizing rides and social events. It was a dry morning, the coffee and muffins were excellent, lots of happy people chatted about their ride into Dumfries, and talked with representatives from SUSTRANS, the CTC and Dumfries councillors about what would make it better. Ross, the owner of Kirkpatrick Cycles, was also on hand for advice and repairs.
I casually remarked to Neil Campbell (minister at Dumfries Northwest Church) that it would be wonderful to have a bike breakfast once a month. Be careful what you wish for! Neil thought it would be wonderful as well, and asked me to organize it.
We decided to hold the breakfasts on the last Friday of every month and to call them `Fuel Up Fridays`. They would begin in April and would continue until the clocks change in the autumn, since only the hardiest of cyclists commute in the dark and cold of the winter months (we may review this policy if there is sufficient demand for a year-round event).
I recuited some helpers from Cycling Dumfries, who were keen on the idea, but wanted reassurance that this was a community event, not a `church` event where cyclists would be preached at. The breakfasts support the aim of Dumfries Northwest Church, as stated on its website (www,dumfriesnorthwest.org.uk) that: `We don’t work in the community in order to put our faith into practice. Serving the community is our practice. It is our faith. `
We were able to use the excellent cooking facilities which Dumfries Northwest Church already have in place to cook and serve free hot meals twice a day, six days a week, to anybody who needs them.
For the Bike breakfasts (a completely separate project), we decided to ask for a donation of £3 to cover the costs of heating, electricity and the food for the bike breakfasts, for a suggested donation of 3 pounds. For this, we would offer Fairtrade tea, coffee and bananas, cereal or porridge and a hot egg roll. The breakfasts would be served between 8 and 9am.
We printed off posters for all the local cycle shops and supermarkets and there was also publicity through cycling groups , Facebook and the Dunscore Church Email Information Service.
We have only held one breakfast so far ,and this was attended by 19 cyclists (including two children). There was a real buzz of conversation, and a lot of positive feedback. We are now concentrating on increasing our publicity, and look forward to making this an established event within the cycling community of Dumfries and Galloway.