The Gert Lush Vintage Bicycle Jamboree is a brand new edition to Bristol’s sporting calendar on Sunday 19th May. Described by co-founders Steve Page and Patrick Collerton as an event with “more Jammy Dodgers than energy gels,” the Gert Lush is a bicycle festival with a twist – so dust off that vintage aficionado and dig out your best period costume.
We spoke to Steve to get the full picture…
What inspired the The Gert Lush and why did you choose Bristol?
A mixture really. Over the past few years vintage cycle events have been held all over the world – there’s a real trend in recycling old bikes. We’ve embraced this ourselves and thought where better than Bristol, our home town, for a fun, friendly vintage themed cycling event that fits with the city’s eco, cycling ethos.
As a co-founding duo, your background is music, and Patrick Collerton is an award-winning film-maker. What does cycling mean to you?
The great thing about cycling is that it can touch every aspect of our lives and always for the better. We use our bikes to get from A to B, go shopping, go on holiday and out and about in the great countryside we have on our doorstep. For us the event will have succeeded if we have put on a great ride for experienced cyclists and given less experience riders a taste of the sheer joy of heading into the countryside on a bike.
Can you tell us a bit more about the environmental theme of the ride?
Every time a cyclist gets on their bike to make a journey they are making the world a better place. Imagine, if half the journeys in our city were made by bike, how much quieter, safer and cleaner it would be.
We’ve gone with a vintage theme for the Gert Lush. In part that is because we just love the look and feel of old steel bikes, but they’re also proof that re-using and re-cycling really do work. My Bob Griffin vintage bike is tad over 50 years old, and if looked after it will still be going strong 50 years from now. That said, any bikes except for full carbon are welcome, carbon being hard to recycle!
Is there any advice you would like to pass on to those thinking about taking part?
It isn’t a race, so do take time to enjoy the beautiful countryside you are travelling through.
Embrace the dressing up element if you can, whether big or small – maybe it’s just an old hat, a vintage top, tweeds anyone? If you can, dig out an old bike and ride it. We’re not dogmatic about how old your bike is – though full carbon is a No No. The more steel bikes there are the merrier the day will be.
We will have mechanics on hand at the start, out on the route and at the Feed Station in Burrington, but please ensure your bike is roadworthy.
When the going gets steep, don’t feel shy about getting off and pushing!
Do come back and chill out at our vintage themed Vintage Fete when you finish. We have proper showers and changing facilities. More important we have old-time music, talks, cream teas and proper cycle jumble!
If you don’t fancy the rides come along to the fete anyway – it’s free to enter.
Can we look forward to a second Gert Lush in 2020?
The first Gert Lush will be riding out through Bristol on Sunday 19th May. With a free accompanied kids’ ride, plus a 30 mile and 65 mile, there is something for everyone. The day includes a Vintage Fete and post-ride shindig at Long Ashton Community Centre. For more information and to booking, visit the site website here.