Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

 
 

Slow Motion Kid

Slow Motion Kid is a project running alongside Slow Motion Spin – capturing the role of a bicycle in everyday lives of people we will meet, while cycling on tandem bike around Eurasia. Children are the future (cycling) citizens of our cities. Thus, we believe it is essential to encourage cycling in them and show that bicycle is not only a means of transport but also source of joy and adventure.

Slow Motion Kid is a project in early stage of continuously growing collection of stories about bicycles, their place in people’s lives and stories of/about people that you can meet when you ride one. This collection will aim to help children embrace cycling as part of their everyday life. We believe that if children were given the opportunity they would use bicycle to get around more frequently. By presenting to children how bicycle can bring joy into their days and by encouraging them to cycle casually we, parents and friends, raise new generation which will be more, sustainable, environmentally cautious, and in particular, a generation that will not think of bicycle as only an alternative.

How did it start?

By the end of summer 2012, my husband and I have lived and cycled in cities of Czech Republic, Lithuania and UK. We feel that the problem of urban cycling is not only about street design and policies (although improvements are appreciated) but in the fact that we, the citizens, do not take cycling as a part of our everyday life. Try to talk about your daily experience of riding a bicycle and you would be labelled as a fanatic unless you are talking to other citizen cyclists. Car has a different position altogether – you can discuss car-related issues and almost everyone will understand. As a result we have founded Slow Motion Spin, project focused solemnly on the idea that bicycles are part of people‘s lives across borders, cultures and generations. We want to share this understanding by capturing our experience from travels through countries of Eurasia on the pages of our journal, in photographs, drawings, knitting and other methods we will find suitable.



What is Slow Motion Kid?

Slow Motion Kid is a project that will capture the adventurous travel of our tandem bike through the countries, cities, vast deserts and wild jungles in Eurasia and the events that will happen on the road. The original idea was to write special stories for our little nieces, nephews, cousins and friend’s children who we would not see for at least 18 months but whom we want to keep in touch with. As it happens, while cycling around cities and reading more about children and cycling, we realised that there is a gap, which needs to be filled. In the near future children will be the citizens of our cities, towns and villages with the responsibility of choosing the way they live and travel about. Yet there is very little material focused on children especially that, which would try to represent the bicycle not just as sport or leisure accessory or a toy. We believe that children, as much as adults have to embrace bicycle as their everyday companion enabling to travel through places, helping to meet friends and interesting strangers, and keeping us entertained, fit and engaged with our surroundings.



Outputs

We started with the idea of writing stories from our journey for children we know and the intention to publicise it in a form of a children’s book after we return. However, we then realised that book is great as a final output but an earlier action is needed. We have now established a bilingual (English and Czech) website, which is now being design to our requirements, where entries of all sorts related to the cycling culture would appear. These will be for example:

– short stories featuring our tandem bike (that we named for that reason) Hugo telling about its experience of travelling with two people, through countries far away

– stories, adventures, or favourite fairytales of children (and adults) that we meet along the route

– comic strips, pictogram letters/stories

– interactive stories or tasks for children to learn more about bicycles and cycling

We wish to engage more artists/authors from wide variety of background in this project along the way. The website and its content will be accessible free of charge to children, parents and organisations working with children to enhance its potential, impact and broaden the discussion in a society.

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Johana Bedrichova

Teleci, Czech Republic

Category: Cycling and the Arts

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