The Riderz Tour – cycling gets creative

The Riderz Tour is an exciting project supported by cycling Scotland to encourage children to cycle to school.  Each day built around a demo of stunt cycling from a team of the best stunt cyclists in the UK.  This was the second year I had been asked to be involved.  Last year I toured with The Riderz stunt team and delivered an art activity to support the stunt show.  The children were each given a bike bell which I helped them the decorate using paint pens.  the results were very colourful an individual to each child.  At the end of the day the children proudly rode their bike home feeling excited about cycling and proud of their shiny new and unique bike bell.

This year the tour was bigger and better.  We visited 24 schools over Glasgow, Edinburgh, Moray, Shetland, Fife, Dumfries, Aberdeen and Ayrshire.  We were delivering the message “Give me cycle space” for cycling Scotland.  The campaign asks drivers to give children space on the road so they can cycle to school safely.  The schools involved this year got to enjoy the amazing stunt riding from the team as well as an art activity and a music activity to get the children excited and engaged in cycling.

The tour was documented in pictures and film on the official website which the children could also engage with –

When thinking about my art activity for this years project I had quite a challenging brief….

I would have 45 children for half an hour then another 45 for the next half an hour, that is a lot of children and not much time!  The activity needed to have minimal set up as there was a quick turn over half way through.  We were visiting 24 school so it needed to be able to be scaled up within a limited budget.  It needed to link in well with the show and the overall aim of the project.

I created some giant spirographs that used bike chains and chain rings.  The children could create interesting images using these real bike parts, the images would be used to create a banner which would be used to support the Riderz while they were displaying their skills.

After some technical difficulties on the first day (chains coming loose, children too young for activity) I was forced to simplify my activity.  I am very glad I did and the new version of the project worked well.

The children still made a banner but used the bike parts as stencils.  It was very effective, the children loved using unusual materials.  Each schools banners were proudly displayed on the stunt rig during the show.

2 responses to “The Riderz Tour – cycling gets creative”

  1. I love these ideas! We’re just trying to raise money for a bike rack at our school and I thought the bells would be a great fundraiser. Could you tell me where you got the bells and what paints/markers you used!
    What an amazing experience!

    1. Hi Tina,
      Thanks for your interest in my work. I got the paint pens from they are glass and porclain pens. When I did the project I needed 1000 bike bells so got them wholesale from china. You should be able to get them from poundland or somewhere similiar. If you want them to last a long time you will need to get bells that are all metal and bake them in the oven so the paint fuses, just like when painting pottery.
      Hope that helps,
      ps – I’m available to book for workshops!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: