Get your ride on this Saturday

We have a promising weather forecast for Saturday and the plans are all coming together.

Let’s remember our start times, when you need to be at the intersection of Wray Avenue and Hampton Road:

  • Original Route: 10.30
  • Half-way Route: 11.00
  • Family Ride Route: 11.30

There is more information on the ride here.

From 12.15, we’ll be having entertainment and food at Replants,  96 Wray Avenue. This will include music from Sian Brown, Ewan Buckley, Dave Robertson, Crying Town and Tasha M.

We also want people writing Bike Haiku throughout the day and presenting these in between acts. If you have any interesting and inspiring bike-relates stories, we’d love you to share those  with everyone too.

There will be vegetarian food available for a donation, with all money going to the musicians. I have invited the Fremantle Primary School P&C to rattle tins to raise money for their playground as well, so please give generously.

Bike events at Replants will include:

  • A slow bike race
  • Musical “chairs” by bike
  • An obstacle course – “The gWRAYnd National”
  • A bicycle pinada

It seems Fremantle is going off on Saturday with low-emission events. From 4pm, Fremantle Follies will be running another cruise through the streets of inner Fremantle for anyone who still has the riding bug. You can join the Facebook event here.

Then there is more music and fun at Clancy’s Fish Pub for the Fremantle Community Wind Farm Project. Rock on!

If anyone has any time to volunteer some help, I’d love to know about it. I still have a couple of things I need help with and stuff like this doesn’t happen without good people chipping in.

Thanks to people who have “registered”. I now have a good sense of numbers, so I am going to remove that as it has given the impression that it is some sort of “official race”. The objective of the Old Time Road Ride is to connect the community – people who live on, frequent and use Wray Avenue – and celebrate history in the area. It also happens to land on International Slow Ride Day, so let’s look to that and enjoy our ride and the places we ride through.

With that in mind, here’s some of the wonderful wildflowers that are out for Spring that people riding the full, Original Route will have a chance to spy on Saturday!

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No Impact Man at Mala Yoga

While the old Beacon Cinema hasn’t been used for years and currently undergoes renovations to become a doctor’s surgery, it seems that there are more and more microcinemas operating on Wray Avenue.

This weekend Mala Yoga is showing the documentary No Impact Man from 6.30 Sunday 8 September, 10 Wray Avenue. And it’s free!

It’s a really interesting film about a guy called Colin Beavan who aspires to reduce his (and his poor family’s!) impacts on the world by changing his behaviour to eliminate any waste, pollution or resource depletion that he produces.

Therese from Gourmet on Wray commented earlier today, in relation to the dirty energy we’re forced to use, “Why am I paying for this with my money and my planet when cheaper and safer versions already exist?”

I love the way that she expressed this idea, recognising that we are paying for things with our planet – not just money.

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is going to be reconciling this with our culture and behaviour: how can we  keeping using of the world until there is nothing left?

This can be a challenging film as Colin takes his challenge to it’s most extreme possible ends (such as switching from toilet paper to rewashable linen clothes). It’s important to keep in mind though that he is exploring what is possible, and not advocating every viewer must adopt his methods. It’s not meant to be a guilt trip.

Instead, what you should take from this film is inspiration that we can take personal responsibility for our actions and our demands of the world we inhabit. It can provide you with just a few simple ideas as to how you can reduce your impact on the planet.

I really recommend getting along if you’re free – and hopefully walking or riding instead of using a car!

Old Time Road Ride

Spring is nearly upon us. And as I mooted in an earlier post,  I want to resurrect an historic Wray Avenue tradition – the Ten Mile Well Cycle race – which took place annually on the first Spring weekend prior to World War 1.

Here is the poster which you’ll hopefully see a bit around town.

2013 Flyer

Or you can find the Facebook event here.

The spring celebration and bike ride will be made up of two parts:

  1. an option of one of three road rides, setting off from and returning to Moondyne Joe’s Hotel; and
  2. a community party at Replants, with food and entertainment.

The emphasis on the rides is fun and socialising rather than racing. Three different rides have been planning for different levels of skills and bike.

NB: Please enter your name correctly but feel free to make the rest up if you don’t want to disclose that information. I really just want to know how many people are riding each route and this was the best event management website I found.

The schedule of events for the day is as follows:

  • 10:30am – First group of riders set off on the original route, from Moondyne Joe’s to Ten Mile Well  and back (roughly 30kms, or 1-1.5 hour return)
  • 11:00am – Second group of riders set off on on shorter route to Spearwood Hotel and back (roughly 15km, or 30mins-1hour return)
  • 11:30am – Third and final group of rider set off on a family-friendly 4km ride to the old Haymarket hotel and back (roughly 30 minutes return)
  • 12:00pm (until 3:00pm) – Post-ride celebration begins at Replants including live music, a slow bike race and an open mic Bike-u (or Bike Haiku).

For an example of Bike Haiku, here’s one I made up quickly inspired by our current weather:

Satellite spokes spinning

throwing dew drops at my course

cold, brisk morning ride

For more Bike Haiku inspiration and explanation, you can visit here.

There will be BBQ facilities available for lunch at Replants, so feel free to BYO bbq food. Alternatively, please bring food to share with others.

Feel free to invite friends and family – anyone who will enjoy the occasion!

We really want this to be as closer to a zero-waste event as possible, so please do not bring any disposable plastic, glass or aluminium. In the event that you do, we ask that you take it away with you at the end of the day. Bins will not be provided for anything other than compostable waste.

If you’re interested in helping out in anyway on the day, please add a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Crazy times this Friday!

There are two events on or near Wray Avenue on Friday – but don’t let the rain keep you away!

The first is Ecoburbia‘s film at Replants, which is a second attempt to show the documentary The Queen of Versailles. For those that weren’t there last month, Shani discovered the disk was cracked just before the screening and had to substitute the (very good) Clean Bin Project at late notice. She has tracked down another copy and will be showing it this week.

There is a pot luck dinner at 6pm and the film starts at 7pm. There is a fee – usually $10 to cover the venue hire and such things.

Also on Friday is Boom Box Bike’s latest Polyester Prom themed bike mashup party which is starting very near to Wray (head to the music).

With live DJs using a portable, bike-transported decks and stereo system, the idea is to move en masse by cycle (or foot or skates) from one secret location to another throughout the evening in a huge progressive dance party. Cars are outlawed of course and all locations are in public space.

When I go, I usually hang back and do a quick site clean up – which is normally not very much as personal responsibility for litter and respect for the public space is very much promoted by Boom Box Bike.

I’ll be doing this on Friday as it’s basically in my backyard and I don’t want the organisers to face any local opposition should they want to start it here again as I think its an incredible event.

Boom Box Bike ask for $10 to cover their equipment and time. They’ll pass a bucket around during the evening. Pay it – it’s well worth it!

Speak out against Melissa Parke

I don’t think I’m the only one on Wray Avenue who has been really disappointed in Melissa Parke over her support for the Government’s plan on asylum seekers (and yes, I’m sure there are some who think her position is fine, and other who think it doesn’t go far enough).

I have had a few people ask me if there is anything happening on Wray Avenue outside Melissa Parke’s office. It has happened before and looks like it is happening again.

This just came up on my Facebook feed:

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 8.01.15 AM

The text reads:

“Thursday, 15 August, at 4 pm join us in front of Melissa Parke’s Fremantle office to demonstrate community opposition to the PNG “solution” and Ms Parkes’ support for abandonment of the refugee convention.

We will be delivering copies of petitions we have been gathering signatures on opposing the off shore processing of asylum seekers.

The action will be held at Ms Parke’s office, 62 Wray Avenue, Fremantle.

Register YOUR disgust at: Melissa.parke@aph.gov.au”

There was a protest organised a few years back which went really well (which I wrote about here).

Quite aside from my personal beliefs about how we, as a society, should respond to asylum seekers, to me there is a bigger issue here. For me, the issue with the Government’s plan, and my problem with Melissa Parke’s support for it, is a failure to show integrity in upholding, both in practice and in spirit, a international convention our nation helped to draft and sign into law. Our signing the Convention on the Rights of the Refugee is a truly noble gesture that we should celebrate as a great act, not look to modify or ‘reimagine’ to suit political ends.

Much of the debate I’ve seen and read seems to suggests the Government’s plan may not even be legally defensible; I’m not a lawyer though, much less one experienced in international law.

Fremantle is the only real politically-left Federal seat in Western Australia and I think it’s constituents deserve better – especially since they are often promised better by candidates, incumbent or otherwise.

Despite Ms Parke’s reasonable defence of her position recently in The Fremantle Herald, I’m not convinced she is right and plan to add my voice of protest on Thursday.

Wanted, a “very fair field of cyclists”

Whoa! Is it August already?

That leaves me scant little time to big up this little event I’ve wanted to get happening for a while now.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a great event that first took place on Wray Avenue way back in 1896, when it was then called Hampton Street, of course!

The event was a bicycle race, coordinated by the Fremantle Bicycle Club. It was a 17.5 mile (28 kilometre) return run from Beaconsfield Hotel (now Moondyne Joe’s Hotel) to the ten mile well, now the site of the Ten Mile Well Hotel, on Rockingham Road in Wattleup.

F.B.C Road Race, from The Inquirer and Commercial News, 11 September 1896

F.B.C Road Race, from The Inquirer and Commercial News, 11 September 1896

I’ve read a lot about Fremantle’s love affair with the bicycle over a hundred years ago – something we are fortunate enough see happening again these days – and thought it’d be great to revive this race which ran up until the first world war.

My vision is for more of a social ride rather than an all out race that gives everyone in our community an opportunity to participate – although the speediest are welcome to try to beat A. Bolton’s original time of 55 minutes return to Ten Mile Well!

I’ve planned out three routes for different levels of cycling ability.

  • Route 1: Moondyne Joe’s to the Ten Mile Well Hotel (about 30km, 1-1.5 hours return)
  • Route 2: Moodyne Joe’s to Spearwood Hotel (about 15km, 0.5-1 hour return)
  • Route 3: Moondyne Joe’s to the old Harvest Hotel (about 4km, 20 mins return)

With a race schedule to wrap up about midday, I’d love to have a street barbecue afterwards, some fun awards and possibly even some live music to celebrate the start to Spring. I’d hoped to get it together for the first Saturday in Spring  but that clashes with the election, so I’m pitching for Saturday the weekend the following week – September 14.

Feel free to post here if you think this is a good idea, want to come on the ride or help out on the day. And stay in touch as I finalise details.

Kwobidaarn Noongar Cultural Workshops

Freeing up my Wednesday evenings has meant that I’ve been able to attend Noel Nannup’s Noongar Cultural Workshops for the past four weeks – they’re really good, that’s what Kwobidaarn means (I hope!!)

Noel interweaves his own personal story of growing up in Western Australia with the narrative of a Noongar following a traditional upbringing in the Fremantle area prior to European colonisation. Both stories begin with birth into family and Country, with strong links to land, values and culture. You can see a great video about Noel and his take on land, culture and spirituality here.

Through the four weeks, Noel shares stories about culture, how the land was used, the way seasons were perceived and how families functioned – all presented in an enlightening way by the campfire. Sat amongst the grass trees, you could almost forget that you were on Wray Avenue were it not for the occasional juxtaposition of buses and loud pedestrians passing by.

My personal highlight was Noel’s recollection of his uncle, whom I saw taking on the mythical mentor figure found in so many stories. Thomas Nannup returned from a kind of exile to teach a young Noel in depth about his Noongar culture and inspire him with stories such as the beautiful ‘Carers of Everything’. It was a such a powerful story.

Emma and I were lucky enough to spend a weekend out on Country a couple of months back, travelling between Fremantle and Wave Rock, following songlines like that of the koodjal dwert – two dogs dreaming – and the Carers of Everything story itself to several sacred sites.

The four week Noongar Cultural Workshops are another incredible thing happening on Wray Avenue courtesy of Bruce Abbott at Replants which I totally recommend. Thanks to Noel, Bruce and Joanie for making it happen.

The next 4-week storytelling series starts on . Check out the Replants website here for more details.

A whole year of things to come!

We’re having a get together at Replants on Wednesday 30 Jan from 7pm to catch up, see how all our new friends are doing in the neighbourhood and talk about some ideas we have for doing March of the Lanterns again this year.

We’ll have a BBQ lit if people want to bring food and it’d be great if you could bring a plate or something to share.

It’d be great to see you there, even if we’ve never met before!

Chalking Wray 2012

Wray Avenue came alive with chalky colour again on the first weekend of summer!

Last year, we gave out chalk to every house and asked that they decorate their footpath. You can read about that here.

We repeated this again this year in what I hope will become a tradition.

Every house got a note and a chalk and were encouraged to get involved.

“Happy summer neighbour!

Are you sick of this stormy weather? Fortunately it seems like all the rain has passed by – and just in time for the first day of summer! Saturday is looking like it will be sunny and warm.

Last year we gave every house and business on Wray Ave a stick of chalk and invited people to reclaim our limited public space to make the footpaths a sea of colour and creativity for the first weekend of summer. We hope we can build on the dozen or so households who took part then and see if we can colour up the whole avenue in 2012.

There are people all along the avenue who are doing incredible things to add personality to our shared, public space. We’ve met so many great people in the past 12 months and seen so many beautiful things happen here.

So this weekend, we give you the gift of a single coloured stick of chalk and ask that you draw a picture or write a message from your heart on the path in front of your house. Your neighbours have been given a different colour, so why not take this opportunity to meet someone new and swap colours?

Please take time to be involved and share in this celebration of summer on Fremantle’s only avenue. If you really don’t want to, please return your chalk to the box at the steps at the bottom of 40 Wray Ave. And if you want to find some more, that’s the place too look!

Your friendly neighbours,

Heath and Emma”

It was fabulous as the photos below attest.

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Save the Numbats!

It will have been a long time since anyone has seen a numbat around Wray Avenue – if anyone ever has!

Your more likely to see a fox these days. Seriously, I saw one trotting down the middle of the avenue about 3 years ago. Nobody believed me until reports in the Herald a year or so ago about backyard chooks being outfoxed in Whitegum Valley.

Foxes are one of the chief reasons numbats are so endangered. The little marsupial – Western Australia’s faunal emblem – used to range as far east as New South Wales. Now they’re found only in the Dryandra Woodland and a few, small pockets of forest in the South West (sadly threatened by the state government’s draft forest management policy).

So there’s something kind of funny that another British import is working so hard to save this species rom extinction. Lisa Hill, a English-born veterinary nurse, has a passion for these creatures that few born-and-bred sandgropers have for this little creature.

On Wednesday of this week, Lisa organised a viewing at Replants of a unique documentary made by Dr Tony Friend in 1996. There’s a clip you can watch here.

About 30 people came down to watch it and be enchanted by the antics of the little marsupial, one of Australia’s most endangered species.

Lisa has also coordinated a fundraising music event at North Fremantle Bowls Club next Sunday, 2 December, to raise money for the campaign to save numbat. The Facebook event, including details, is here.

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