Our plans at the start of the year to set up a local cycling club has slowly become a reality. Although our initial idea was to set up a café selling organic food and drinks, and also the sort of cycling gear that we would wear and not what your typical swiss cyclist wears, with rents to be paid and a cycling season of about nine months this didn’t seem a great idea although the need for good cycling wear and equipment at decent prices still exists in Vevey as well as a place for cyclists to go to drink good coffee and eat organic, homemade snacks. This is still an idea for the future.
Vélopunks was finally set up in May with the idea of bringing together people from different backgrounds with a common interest in cycling and also music. It started slowly but at the end of the first year we have a group of about 20 cyclists interested in our projects, from different backgrounds, and although we have never all cycled together at the same time, most people have been out at one time or another with fellow punks.
Although one of our USP’s in May was to host regular cycling events, we found it difficult to find times when all of our cyclists are available to ride. However, at the end of our first year we have hosted three events, all different and all which we intend on replicating again next year hopefully to a wider audience. The first event called Parallel Lines was a sprint around the Jardin Roussy in Vevey where we had 10 riders face off in a knock out competition racing each other both ways around the park with the fastest rider progressing to the next round until we had a winner. We provided homemade snacks and organic Kimera coffee to all riders and spectators and sold t-shirts to our group which we had made by Vistaprint in the U.K. Our second event was a time trial starting from La Pichette campground near Corseaux plage and following the lake to Cully, along the Corniche to Chexbres and down to the lake and back to Pichette and our third event, called Three Peaks, was a mountain challenge demanding riders plot their own route around Mont Pelerin, Les Pleiades and Les Paccots to get a brevet card stamped at each checkpoint. Each competition had its own poster based on a punk music album cover and the actual album was presented to the winners of each race although we also gave out more random prizes to maintain everyone’s interest and motivation, and to be different of course!
Through the summer and autumn months we also hosted regular midweek and weekend rides for those interested although due to a disparate group of people with differing levels of interest and avail it you, it has been hard to maintain everyone’s interest and participation levels at these rides.
We had three members complete the tour of Lac Léman and there is an interest among some members to do a longer distance bike trip next year. We currently pass on information about our rides via a WhatsApp group and we have a Facebook and Instagram page to showcase what we are doing with photos as well as other cycling related information that people might be interested in. A website is planned for 2019 with the Vélopunks domain name already purchased.
We would like to attract more members, host more regular events, be able to publicise our rides and events better and wider. We would also like to have our own cycling kit and this is currently at the planning stage. We also need to think about our social rides and be able to offer different days and distances to people so everyone is challenged and wants to come along. We would also like to help people with bike servicing particularly if they don’t know where to go for it and also to save them being ripped off.