Great news, funding for the following project has been approved, which means Electric Pedals are off the Malawi early next year! Woo Hoo!
A meeting with Elspeth Waldie founder of Purple Field Productions the other week has sent us off on yet another adventure….
Purple Field Productions is a charity that makes films and videos for educational and humanitarian purposes. Their mission is to not only increase awareness and understanding, but also to give people a voice.
A few months ago, Elspeth and team just happened to be out in Kisoro, Uganda making a film about protection of the environment and improving livelihoods in the face of climate change, and bumped into our old friend Denis Agaba from the Wild Life Clubs of Uganda. We met Denis in 2009 having handed over our first prototype of the Field Cinema to support the conservation work he and GAFI were doing in the surrounding schools. Denis gave Elspeth a demonstration of his field cinema and talked about the good work it was doing (see Purple Production’s director having a pedal above). Elspeth and her team were excited at the prospect of using this system in some of the regions they support in Africa. They currently take their films about HIV/AIDS, disability awareness, cerebral palsy, agriculture/food security and the environment to Malawi, Ghana and Rwanda and beyond.
For each project Purple Field Productions works in partnership with a collaborator – usually a small charity or NGO who work in the field and see the need for a film, but cannot afford to make one themselves. At the moment many of the educational films end up being shown on a TV powered by a petrol generator. The equipment is heavy, and fuel for the generator is not always available. One of Elspeth’s potential partner groups in Malawi sent this statement and pictures:
“This last year we have found it has been an extremely difficult year with regards to running mobile film shows, there has been (and there still is) a fuel crisis in Malawi, obviously we cannot run film shows without fuel as we use a generator to power it. Our staff have been walking to reach projects when we do not have fuel.”
We met Elspeth and talked through some ways we could solve these issues. One of the things that was clear was that our Electric Pedals bicycle generator and bicycle combination was not the solutions. They felt that it was just too cumbersome and heavy. So we needed to devise a energy generating unit that was fit for purpose; light, efficient, rugged and ultra portable.
This is what my dad and I have come up with so far (to be fair, he’s done most of the work!).
It’s early days yet, we’re meeting with Purple Field Productions again in a few weeks to continue discussions and iterations of this new design. We’ve tested the kit and it works brilliantly and at a mere 7kg, you can put it on you back and climb a mountain with it. Fingers crossed we’ll start sending these out to Africa next year to continue the great work the field cinema started.
Aside from anything, it’s been ace working with my dad on this project, who I have to say has been a legend…thanks Dad.
The Para-T Cycling Team is Here!
by Jody Cundy MBE
Wow, nearly missed this being a January update, my god this month has flown by.
2011 already! That means the Paralympics are next year! It’s all starting to sound a little scary, however I’ve still got 576 days to train and perfect everything before then!
Well 2011 started with me switching to a new cycling team. A team I helped setup with my girlfriend, to be honest she’s done a great deal to get it up and running.
Here’s a little bit of information about the team I’ll be competing in.
“Para-T” (Paracycling Team) is a unique cycling team made up entirely of some of the best Paralympic cyclists in the world. The team has been formed to help promote Paracycling, and demonstrate the skill and speed of athletes who compete at the Paralympics.
Through promoting the amazing ability of our riders, and not their disability, we aim to increase the interest in Paracycling and push the boundaries of the sport as well as to show that sport is something nearly everyone can do.
In the first year of racing, the team will be mostly focused on track events, but a number of road races and time trials will be attended whenever possible, with athletes competing in both Paracycling and able-bodied events.
The team is a mixture of British and German riders, and hopes to expand in the future with increased rider numbers and racing on the road.”
For all the up to date information on the team, and a look at the amazing looking kit I’ll be racing in, head over to our website www.paracyclingteam.com.
With the world championships fast approaching (March 11th-13th) I’ve spent many hours on my bi- cycle and things are going really well. This winter I’ve spent more time on my bike getting in the endurance miles than ever before, because in addition to the team sprint and kilo I will be also competing in the 4km Pursuit at the world championships. The GB team is on a point scoring mission to make sure that we have the most athletes available at our home games in London, and that translates into yours truly doing the pur- suit! The pursuit training, is quite a challenge for me, and is quite different from the out and out sprint train- ing I’ve previously done for the Kilo. It’s all about measuring your effort, and not giving too much too soon, but making sure you get everything out by the end. As part of my learning process in the event I’ve painfully found this out in training, and it really does come back to bite you before the end of the 4km if you go out too fast! However with GB’s rich history in the pursuit I have a wealth of advice on hand from coaches and riders, and fingers crossed if all goes well, there may be another medal in it, which would make all the hard work worth it. But one step at a time!
With the poor weather in the UK over the winter, it was really nice to get away to Majorca for a 10 day training camp with the GB squad. The weather gods were really on our side, and we were greeted with bright sunshine every day. That made such a nice change to our rides, being able to head out in shorts and minimal layers, so much nicer compared to multiple layers I’ve been used to in the last few months! The camp was a huge success, with the whole squad getting in many quality miles, and making the most of the beautiful weather. It was definitely the time to be on the island as we spotted many of the professional teams in their preseason training, including Sky, Leopard Trek and Lotto.
￼I’m back from Majorca now, and my training has now switched focus, as I’m back on the boards of Manchester Velodrome trying to convert those miles into some race speed. Things have been going really well, but with the Manchester round of the World Cup fast approaching track time’s been a bit crowded. However inspiring as it is to watch the GB Team Pursuit team in full flight in training, it’s never a great situation to have to rush your efforts on track, so next month we have a 2 week GB training camp at the Velodrome in Newport with just the GB Paracycling squad in attendance. Once the world cup is over, it’s back to Man- chester to put the finishing touches to my preparation before heading out with the team to Montichiari on the 7th March.
Well that’s January all done, were there really 31 days? Catch you next month for another update.
All images ©Copyright Christina Kelkel