The first time we’ve heard of the Bike Lights Festival at Wadebridge was last year, when we T came home with one of her school’s newsletter asking if any of the kids would want to participate. I don’t know why, but we didn’t go that year. My husband and I don’t even remember what we did, or why we didn’t go. The ones who went said that it was fun, but most of them also mentioned that it was “carnage”. We didn’t put much meaning to that word, until we experienced it ourselves.
Since the historian had a back-to-back lecture in Exeter that day, one of my mum friends picked T and I up. It was also her first time, but she repeated what the others said and also used the word “carnage”.
We arrived early. There were already tents around, some were selling food, and thankfully, the kids found one that caught their eye.
It was a tent that had bikes which powered a bubble machine, a blender and a home-made-spinning-paint-maker (not sure what they called it), which made absolutely stunning designs/ work of art.
The kids had fun waiting for their turns to make their masterpieces, which they took home at the end of the parade.
Thankfully the historian arrived before the start. As you can see from the photos below, I just strung T’s old fairy lights from her room to her scooter. We weren’t really sure if we were going since it was raining the whole morning and my friend and I both agreed that if it didn’t stop, we wouldn’t go. I’m glad I decided that it was still worth wounding up her Tinker Bell lights on her scooter.
There they are, posing before the beginning of the parade. I don’t know why they call it a parade when it wasn’t a parade at all. It felt more like a race! Now I know why the called it “carnage”. It was sheer utter madness once the “parade” started. All hell broke loose. Imagine kids ages 5 and upwards in bikes and scooters, zooming past you.
Sorry for the blurry photos since I only used my phone to take some shots. Besides, even if I brought my Canon, I doubt if I’ll be able to take any decent photos since most of the time, I was actually running! At one point, I actually thought that I was going to have a heart-attack. Yes, that’s how unexercised I am, and how manic it was. I’m glad my husband was there and managed to keep up with T as she zoomed past everyone in her scooter.
It wasn’t just carnage, it was mayhem! Children in steroids. That’s what happens when you give kids the go-signal to scoot/bike the streets of Wadebridge.
Jogging along, I passed a pub with everyone outside watching the parade of madness before them. For a second, I was tempted to run inside and wait for them with a pint in hand and send them a text saying “In the pub. Wait for you here”.
But I ran along, heart pounding, past the dad with two of his daughters, the other one riding way ahead of him, while he hung on to his other child. Another mum from T’s school passed as I stopped to catch my breath, all I could hear was her shouting his name to slow down. She sprinted ahead, I think Mo Farrah would have been impressed!
Then came another Dad trying to stay calm, but you could hear the panic in his voice as the gap between him and his son grew bigger and bigger.
There were funny moments too, like E who somehow let go of her scooter and it came whizzing ahead of her. They were on a slope and one of the mums said she heard a man who was way down ahead of them say, with open arms “Don’t worry sweetie, I’ll catch it for you”.
It was a beautiful night. The moon was out and it wasn’t really cold, although that might also be because we were busy running. By the time the parade ended, we were all holding our coats in her hands and actually sweating!
After the parade, there was a show where everyone’s creations was paraded around a small arena. T along with her friends went up to queue. When the host ask one of her friends her name, she balked and didn’t want to go in, so he turned to T who gamely gave her name as she scooted around in front of the crowd with her other daring friend E (the one who lost her scooter).
It was a lovely fun event in spite the mayhem. This year’s theme was “machines” and we were really impressed with other people’s creations. One man came in a bathtub made of paper, sculpted around his bike. T’s teacher, who represented their school came in what looked like a train with a built-in projector showing some animation (see blurry photo above although it doesn’t give it justice). Others were as spectacular, too bad I wasn’t able to take more photos, since I was busy running, panting and trying not to embarrass my daughter by passing out in the streets.
Are we doing this again next year? T gave us a resounding yes! As for me? I might just be in that pub cheering them from the sidelines with a pint of beer.