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York students gather bike stories for Tour de France festival

Posted on 18 June 2014

Students at York will contribute to the Yorkshire Festival celebrating the Tour de France by gathering material for Bike Story, a series of performances celebrating the nation’s love of cycling.

Part of the University of York’s @Work careers programme, students will work in collaboration with 509 Arts, an arts production company, to create a project to go on display alongside three free theatre performances at Rowntree Park, York.

Written by award-winning scriptwriter Mike Kenny, Bike Story is an outdoor theatre performance that brings cycling stories to life, featuring actors, bicycles and real tales of the ups and downs of travelling on two wheels.

Aiming to showcase York as a cycling city, students met Alan Dix, director of Bike Story, and produced two ideas for the project: a display board to showcase visual bike stories to exhibit at the show, and a bike wheel in which audience members can attach their own bike stories using small vintage luggage tags.

Adrian Horan, project volunteer and a first year undergraduate in English in Education, said: "This project is a great idea, not only in promoting the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire, but in showing that York is a great cycling city. The stories we have collected put that in the best possible light - there are just so many people from York with positive bike stories to share.

“With regard to the show, myself and the group have been speculating as to what the Bike Story theatre performance includes. To be honest, we can't even begin to imagine what - we'll certainly be taken by surprise this week!"

Alan Dix said: “We’re really pleased to be working with the University of York to ensure that the project includes local voices and local stories.  York has a great cycling history and the students involved have enabled us to extend our reach into all areas of the local community”

Bike Story is one of many student-led Tour de France cultural festival projects, all organised through the @Work scheme. Other projects include ‘Cycle the Solar System’, led by physics students cycling a 10km scale model of the solar system, and ‘incredible edible bike rides’, a series of tours around edible beds in York, giving a taste of ongoing food community projects.

Coordinated by the University’s Careers team in partnership with academic departments, @Work allows student volunteers to demonstrate their commitment to the local community, while gaining valuable work experience to enhance their future career prospects.

Bike Story is showing at Rowntree Park, York on Friday 20 June, Saturday 21 June and Friday 4 July. Free tickets can be reserved at

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