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One Rainbow Pedal Revolution After The Other…

Updated: Jun 20

Cycling into the celebrations of June, a full spectrum of bold colours are united to form the famous rainbow stripes emblazoned across our cities, towns and country villages in the form of the iconic Pride flag, now known the world over…

…and the inky blues and purple hues of flowering violets and pansies are now suspended in prime position from hanging baskets that decorate the front of cafes, pubs, shops and people’s houses...

Contrasting against the vividness of the lime sorbet-coloured carnations, which are also in full bloom and fill garden boarders, flags and flowers together make up symbolic displays of bright rainbows and iconic gay flowers which bring to the month of June an all-embracing festive cheer to start the summer season by…


Pedalling Back In Time Across Manchester

The month of June therefore gives us the perfect time in the year to pedal back in time around our home city of Manchester to study it’s historical roots...

Shaped by the contributions made by many generations, we will see how it has played it’s part in the Pride movement’s story, and how it has continued to challenge the status quo in a way that helps make for a comfortable space everyone can call their happy home…

Known for it’s avant-garde identity throughout the years, the home of Blooms & Bicycles is a city which has produced numerous world icons who identified as being gay- many of who had both a major part to play not only in world events which have influenced the course of human history, but also in the progression of social acceptance towards different sexualities and gender roles that have gone on to improve the quality of life for the subsequent generations after them…

The Home of Harry Stokes, A Builder of Manchester’s Skyline…

First we’ll journey over to the area of Spinningfields, now known as The Avenue, to focus on the life of a very successful business man, Harry Stokes. Back in the 19th century this area was a residential road called Cumberland Street, where Harry’s bricklaying business was registered- thus showing him to be a well-respected businessman and upstanding member of the community... 

Born a woman, Harry began identifying as a man in his early life and went on to marry Ann Hants, who as the administrator for the business also had a big part to play in it’s success...

Specialising in the construction of chimney stacks, Harry and Ann’s hard work played a major part in creating the Victorian skyline of the city through the business’ building work, a lot of which still exists to this day to provide us with fine examples of gothic and red-bricked architecture created as an output from the Industrial Revolution the city of Manchester was one of the epicentres for…


Where Winston Churchill Crossed Paths with The Suffragette Movement…

Next we’ll cycle around the corner to the Free Trade Hall on Peter Street to honour one of the women who gave up so much of her life to campaign for the freedoms and equal rights for women... 

Ann ‘Annie’ Kenney, who was known to be lesbian, was one of the founding members of the Suffragette Movement, having been one of the members who set up the first branch.  Her political activism also played an integral role in fighting for the women’s right to vote, which led to her interrupting a meeting being held by Sir Winston Churchill at the hall by holding up a banner saying “Votes for Women” and giving a speech... 

After being removed from the meeting, she was arrested and imprisoned in Manchester’s Strange Ways Prison, which made up one of 13 times she was sent down for her campaigning... 

Parked up under the canopy of this building’s impressive sandstone archways, an overwhelming appreciation is inevitable as you think about how individuals of such importance and influence have walked over the very same pavement flags and stepped up the very same stone stairs in bygone times which, unbeknown to them, would go on to play a major part in weaving together the social fabric of the world we’re now able to live in…


The Location Where Alan Turing Changed The Course of WWII…

Then we’ll carry on cycling just down the road to the Manchester University buildings, in the vicinity of Oxford Road, to look at the historically pivotal achievements of the man who now graces the Great British £50 note... 

A gifted mathematician and computer scientist, Alan played a huge role in World War II through his creation of the Enigma machine that enabled the allies to intercept and decode enemy messages. Subsequently this led to victory at The Battle of The Atlantic- which later came to be known as a major turning point in the war. 

Turing also developed the first computer program known as part of The Manchester Computer Series during his time at the university- a replica of which can be found at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry and is well worth a visit... 

Alan’s cornerstone efforts therefore not only helped protect the free world we are able to enjoy in the present day, but also created the path which has led us into the digital age we’re now apart of… 


Remembering The Life’s Work of A Man Dedicated to Breaking Down Political and Social Barriers…

Next we’ll pedal down a couple of back roads to the Town Hall at Albert Square, to see the place where the life of ‘The Founding Father of the Gay Rights Campaign’ was commemorated. 

A politician who lived in Manchester, Allan Horsfall campaigned for the reform of homosexual laws from his Manchester home from 1964 by creating a committee, which by his death in 2012, went on to grow to a 5000 member-strong group, and through which Allan dedicated a lifetime to breaking down barriers which have allowed for the freedoms people in later decades have now been able to start enjoying.

On the day we cycled here, the scaffolding from the town hall's renovations was still in place. However after a four year renovation project, the city excitedly awaits the official opening of the building and surrounding Albert Square area later this year.


Leading From The Front To Bring About Change For An Underground Community

Now we will cycle over to The New Union Hotel on Princess Street to observe the life of Luchia Fitzgerald who in 1961 found herself at the hotel where she discovered an underground LGBTQ+ community that she became apart of...

It was here she crossed paths with a lady called Angela Cooper, and where together they fought for equality and the rights of the community that regularly made headlines in the news and ultimately played their part in making for a more accepting world.


The Home of The World Famous Manchester Pride Charity

Finally, we cycle back into the present day by pedalling around the corner to Canal Street, to appreciate the warm welcoming vibe of what is now a designated area for organised events set up by the world famous Manchester Pride charity... 

As well as offering a safe public space to come together, the charity also works to create job opportunities for members of the community while using it’s platform to continually campaign for current issues and the needs of LGBTQ+ people.

Each of these icon’s profound stories goes a lot further.  And these are but just a few of the many people from the city who have helped make way for the progress made...

If though, even in just a handful of paragraphs so much can be included, in itself it helps brings home how much we owe to those who have dedicated so much of their lives to contribute to this legacy…


So on that note, here’s…

Four Rainbow Things To Do During Pride Month Through A Cycle Pretty Life…


1.  Make Rainbow Bread!

Taking inspiration from the rainbow roses in our latest flower collection, as well as our recent bicycle adventure to Manchester's Canal Street- where so many colours are brought together in one place through the different flags, I've decided to call this recipe, Pride Rose Bread...

Like the colours that graduate in the swirl of a rainbow rose, the dough of this bread is rolled up to recreate the same effect...

The key is to divide your ingredients into as many pieces as you want colours in your loaf...

Then repeat the bread making process with each individual portion, but each time adding a different food colouring with a touch of rose water and sugar syrup...

Then layer up your different coloured batches of dough on top of each other...

...and roll up in the same way you would a swiss roll- so that an even distribution of colour is visible when it's sliced, before adding to the tin for a final prove...

...brush the top with softened butter and dust with a little extra flour for a crust with extra crunch and added flavour. Then slash it with a knife, which allows for flashes of the underneath colours to come through...

Finally bake on a medium shelf and for a good 40 minutes to get a well flavoured crust, and allow the cosy aromas to fill your home as it bakes away in the oven…


2. Go for a Rainbow Bicycle Picnic

Celebrate Pride month in full rainbow style and go all out with a picnic, flowers and matching accessories. 

We can help you with this if you wish book through our Cycle Pretty Hire Club...

...or you can always pull together some bikes, flowers and matching accessories yourself!


3. Cycle Over To Your Local Pride Event

There are so many Pride events held across the world these days, many of which are geared up as a family day out as much as a symbolic celebration. 

For example, the Pink Picnic which takes place every summer will be happening again this weekend as part of the Salford Pride event.


Should you wish to find out more, information can be found on the websites of Pride charities across the world…


4. Join Us On A Rainbow Bicycle Tour of Manchester!

Pedal your way into the rainbow filled celebrations of Pride season with our brightly coloured Pashley bicycles...

...the bikes can come accessorised with rainbow flower displays adorning the wicker baskets, frames and ding dong bells for a bike tour around Manchester, as we share with you a whole lot more around the stories of those icons and more…

In The Florist Parlour

Embracing the joy this wonderful time of year brings, the Rainbow Collection will help you bring the outside celebrations to your home by combining it with the best of the season's blooms...

Created in a wild woodland style, each of the stems used in the Rainbow flower wreaths have also been carefully selected for their longevity and ability to retain their shape and colour, as they dry out naturally during the course of it's use.


In The Cycle Pretty Boutique

Whether it's to celebrate Pride with a rainbow-inspired bicycle picnic, or whether you have a home style that makes a statement with vibrant, eye-catching colour, this Bronte by Moon rainbow spot check picnic blanket in merino lambswool will be the one for you! 

As a reversible throw, it can be shown on it’s “quiet” grey facing side, or on multi-coloured reverse side for more of a colour-pop approach…



... and if you would like to accessorise with more than one splash of rainbow, there is also a matching cushion!









These picnic-perfect blankets and cushions are made in the heart of the British textile industry's heritage home, the Abraham Moon Yorkshire mill where they have continued to complete all of their factory processes since it was established in 1837. Therefore making it one of the oldest, and only, vertical mill left in Great Britain. 


From June's Book Corner Club…

From our bookshelf collection of Canterbury Classics, and in honour of Pride Month, we bring to you a review of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde...

Only recognised as a classic many years after his death, Oscar Wilde’s only novel is a trepid concoction of vanity, temptation and tragedy with a grand finale underscored by a lesson on retributive balance... 

“Lord Henry went out to the garden, and found Dorian Grey burying his face in the great cool lilac-blossoms, feverishly drinking in their perfume as if it had been wine…”


With a storyline centred around Dorian Grey as the subject of a portrait painting by artist Basil Hallward, Basil becomes infatuated with Dorian who, well aware of his good looks and charm, works them to his advantage to cleverly work situations to his benefit.


“The common hill- flowers wither, but they blossom again.  The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.  In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of it’s leaves will hold it’s purple stars.  But we never get back our youth.”


Becoming aware of his beauty fading, Dorian expresses a wish to sell his soul in return for eternal youth.  Once the wish is granted, he lives a life of amoral hedonistic experiences while staying young and physically unchanged.  Thinking only of himself, he goes on to ruin the lives of many people around him. Meanwhile, his portrait continues to age drastically to visually keep record of all the sins Dorian commits. As the past starts to catch up with him, there's no turning back…


Happy Pride Month everyone.  Hope you all find the rest of it filled with rainbows and celebrations wherever you go. 


See you back here next month... xxx


To find out about Pride events being held around Manchester and the amazing work these charities do, as a starting point more information can be found here:



















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