Sun shines on Bike Around the Borough
A sea of smiling faces and gleaming bikes greeted onlookers last Thursday 28 June as hundreds of children cycled around Hackney for Bike Around the Borough 2018.
1073 children and adults from 42 schools took to the borough’s streets by bike as temperatures soared to nearly 30 degrees for the eighth-annual fun-filled celebration of cycling.
The children, who were cycling together in a ‘bike bus’ - where a group of cyclists ride together along a set route, picking up people as they go - started from Hackney Downs, and then made their way to Clissold Park via Clapton, before heading down to London Fields and past Hackney Town Hall back to Hackney Downs.
Riders were supported on the nine-mile route by other schoolchildren at packed ‘motivation stations’, with flag-waving, cheering and drumming to spur them on. Local residents and staff from local businesses also lined the route to show their support.
Gabrielle, 9, from Grazebrook Primary School said: “I have never ridden on the road before so it was great to put my Bikeability training into practice.”
Seth, 9, from Grazebrook Primary School said: “It was a great experience, being able to ride on the roads with all of our friends and hundreds of other children too'
Asa, 9, from Grazebrook Primary School said: “Bike Around the Borough was really fun, and I didn't realise how many people would be participating or how many people would be supporting.”
Bike Around the Borough is the Council’s showcase schools cycling event, and aims to get children exploring their borough by bike. It is organised in cooperation with the Met Police and this year was sponsored for the first time by British Cycling, the nation's governing body for cycling, who joined long-time backers Volker Highways and Berkeley Homes.
Every year, I see how excited children are to join other schools and discover their borough by bike. It gives them a chance to build on the cycle training we offer and see how fun and healthy cycling really is. I’d encourage anyone inspired by Bike Around the Borough, whether you’re an adult or child, to take advantage of the Council’s month-long bike loans, free cycle lessons and pit stops and get cycling!
Joining Cllr Demirci on the day were the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, and Speaker, Cllr Clare Potter.
I was again thrilled to be able to join children and volunteers on Bike Around the Borough. It was inspiring to see their joy, hear their songs and chants as they cycled around Hackney, reclaiming our streets together. They represented their borough with distinction! More than anything, BATB shows how committed we are as a borough to cycling and I’m already counting down the days until next year!
Joel Lavery, Head of Partnerships at British Cycling, said: “We hope experiencing cycling as part of their school day and having a taste of HSBC UK Go-Ride coaching at Bike Around the Borough will encourage some young people to cycle more often with their family members or try their local club or facility.”
“We were very proud to support Hackney Council in their efforts to encourage more young people to cycle more often and would like to congratulate them on hosting a brilliant day and leading the way.”
Find out more about cycling in Hackney, including free cycle lessons, month-long bike loans and cycle pit stops, by visiting www.hackney.gov.uk/cycling.
View more photos of Bike Around the Borough 2018 here (credit Hackney Council/Gary Manhine): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmoqXjwz