A WHOLE month’s worth of free, inclusive cycling events will be taking place across the city throughout August as the Ride Leicester Festival freewheels into town.
The festival is an annual celebration of cycling organised by Leicester City Council with support from British Cycling and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
It kicks off on Sunday 1 August with Leicester Wheels For All, a session offering free inclusive cycle sessions at Saffron Lane athletics track from 10am-12.45pm – a chance for anyone with a disability to try riding a specially adapted bike.
On Monday 2 August, the first of a series of guided rides begins with the GNR Ride, a led ride along the route of the Great Northern Railway, from its terminus at Belgrave Gate to Thurnby. Meeting at Town Hall Bike Park at 6.30pm, this steady, two-hour ride for adults will follower lighter-traffic routes and take in sights of the old railway line including Catherine Street road bridge, the former Humberstone Station, the trackbed through Humberstone Park and Station Road in Thurnby. Anyone is welcome to join, especially first-timers who are new to led rides.
On the same evening, Leicester Forest Cycling Club will be offering a skills session for kids at Leicester Cycle Circuit, New College, from 6.15pm. Booking is essential, via the website: https://www.leicesterforest.com/contact-us .
Tuesday 3 August sees the first of the festival’s Bike Fest on Tour events taking place. Bike Fest – which usually takes place at Leicester Cycle Circuit on the final Saturday of each month – will be bringing its mix of games, free basic bike servicing and British Cycling coaching for cyclists aged 5-16 to parks around the city. Try using a bike to make a smoothie or create art! Join in the free fun at Abbey Park from 10am-12pm.
Throughout the month, Bike Fest will also visit Humberstone, Victoria, Spinney Hill, Rally and Bede parks.
Thursday 5 August is Cycle to Work Day, and a chance for anyone who uses pedal power to win some great prizes. And the Hope Against Cancer Bike for Hope cycle challenge takes place on Sunday 8 August, offering amateur riders of all abilities the chance to enjoying riding a planned, scenic route in their own time while raising money for a good cause. Choose from a 60k or 60-mile route through the Leicestershire countryside, with refreshment stops along the way. See https://www.hopeagainstcancer.org.uk/events for details.
On Saturday 14 August, a new, inclusive cycling group called Ride On Sistas will launch, with the aim of getting more women enjoying the benefits of cycling through rides and training. Find out more about the new group at facebook.com/rideonsistas
There’s also the chance to see some fantastic skills in action as the BMX National Championships comes to Huncote Leisure Centre in Leicestershire on 28 & 29 August – details at https://www.leicesterhuncotehornets.com/#British-Championships-2021
Throughout August, there will be led rides, children’s activities, coaching sessions for women from Leicester Women’s Velo and free bike fixes, helping as many people as possible to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a bike.
More details on activities will be added to the Events section of the Choose How You Move website throughout the month. Visit choosehowyoumove.co.uk/ride-leicester-festival-2021/ to find out more.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “We want to make cycling as easy and enjoyable as possible for people, so that new or returning cyclists join the thousands of others who now choose cycling as their number one way to get around the city.
“That’s why we’ve invested more than £70million since 2012 in creating cycle-friendly streets, public transport hubs and cycle routes along main roads. We’re now working on a further £80million package of improvements that includes better transport links for cyclists and more segregated cycle lanes.
“The Ride Leicester festival is a chance to celebrate everything that’s good about cycling – from the benefits to your health and the environment, to the positive effects it has on air quality and the local economy. But above all, the Ride Leicester festival is about celebrating the fact that cycling is fun!”
For more information on active travel in Leicester and Leicestershire, visit www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk