SCHOOLCHILDREN will be showing off their Bikeability skills with a cycle ride into the city centre this weekend.
The schools’ ride will be part of this month’s Open Streets event – where activities take place on city centre streets to encourage people to walk, cycle and make the most of Leicester’s open spaces.
On Sunday (26 June), three cycle rides will depart from neighbourhoods in Aylestone, Western Park and Rowley Fields. Children from city schools, who have taken part in Bikeability training and the Sustrans school programme, will get the chance to test out their cycling proficiency on safe routes into the city centre, accompanied by their families and experienced ride leaders.
When they arrive in the city centre, they’ll be treated to an exciting display of mountain biking skills from the Danny Butler Extreme Mountain Bike Display.
Like all other visitors to the city centre on Sunday, they’ll also be able to take part in lots of free on-street, family-friendly activities to celebrate Open Streets. Use pedal power to make a smoothie or a piece of art with Cyclone Works’ crazy bikes, enjoy a rickshaw ride, try out an adapted bike or grab a ride on a Santander Cycles Leicester e-bike. The Outdoor Education Company will be bringing their mobile climbing wall to Green Dragon Square for free climbing trials, too.
Open Streets activities can be found on Green Dragon Square, Town Hall Square and Churchgate between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday.
Each month, Open Streets will also display a portable street art gallery at Town Hall Square, delivered by local artists’ collective Graffwerks. A different artist each month will create a piece of work during the afternoon, building on the gallery of work first started at Open Streets events in 2019.
Live acoustic music is provided at BETA X, on Churchgate; and look out for the Sambando street drummers in the city centre throughout this month’s event.
There will also be guided walks, led rides and fix-it sessions from Dr Bike.
Meanwhile, on the last Saturday of each month, Bikefest at Leicester Cycle Circuit gives people the chance to try out Leicester’s purpose-built cycle circuit for free.
This Saturday, 25 June, from 1-4pm, the circuit will open up for free access to riders of all ages and abilities. Bring a picnic and enjoy riding around the smooth tarmac of this traffic-free loop as many times as you want. No booking is required – just turn up and ride.
British Cycling Go-Ride coaches will be on hand to help visitors improve their cycling skills, plus there’s the chance to try out specially adapted bikes for people with disabilities. Cyclone Works will also be bringing along their range of static fun bikes and popular disco bike, with a boom box mounted on the back!
If you don’t have your own bike, British Cycling have a fleet of bikes young people can use for the coaching sessions, or e-bikes will be available to try courtesy of Santander Cycles Leicester, the city’s bike share scheme.
Leicester Cycle Circuit is based at New College, in New Parks, and access is via St Oswald’s Road.
Deputy city mayor for environment and transport, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “The city council delivers Bikeability training for both children and adults, to help people learn how to get around by bike. These guided rides, supported by Sustrans, will be a great chance for schoolchildren to show what they have learned.
“Active travel is only going to become more popular and widespread in the future, so it’s really important that children are equipped with the cycle skills they need to get around safely.
“These events help to demonstrate how easy it is to get around our city by bike or on foot, thanks to our ongoing work to connect Leicester with extensive cycle tracks and pedestrian access.
“Cycling and walking need to be as easy a choice as possible for people to make, so that we can all do our bit to improve air quality, our own health and help to tackle the climate emergency. This weekend’s events also highlight an added bonus of travelling in this way – it’s fun!”
Find out more about BikeFest at https://www.visitleicester.info/whats-on/bike-fest-p822091, and Open Streets at https://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/leicester-open-streets/