If you think cycling’s just for commuters or lycra clad racers on expensive bikes, think again. It’s #BikeWeekUK, the annual event celebrating how fun and easy it is to take up cycling.
Manchester is a place with plenty of opportunities for cycling, on and off-road. According to North West Velo Fest organiser Joe Hulme, it’s got a cycling community that rivals most big European cities, with hundreds of people showing up to Critical Mass on the last Friday of every month and social rides for all ages and abilities almost every week.
“This festival is all about celebrating that with 15 weird and wonderful events, from the naked ride to the street art tour, hopefully there’s something for everyone,” says Joe.
So save money, get fit, get cycling. All you need is a bike.
And don’t worry, the Naked Bike Ride was yesterday. You don’t need to get your kit off for any of these events.
North West Velo Fest
North West Velo Fest is a grassroots cycling festival organised by the cycling community of Manchester, now in its 6th year and running – or cycling – until the 24th. It features inclusive, welcoming and free bike events of all varieties, from bike polo to bicycle dancing. It starts in style with the infamous World Naked Bike Ride setting off from All Saints Park on Friday 9th June, with other highlights including the official launch at the Old Abbey Taphouse on 10th June from 8pm with live music, followed by a midnight mass – a huge night ride with bike sound systems. There are also a number of road rides including a street art special, the Spandex Ballet, a music tour, beer and deer ride and a summer solstice road ride into Cheshire.
Park Family Ride & Dr Bike
This is an opportunity for all the family to come down to one of Salford’s parks and rent a bike courtesy of Manchester Bike Hire during Bike Week 2017. There are some exciting hire options available which you may not have had chance to ride in Manchester before from kiddie bikes to cargo bikes and even a couple of electrics thrown in. You can also bring along your own bike if you have one as they will be running Dr Bike sessions offering health checks and repairs on the spot.
Platt Fields Bike Hub
This bustling bike hub based by the boathouse in Platt Fields Park is putting on a range of events coinciding with UK Bike Week. They’ll be running two Dr Bike sessions on the 11th and 18th with free minor repairs, safety checks, free tune ups, tool club plus hire opportunities. On Monday 12th June all are welcome to try out a free Bike Dance taster in the park – that’s right, bikes and dancing – with famous all-female troupe The Spokes from 6-7pm, whilst on Sunday 18th there will also be a BMX tricks display.
Platt Fields Bike Hub, The Boathouse, Platt Fields Park, Manchester, M14 6LP
Bike Life drawing at Sandbar
Test your artistic ability by sketching a life model and bike with artists of any level welcome for this unique life drawing event at relaxed Oxford Road venue Sandbar. There’s the chance to have your artwork displayed at the Velo Fest closing party and a prize for the most popular picture. Starts 5pm on Sunday 11th June. Bring your own sketch books and equipment.
Sandbar, 120 Grosvenor Street, Manchester
BiZycle week at Z-arts
Family-orientated community arts and resource centre Z-arts is putting on a special BiZycle week celebrating all things cycling from Monday 12th – Saturday 17th June. It’s ideal for younger audiences with activities including street-dance to bicycle songs and craft workshops making hi-vis accessories. On Saturday 17th at 10.30 am and 12pm, families are invited for experimental bike-themed action painting – cycling through paint -with free bicycle health checks available too.
Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester M15 5ZA
The Annual Cycling Event 2017
The Annual Cycling Event returns for Bike Week with stalls, interactive artwork, competitions and performances. This year is marking the Oxford Road bike lane transformation as well as National Clean Air Day and it’s all happening at University Place on Oxford Road Thursday 15th June. This celebration of cycling and the environment begins early with breakfast from 8-11am, with anyone who cycles to the event receiving a free breakfast at EATS Restaurant, University Place. There’s also a themed photo booth with free instant prints, a decorate-your -own plywood bike silhouette with artist Richard Dawson to create a piece of stunning communal artwork, a How Slow Can You Go race and much more running until 3pm