Manchester’s Kidical Mass inspires a generation of young cyclists

In a vibrant display of community spirit, over 400 people gathered in Manchester's St Peter's Square yesterday to participate in the city's first-ever Kidical Mass bike ride.

The event, which aimed to promote safer and more accessible streets for cycling, especially for children, culminated in a joyful and colourful celebration of young riders.

Organised by proactive parents from across the city region, Kidical Mass provided an opportunity for families to come together and advocate for improved cycling infrastructure.

Layla Siebert, one of the event’s organizers, expressed her excitement, stating: “It’s been amazing seeing so many kids enjoying cycling on the roads in our city, emphasising what’s often missing from our streets: kids independently and safely getting around.

“The fact that so many people have joined this ride shows how much demand there is for families wanting to get about by bike. We know that it’s good for us, it’s good for our communities and it’s good for the planet.

“But at the moment it isn’t always safe or possible because of the lack of joined up cycling infrastructure. We’d love to see more places across the region made accessible to all different types of bikes.”

Sarah Rowe added, “Seeing so many children riding together is a real reminder of the joy and freedom there is in riding a bike. And we know that we need more people cycling if we are going to meet our goals as a city to be cleaner, greener and fairer.

“We hope our leaders will hear the call that streets that are safe for kids to use are better for everyone.”

The substantial turnout for the ride demonstrated the considerable demand among families for cycling as a means of transportation.

Participants emphasised the numerous benefits of cycling, including personal health, community well-being, and environmental sustainability.

However, they also acknowledged the current challenges posed by inadequate cycling infrastructure.

Sarah Rowe, another organizer of the event, remarked, “Observing countless children cycling together serves as a poignant reminder of the joy and freedom that biking brings.

“For Manchester to achieve its aspirations of becoming cleaner, greener, and fairer, we need to encourage more people to cycle. Our leaders should heed the message that streets safe for children benefit everyone.”

Buoyed by the success of the inaugural Kidical Mass, the organizers are already planning future rides.

To stay updated on upcoming events, interested individuals can follow @kidicalmassmcr on Twitter or Kidical Mass Manchester on Facebook.

The emergence of Kidical Mass in Manchester aligns with a broader global trend of communities advocating for improved cycling infrastructure and safer streets.

By prioritising the needs of cyclists, especially children, cities can promote active transportation, reduce traffic congestion, and enhance overall livability.

Kidical Mass serves as an inspiring example of grassroots activism, showcasing the power of collective action and the ability to effect change at the local level.

As families took to the streets of Manchester, their presence served as a reminder that embracing cycling not only contributes to healthier and more sustainable cities but also instils a sense of adventure, independence, and camaraderie among young riders.

It is now hoped that Manchester’s leaders will recognize the pressing need to create a cycling-friendly environment.

By investing in robust infrastructure and prioritising the safety of vulnerable road users, the city can unlock the immense potential of cycling and foster a culture of active transportation for all.

For now, the success of Manchester’s first-ever Kidical Mass ride will undoubtedly fuel the enthusiasm of organisers and participants alike.

With their sights set on a future where cycling is an accessible and enjoyable activity for families, this vibrant community aims to ensure that the next generation can freely explore their city’s streets on two wheels.


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