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Kidical Mass Manchester to hold Its first family-friendly bike ride in the City Centre

Kidical Mass Manchester is hosting its first-ever family-friendly bike ride to promote safer streets for children to cycle, walk, scoot, and play.

They are hosting their first-ever family-friendly bike ride on Sunday 14th May.

Starting at 11am from Central Library on St Peter’s Square, the ride is open to all, including families with children and young people.

One of the main goals of the ride is to highlight the need for safer streets for children and to urge city leaders to make Manchester’s streets safe for children to cycle, walk, scoot and play.

The route is a 1.5 mile ride around the city centre, which will take in parts of Deansgate and travel along Oxford Road, complete with colour, cheer and a carnival atmosphere.

The ride will end at Whitworth Park, where there will be a get-together and a picnic for riders to celebrate the first ever Kidical Mass Manchester ride.

The organisers of Kidical Mass Manchester are a group of parents who live across the city region, and the ride is part of a global movement that recognises the need for changes in our cities to give children the space to enjoy the freedom and safety they need and deserve.

The ride will be stewarded, fun and child-paced, and will demonstrate the desire and need for segregated cycling infrastructure and a more balanced use of road space.

Pauline Johnston, one of the organisers of the event, explained that people across Manchester are frustrated with the slow pace of change to transform local areas into better places to get around by bike, especially as it is increasingly the natural choice for so many in other global cities.

However, she welcomed the recent active travel strategy published by Manchester City Council and hoped that the Kidical Mass Family Bike Ride would bring joy and inspiration to riders and demonstrate the need for change to make streets safer for everybody.

Speaking to I Love Manchester, Pauline said: “When a child first learns to ride a bike it’s a celebrated childhood moment and yet we don’t create cities and suburbs that make it possible for them to ride around safely so it’s confined to parks and gardens if you’re lucky enough to have one.

“This ride is one way of celebrating the joy and freedom that comes with riding a bike with our children under the stewarding of Kidical Mass organisers.

“The reality is that currently, most people don’t feel safe cycling on our roads with children so for one day at least, we can feel what it would be like to ride freely with our support.”

Everyone is welcome to participate in the ride, and the organisers particularly welcome families with children and young people.

They will also be hosting a family picnic after so everyone can get together and have a chat and a cup of tea.

Pauline continued: “It’s really informal for all our riders to enjoy the end of the ride, get the blankets out, let children continue to whizz around the park on their bikes and have a few sandwiches and brews together.

“A chance for us to plot the next one as well and share the day-to-day adventures and challenges we face getting about on bikes with children around Manchester.

“Our hope is that everyone who wants to walk, scoot or cycle has the opportunity to do that without fear and danger.

“That means we urgently need more well-connected, fit-for-purpose bike lanes that are accessible to all types of cycles and normalise families together on their bikes getting from a to b.

“Walking and cycling should be the easiest option for us.

“Manchester has the perfect conditions for both. Not too wet, largely flat and not a huge area so we really need to rethink some of the ways that public spaces are built from here on in and prioritise active and sustainable choices.

“Kidical Mass rides help to challenge the dominance of cars in our city by showing what’s currently missing in Manchester; children safely enjoying cycling. We need our cities to work for children too. They are our future after all!”

Participants just need themselves and their bikes, although the #Bee Network hire bikes are an option too, and there are free vouchers available for use.

The organisers are encouraging people to wear bright colours and bring a picnic for the end of the ride.

Supporters of the ride include MCR Bike Hire, who have offered a day of free cycling on all of their family cargo bikes for participants or a week’s hire for £50.

Transport for Greater Manchester have also welcomed the event and are offering a two-hour free ride on the yellow #Beenetwork hire bikes that are dotted across the city.

A limited run of 40 vouchers will be available to collect in person on the morning of the ride.

To register interest in either #BeeNetwork Bike Hire scheme or Family Cargo Bike hire, participants can get in touch with Kidical Mass Mcr directly at [email protected].

You can register by clicking here.

Kidical Mass is a worldwide movement. Cyclists of all ages take over the streets to reclaim the road space in colourful bicycle demonstrations.

The format focuses on children and sustainable mobility. You can find out more about the wider movement on their website by clicking here.

The Kidical Mass Family Bike Ride is a great opportunity for families and supporters to have fun and feel safe riding a bike with their families, while highlighting the need for safer streets for children and demonstrating the desire and need for segregated cycling infrastructure and a more balanced use of road space.

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