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Kidical Mass returns to Manchester to inspire the next generation of cyclists

Kidical Mass Manchester is returning with a family-friendly bike ride to promote safer streets for children to cycle, walk, scoot, and play.

On Sunday 19th May hundreds of families will once again have fun riding together through Manchester as part of the global Kidical Mass movement.

This event follows the hugely successful one last year, where 100s of people took part. 

Gathering at Central Library at 11am on Sunday, the bike ride will take in the city centre before heading south to Whitworth Park.

Kidical Mass Manchester


Layla Siebert, Founder of Kidical Mass Manchester and a mum of two keen cyclists, said “I feel passionate about living in a city where all families feel confident cycling, walking or wheeling on the streets, but I can say first-hand that most roads feel unsafe to ride on with children. We have an urgent need for segregated and safe cycling infrastructure across Greater Manchester.

“If we make our streets safe and enjoyable for kids, we will make them safe and enjoyable for all.”

What is Kidical Mass all about?

One of the main aims of Kidical Mass is to demonstrate the urgent need to make our city streets safer for people of all ages.

Organisers say Andy Burnham’s recent manifesto committed to improving safety and mobility for children on their way to school.

Kidical Mass organisers say they would welcome these changes, but ultimately kids need to be safe on all of their journeys – not just on the way to school.

European City of Cycling 2024

Paul Richardson, one of the Kidical Mass MCR organisers, added “ As a parent of two young children, I realise the positive difference that riding a bike or walking on a journey can make to our children’s wellbeing.

“Kidical Mass demonstrates what could be possible if families were considered at the heart of the city and transport planning and more widespread cycling was enabled. ”

Manchester has been crowned the European City of Cycling in 2024which is an accolade aimed at boosting the city’s ambition to support cycling across the city.

Kidical Mass organisers say that their event proves (3000+ attendees last year) that lots of people want to cycle with their families – but don’t currently feel able to do so without the safety of a big group ride.

Sarah Rowe from the Streets for Kids campaign, a partner of Kidical Mass, said that she hoped the rides would demonstrate how our cities could work better for everyone. “Last year’s rides showed what joy it brings both participants and

passers-by to see lots of kids on bikes. But at the moment riding a bike around Manchester often feels unsafe, especially with young children. Kidical Mass shows that so many people would choose active travel if there were safer routes and better infrastructure.”

Sunday’s event will be a family-friendly, marshalled cycle ride, ending with a picnic in Whitworth Park, where children will be invited to imagine how they want Manchester to look in the future.

Last year’s event

Speaking to I Love Manchester last year, Pauline Johnstone 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.”

Pauline continued: “It’s 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.

We hope 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 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!”

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