Month-long Cambridge Festival of Cycling to feature host of events
Cambridge Independent teams up with Camcycle for celebration of cycling in September
Stand by to hop in the saddle and join the chain gang – Cambridge is about to have its very own Festival of Cycling.
The Cambridge Independent is teaming up with the city’s cycling organisation, Camcycle, to celebrate the joys of being on a bike, and promote more pedalling.
The Cambridge Festival of Cycling will take place during September, with a wide range of events planned for one and all.
There is no better place in Britain to stage such a festival.
Thousands of people in and around the city take to two wheels every day, and the numbers are rising.
About 20,000 students pedal to lectures during the university terms, and about 7,000 people commute to work in and out of the city each day from neighbouring villages and towns. Between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, there was an increase of 5,000 in the numbers commuting, up 37 per cent.
According to Camcycle, more than 50 per cent of people use a bike at least once a week, and 58 per cent at some stage each month.
Most households have one or more bikes, but unlike many other parts of the UK, people actually use them, instead of leaving them in the hallway, garden shed or garage. In fact, Cambridge is the nation’s cycling capital, with the highest level of bike use of any town in the UK, beating Oxford and York by a significant margin.
The month-long Cambridge Festival of Cycling will feature many cycling-orientated events, including a:
■ family-friendly picnic ride;
■ cargo bike parade;
■ cycling to work conference;
■ family cycling day;
■ film night;
■ women’s cycling event.
Camcycle is a volunteer-run charity with more than 1,250 members, working for more, better and safer cycling for all ages and abilities in and around Cambridge.
Roxanne De Beaux, the organisation’s executive director, said: “We’ll be working with the Cambridge Independent to conduct a cycling survey throughout the month, to find out more about the cycling attitudes and activities of residents in and around Cambridge. Each edition of the paper throughout September will have special features about cycling – and submissions of great cycling stories are welcome.
“Most of the events will be free; some will have a minimal charge to cover costs and help raise funds for Camcycle. Other organisations are also invited to hold events during the festival and should contact Camcycle to find out how they can get involved. The festival website will be updated as more details are announced at cambridgefestivalofcycling.org.
“The Camcycle team of staff and volunteers have been working hard to bring to life our long-held dream of a cycling festival in Cambridge. Our events will embrace the everyday cycling culture in Cambridge and encourage even more people to experience the joy of cycling.
“As part of our celebration we’ll be showcasing the cargo bikes used by Cambridge families and businesses, celebrating our gender-equal rates of cycling and sharing the best-practices used by local employers to support their staff who cycle to work.”
In preparation for the new academic year, Camcycle will also distribute more than 10,000 ‘Welcome to Cycling’ leaflets to universities and colleges thanks to funding from the Co-op Local Community Fund.
Other organisations and workplaces should get in touch – email@example.com – if they would like to order some of these leaflets or book a lunchtime ‘Cycling to Work’ visit from Camcycle. An animated video based on the leaflet will also be launched at the festival.
To make the festival a success, Camcycle is seeking additional sponsors for the festival as a whole and for individual events, particularly the Cycling to Work conference.
Roxanne said: “We also invite volunteers to get involved by helping at our events, distributing leaflets and raising awareness of the cycling survey. We’re really pleased to have the support of the Cambridge Independent and look forward to welcoming other sponsors on board.”
Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Camcycle on the Festival of Cycling. There is a great range of events planned and we hope as many as possible will get involved.”