Between the dates of 6-12 June, our friends over at CyclingUK are encouraging everybody in the UK to get involved with Bike Week 2022. This year, the theme is centred around local communities, and how to get the people in your area up and out riding their bikes.
The past few years have seen many people get back into cycling, from commuters beating the rush hour traffic to exploring the world on two wheels, anyone is invited to join the fun. There are so many ways that you can get stuck in with Bike Week – let’s get this festival of cycling going.
Organise a group ride
The main thing that Bike Week aims to achieve is increasing active participation in cycling across the country, and to do this cyclists everywhere need to get the doubters (or the lazy ones) among us up and out on their bikes.
Organising a group ride for your friends or colleagues is a great way to get this done, and it doesn’t have to be a chain-gang slog, any great distance, or competitive in any way. Take a small group for a leisurely cruise, show off your favourite route and include the all-important cafe stop along the way. Or arrange a post-work ride to a nearby pub.
If you can’t get a band to ride together, why not have a cycle to work week at your office? Or maybe raise the stakes and have a competition of who can cover the most kilometres in a week, winner gets the post-ride coffee?
You can register an official group ride through CyclingUK. Once you’ve got your account set up, you’ll have access to loads of brilliant materials that you can download and use to promote your ride.
Try out a new kind of bike
Most of us have a mountain bike or road bike that we use for our daily commute, or simply to enjoy the roads and trails of the UK, but have you ever considered trying out something a bit different?
The variety of bikes out there to try is enormous, and you never know, you may find your new favourite this Bike Week. A big one is of course BMX, one of the country’s newfound loves following the success of Team GB’s Bethany Shriever and Kye Whyte at the Tokyo Olympics. There are plenty of BMX tracks across the country, or you could even go and practise your skills at the local skate park.
For those wanting a more race-like experience, then the velodrome is the place to go. We’ve all seen what Brits can do on the track and thought we’d love to give it a go. Well, you can! It might seem like one of the less accessible cycling disciplines, but there are plenty of velodromes in the UK, like the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, which offer taster sessions on rented bikes so anyone can enjoy the adrenaline-pumping experience of riding on the boards. This being said, racing on the track can be dangerous so make sure you’re confident in your bike handling skills before taking on the velodrome. And don’t forget, there aren’t any brakes, so you speed demons are sure to love it.
Watch a bike race live or on TV
One of the best ways that cycling can connect a community is when a major race passes through. Think of the street art of the Tour de France and the parties held after the Tour of Flanders – wouldn’t you want that in your street whenever a race came by?
Some of you may be in luck this year as The Women’s Tour runs through Bike Week (6-11 June), so the British public will get a chance to see some of the top professional riders battle it out on home soil. The six-day race sees the riders go from Colchester to Oxford, while taking in some of the sights and sounds of Wrexham, Harlow, the famous Black Mountain and more along the way. The full route is available to view online, so go and check it out – maybe the race will pass right by your house this year. If not, the journey to go and see a stage start or finish is well worth it for the atmosphere alone.
The Tour of Britain will also take place later in the year (4-11 September) and provides another opportunity to engage your community in a celebration of cycling.
For those wanting to stay in the comfort of their own home, every stage of the Women’s Tour is available to watch live in the UK. A watch party for the Queen stage would be fitting alongside the jubilee celebrations.
A belated Jubilee picnic with a twist
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee falls just before, but her birthday is during Bike Week, so we think this an excellent excuse to carry on the celebrations. There are many ways that this could be done, from bike-shaped sandwiches to combining your ride with a special picnic to celebrate her Majesty’s extraordinary reign.
The main thing, as it is with most national celebrations is of course the food. Now by all means indulge yourself during the festivities, but if you’re on a strict training regime for a sportive, triathlon or any kind of event, then we have a few suggestions that you might like:
- Union Flag fruit platter (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
- Coronation chicken and pasta (packed with protein for the night before a big ride)
- Victoria sponge cake (perfect for a sugar boost with your mid-ride coffee)
Bike Week 2022 is raising money to help transform what cycling looks like in communities across the UK. The aim is to achieve the change that is sorely needed in terms of the highway code, increased funding in active travel (not just cycling), increasing accountability to councils that have removed critical cycling infrastructure, as well as many more projects that will help cyclists everywhere.
In order to donate, go to the CyclingUK online shop and simply choose how much you can contribute monthly or in one go – whatever works best for you. Any help is greatly appreciated and will do so much to improve cycling in the UK.
Now that you’re armed with a few ideas on how to make the most of Bike Week 2022, it’s time to get out there and enjoy the festivities. If your local community hasn’t got a Bike Week event scheduled, then why don’t you be the one to get things started? You’ll soon be holding annual local rides for the whole community to enjoy.
Have a great Bike Week 2022 everyone!