Hundreds of young cyclists from more than a third of Hackney’s schools recently completed a nine-mile circuit in the borough’s fifth annual mass bike ride.
Bike Around the Borough (BATB) is organised by Hackney Council in partnership with the Met Police.
It was the world’s second-largest ‘bike bus’*, with 873 pupils, staff and parents cycling from Hackney Downs to Hackney Marshes. It missed out on breaking the bike bus world record by just eight riders*.
The ride provided a chance for pupils to practice skills learned at cycle training and also saw school staff trained in cycle marshalling.
Robin O’Brien, 10, from Queensbridge School, said: “It was exciting to be out on the streets with no cars. I love cycling because it’s good exercise, it doesn’t pollute and it’s good for the world.”
Rebecca Fouhy, nine, also from Queensbridge, added: “The ride was good because I learned how to cycle with more confidence on the road. I like cycling because it makes me feel free and happy.”
Councillor Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and sustainability, said: “As well as being a great day out, the event had some serious aims, including to increase and encourage future generations to cycle by showing them how fun, healthy and easy it is to get around the borough by bike.”
With the highest cycling rate in London, Hackney Council aims to be the Capital’s most cycle-friendly borough, with the ambition of 15% of residents travelling by bike for all journeys by 2025.
A bike bus is a cyclist’s version of a walking bus, where a group of cyclists ride together along a set route, picking up people as they go. The current world record stands at 880, achieved by Banksia Beach State School, Australia, in 2014.