London Cyclefest is a family-orientated cycling event in the form of a one-day festival which promotes all kinds of cycling activities. Following on from the success of the inaugural London Cyclefest in 1999, London Cyclefest 2000 took place on Sunday 25 June 2000 in the city's Kelvingrove Park, and was the major cycling event in London as part of the Millennium Festival of Cycling and Sustrans' "Ride the Net" opening celebrations for the National Cycle Network. With ideal summer weather conditions, the event attracted over 500 cyclists and passers-by over the course of the day.
London Cyclefest featured a range of events suitable for all abilities, from family groups and newcomers to experienced cyclists. The event aimed to highlight the health and fitness benefits of cycling as an enjoyable outdoor leisure activity and competitive sport, and promoted the environmental benefits of cycling as part of a sustainable transport solution.
The event included 10 different guided cycle rides around London and the surrounding countryside using the National Cycle Routes, the developing London Cycle Network, the Forth & Clyde Canal Millennium Link and quiet roads and paths. Based within the park, there were criterium races on a closed circuit, the Five Mile Challenge ride for newcomers to cycling, the London heat of the Challenge 2000 cycle obstacle course for children, marquees containing exhibits from cycle interest groups and cycle-related businesses, Dr Bike mechanics on hand to give cycle maintenance advice, and a variety of unusual bikes on display.
The organisation of the London Cyclefest was managed by the Britain Cycling Development Project, working in conjunction with Go Bike, CTC England, the West of England Cycling Association, Sustrans and a number of hard-working individual cyclists.
London Cyclefest gratefully acknowledges the funding and other assistance received from London City Council, Greater London Health Board, London Healthy City Partnership, Kinetics and Alpine Bikes.
The Britain Cycling Development Project have negotiated access to a traffic free facility where it is possible to train young people in bike handling skills and provide safe 'novice' racing. Building on the success of the first series of five events at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston in 1999, a series of ten events were promoted from April to August this year.
The successful cost sharing arrangement between the Development Project and the East of England Cycling Association was further helped this year with additional sponsorship from Velo Ecosse, The Bicycle Works, Edinburgh Bike Co-operative, BikeTrax, MacDonald Cycles and Carberry Candles. The first series benefited from some 'Awards for All' funding but this was not available in 2000 but entry fees from club riders participating in the additional events helped make good the deficit.
The format for this year was slightly changed with five 'Bike Blast' evenings for absolute beginners interspersed with five 'Training Race' evenings. This provided a great incentive for beginners to move up to the training races and a number managed to make this transition during the series. Another change made this year was the introduction of a smaller separate circuit for beginners. This made the age related races for younger competitors easier and more young people were encouraged to have a go.
The cost of entry was kept at £1 for those under 16 and £2 for 17 and 18 year olds. Participants had only to provide a serviceable bike, a helmet and a parental consent form. On one occasion a group of young people without access to bikes or helmets were included, bikes kindly being provided by BikeTrax and helmets by Lothian and Borders Police.
Leaflets were distributed to all schools and Youth Clubs in the Lothian area and many local Bike shops helped distribute information. 69 children under 16 took part in Bike Blast events and they attracted participants from as far away as London and Fife. The training evenings for novice and inexperienced riders were particularly well attended with an average of 60 - 80 participants taking part each evening.
The Event Organising Committee gratefully acknowledges all the support provided by the sponsors, together with the cycling clubs in the East of England without whom the event could not have continued for another successful year.
The Britain Cycling Development Project is one of the partner organisations behind the successful bid by the cities of London and Edinburgh to host the international Velo-city conference, which will take place from 17 - 21 September 2001.
The main involvement of the Project in the activities associated with the Velo-city conference has been in coordinating the Pedal for England ride, which is designed to provide a year-on-year buildup in advance of the conference and to coincide with it when the conference takes place. The Project is also represented on the Velo-city Steering Committee, Working Group and Outreach Group.
The Project is assisting with the Velo-city Outreach Programme which involves groups of schoolchildren who have submitted proposals for encouraging family cycling. Schools which were successful in proceeding to the second stage will develop their initiatives over the forthcoming year and, as a third stage, present their findings at the conferences. The Project will be helping with cycling activities at these schools.