Cycle event aims to help bike users gain in confidence on the roads

Lambeth Council helped to spread the cycle love at Clapham Common for National Bike Week on Saturday.

Pitched in the centre of Clapham, the event contained stalls and music, while cycle skills challenges were laid on to inspire young and old to get on the saddle.

The event was one of hundreds organised across the UK to coincide with Bike Week, now in its 95th year.

Working in tandem with Cycle Confident the council’s aim was to provide cycle and road safety information, security tips, and to promote the new ‘Quiet Way’ cycle path that runs from Waterloo to Croydon.

Laura Borchardt-Hume from Cycle Confident said: “The more people that ditch cars and start cycling the better.

“I think Lambeth Council are doing a lot to promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle choice, and essentially the more we can do to show that cycling is fun, practical and cheap the better.

“Our transport systems are buckling under the strain with the amount of people that use it, so cycling really is the future and the way forward.”

Bike security was also on the agenda as the Police backed ‘Bike Registration Marking’ scheme had a stall encouraging people with bikes to sign up to the scheme to combat the rise in bike thefts across London.

The idea is to give each bike a registration number and if it’s stolen, the police can return it the owner if found.

“At the moment only 5% of bikes are marked,” said community support officer Andrew Turner.

“Even though our police stations are full of stolen, and recovered bikes, no one gets in touch with us to see if they have been found.

“If everyone had a registration bike mark, we’d be able to get it back to their owners.”

Hundreds of people attended the event and Suzie Harrison, Lambeth Council’s sustainable travel coordinator, believes these events are important to get parents to realize that cycling is a safe thing for their children to do.

Father of two Michael Keeves, 34, said: “I’ve always been skeptical about cycling on the roads, and the thought of my children riding on them in future obviously worries me.

“But the expert advice given out here, and the fun way it’s done so the children absorb the information, does make you a little more relaxed for when they do eventually get out on the road.”

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