Cyclone Works at Leicester's Riverside Festival, photo by Ian Timings
Cyclone Works at Leicester's Riverside Festival, photo by Ian Timings

An unusual bike is all it takes to convert festival-goers to cyclists

I’m always looking for ways to introduce people to cycling and gatherings seem like a good place to offer a try to anyone who hasn’t ridden bike in a while. With sun, Cyclone Works and Ebike, Leicester’s Riverside Festival made cycling very popular.

CTC's Cycling Champions Project asked Cyclone Works to bring along their fun and beautiful bikes, built in Leicester - and people of all ages loved the range of machines. 

There were smiles evoked from the ingenuity of design, the challenge of riding, and the pleasure of watching fruit become a smoothie: the faster you pedal, the faster you get your treat! 

More than 500 people rode the bikes (or tried to). I was disappointed I didn’t have time for a ride, but I did receive requests for cycle training to gain comfort in traffic, from families who were inspired to take up cycling after the weekend.

Ebikes bikes and staffWe also asked Ebike, a new shop selling only electric bikes, to offer test rides and talk to people about the advantages of electric assist. 

As I’ve always been attached to my human-powered vehicle (being human powered), I was a bit sceptical.  I was wrong.  I loved them; everyone loved them!  

They were Leicester's Cycling Officer with mobile bike parking at Riverside Festivalquiet, they were fast - in fact, we gave up on the test rides in crowds... and for many people, they offered the option of a commute to work without breaking a sweat.  One person was so taken with the bikes, he went over to the shop later in the day to have a ride and a longer conversation. 

The shop will be officially opened by the city Mayor on Saturday 29 June.

Hurray for the mobile bike provided by Leicester City Council – what a great way to encourage people to arrive by bike!