Hackney school children showcase cycling skills

Hackney bike around the borough 2018

More than 1,000 pupils from 42 schools in Hackney took to the borough’s streets on 28 June as part of an annual event to encourage more children to cycle.

Now in its eighth year, Bike around the Borough (BATB) is organised by Hackney Council in partnership with the Metropolitan Police.

The event is part of the council’s ambition to get more children walking or cycling everyday, with figures showing the number of children cycling to school in the borough has doubled in the past decade – from 2% in 2007/08 to 4% in 2016/17.

The children were cycling together in a ‘bike bus’ – where a group of cyclists ride together along a set route, picking up people as they go.

Riders were supported on the nine-mile route by other schoolchildren at packed ‘motivation stations’, with flag-waving, cheering and drumming to spur them on. Residents and staff from local businesses also lined the route to show their support.

Gabrielle, aged nine-years, from Grazebrook Primary School said:

“I have never ridden on the road before so it was great to put my Bikeability training into practice.”

Seth, aged nine-years, from Grazebrook Primary School said:

“It was a great experience, being able to ride on the roads with all of our friends and hundreds of other children too.”

Asa, aged nine-years, from Grazebrook Primary School said:

“Bike Around the Borough was really fun, and I didn’t realise how many people would be participating or how many people would be supporting.”

The 2018 event was sponsored for the first time by British Cycling, the nation’s governing body for cycling, who joined long-time backers Volker Highways and Berkeley Homes.

Feryal Demirci, Hackney’s deputy mayor, said:

“Every year, I see how excited children are to join other schools and discover their borough by bike.

“It gives them a chance to build on the cycle training we offer and see how fun and healthy cycling really is.

“I’d encourage anyone inspired by Bike Around the Borough, whether you’re an adult or child, to take advantage of the Council’s month-long bike loans, free cycle lessons and pit stops and get cycling.”

06 July 2018