MK new kid on block for cycling

120 people from across Milton Keynes gathered for a short cycle ride through the city centre to celebrate MK’s new city status and recent increases in cycling to school and work in MK (see Cycling CitizensMK project and event trailer).

“I always thought Cambridge was the cycling capital of our region,” said ITV News reporter Matt Hudson, “but there’s a new kid on the block. The city of Milton Keynes wants to be the place which has the most people using pedal power.”

The ride was organised by Cycling CitizensMK, a project funded by MK Council. The riders included MK Councillors, business and school leaders, primary school pupils, teenagers and vintage bicyclists in their 70s.

10-year-old Luca Galeanu, who recently helped Bradwell Village School win MK’s (and UK’s) first Bikeability Olympics competition between primary schools, said: “Cycling is important because I learn new things and make new friends, plus it keeps you healthy.”

Teenager Charlotte of MK Youth Cabinet said: “I really enjoy cycling with my friends, I just find it’s an easy way to get around.”

“Cycling is a Council priority,” said Cllr Mick Legg, Deputy Mayor of Milton Keynes (below), who presented the Mayor’s Cycling Awards. “It goes to our cycling strategy and our target to halve our carbon emissions by 2030. We’ve long been a supporter of cycling. We’ve got over 300 miles of redway network.”

“For us it’s a real win-win,” said Richard Scott of Volkswagen Financial Services (above), winner of the award for large company with the highest number of cycle trips per employee. “Cycling is good for our colleagues’ health, not only physical but also mental health. Our group cycle rides in the evenings help camaraderie, bring colleagues together.”

The Mayor’s Cycling Awards presentation took place on Thursday 14th July at The Old Bus Station (schedule), following a Vintage Bicycle Competition (see bikes) and Bunny Hop and Wheelie stunt contests (see trailer) – award winners listed below. MC for the presentation was Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation.

MK Council’s Highways department received a Special Thanks award, presented by Dylan Murray, Deputy Member of Youth Parliament MK South, and collected by Andy Dickinson, Client Services Manager of MK Highways. “Without your hard work maintaining our roads and redways,” said Ian Revell, “none of us would be able to cycle in MK.”

Andy Dickinson receives Special Thanks award and garland designed by local artist Philippa Tipper.

The awards were preceded by a short performance from MK champion break dancer Kevin Kallon and hot snacks from Namji’s Restaurant were served during the awards presentation.

Breakdancer Kevin Kallon

Former Mayor Cllr Mohammed Khan told the riders how proud he had been to see city status achieved during his time as MK Mayor and how important cycling was to MK’s vision of itself as a city.

The riders set off for the short ride to Campbell Park shortly after 6pm.

The ride proceeded up Midsummer Boulevard.

And arrived at the Light Pyramid in Campbell Park for a final celebration.

The award winners (photos below)

  • Category 1: MK’s Top Large Companies (average trips per employee):
    • ICAEW (0.89) – Liz Tribe, Senior Employer Training and CPD Support Executive
    • Volkswagen Financial Services (0.76) – Richard Scott, Chair of Employee Forum
    • The Open University (0.48) – Nick Braithwaite, Head of Sustainability
    • Gemini Rail Services UK (0.45) – David Smith, Change Control Manager
    • Red Bull Technology (0.35) – Phill Elvidge, Production Control
  • Category 2: MK’s Top Secondary Schools (average trips per student & staff member):
    • The Radcliffe School (1.29) – Paula Lawson, Headteacher
    • Watling Academy (0.51) – Ian Bacon, Headteacher
    • Ousedale School (0.26) – Tim Coffey, Teacher
  • Category 3: MK Bikeability Olympics Awards for primary schools:
    • Gold Award: Giles Brook School
    • Silver Award: Bradwell Village School
    • Bronze Award: Oxley Park School
  • Category 4: Contest Awards organised by Cycle Saviours and Iain Talbot
    • Stunt Contest Gold Award (£100 cash prize): Brandon
    • Stunt Contest Silver Award (£50 cash prize): Tim
    • Stunt Contest Bronze Award (£50 Madison voucher): Alex
    • Vintage Bicycle Gold Award (£50 Madison voucher): Allan
    • Vintage Bicycle Silver Award (£10 John Lewis voucher): Barry
    • Vintage Bicycle Competition Bronze Award (£10 John Lewis voucher): Steve
  • Category 4: Special Award
    • MK Council Head of Highways – Thank you for providing our roads and redways. Collected by Andy Dickinson, Client Services Manager.

The contests

Bunny Hop

Vintage Bicycles

Iain Talbot (front) and Chris Bridgman

Award winners

Business winners

Secondary schools winner

Paula Lawson, Headteacher of The Radcliffe School

Primary Schools (Bikeability Olympics)

Vintage Bicycle contest winners

Stunt contest winners

All winners

Special thanks to MK Development Partnership for permitting use of the area outside The Old Bus Station and Ringway Infrastructure Services for providing cones and tape to mark the area off for safety.

See how MKFM Radio trailed the event.

For more information, contact:

Note: Category 1 and 2 awards were based on business and schools’ performances over four cycling competitions 2021-22 (Bike Month June 2021Cycle September 2021Winter Wheelers 2021Ride Anywhere March 2022)

Photos by Jane Russell Photography.

Film: click here to see Thomas Gray’s fantastic new film about cycling in MK, Grid Spinners.

Future rides. Cycling enthusiasts meet for a short ride through CMK every Thursday 5.30pm. Just show up at The Old Bus Station.

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