Following last year’s inaugural city status celebration ride (photo story & video), 90 cyclists from across the city rallied at The Old Bus Station to thank MK City Council for its leadership and ambition in recent efforts to promote cycling to school and work.
Business and school leaders were welcomed by the High Sheriff of Buckingham and Mayor’s Cycling Awards were presented.
Before the presentations, Cycle Saviours provided Dr. Bike services, Panacea Samba band played music and cyclists met a cycling dinosaur and automota created from bicycle parts by Festive Road.
There was also a break-dancing display from Kev Kallon and free hot food from Namji’s Restaurant.
While the awards are being presented, free hot snacks will be provided by Namji Restaurant.
After a welcome from Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation (pictured below left), there was a speech from Dame Ann Limb, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire (pictured below centre), who later joined the cycle ride. “Cycling plays an important role in tackling inequality and reducing inclusion,” she said. “MK’s cycling infrastructure is for everyone, not just cycling fanatics.” She pledged to join a Mayor’s Cycling Breakfast next year and promote cycling at other events across the county.
Victoria Miles MBE, CEO of The Parks Trust (pictured above right), spoke about how MK’s parks provide excellent opportunities for leisure cycling as well as routes to school and work.
Then the Mayor’s Cycling Awards were presented by Deputy-Mayor Marie Bradburn.
- Top Cycling Companies (based on results here) were introduced by Grant Wildman of Schwalbe Tyres, pledging a prize set of new Green Marathon tyres to the winner:
- Top Company Cycling Promotion Initiatives (per 100 employees) – 1st place, Gemini Rail Services (2.36) – collected by David Smith
- Top Company Cycling Promotion Initiatives (per 100 employees)– 2nd place, ICAEW (0.80) – collected by Liz Tribe
- Top Company Cycling Promotion Initiatives (per 100 employees) – 3rd place, Volkswagen Financial Services (0.43) – collected by Mel Welburn.
- Bikeability Olympics 2022-23 awards for primary schools, introduced by Nicky Newlands, Bikeability Instructor, who announced that MK City Council has provided Bikeability cycle training to 20,000 local people in the past 10 years, including 2,187 in 2022-23:
- Gold Award – Bushfield – collected by pupils
- Silver Award – Giles Brook – collected by pupil Thomas Winepress
- Bronze Award – Two Mile Ash – collected by teacher Jake Saville.
Then Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children & Families (pictured below), talked about why and how MK City Council wants to increase cycling among Year 7 school students.
And Murray Woodburn, the Council’s new Head of Traffic & Transportation (pictured below), talked about why and how MK City Council wants to improve its national Active Travel rating.
Then Eliza Ahad, Year 8 student from Stantonbury Campus (pictured below), spoke about why she likes cycling.
“Cycling gives me freedom to explore my neighbourhood and makes me feel independent,” she said. “I like cycling around my area, but would like it even better if more other people of my age did it too.”
Then Councillor Nolan accepted a gift for Council leader Pete Marland, to say thank you for including in the Council’s new Delivery Plan a goal to increase MK’s Active Travel rating from 1 to 2 in the next one year and also a goal to support a pilot project to get more Year 7 pupils cycling to school. Both Cllr Nolan and Officer Woodburn pledged to continue their support for these initiatives.
After a safety briefing from Dave Lewis of MK Parks Trust (route map & risk assessment), the cyclists set off up Midsummer Boulevard for a ride to the Light Pyramid in Campbell Park.
Free bikes for the event
People were invited to take up the Nextbike of free Santander bicycle use for three hours. “We want to be part of the MK community,” said nextbike’s Leigh Richards, “really want to be engaged with it.”
Cyclists using the Better Points app were given an extra 250 Better Points on their account for recording a cycle ride of more than half a mile to Campbell Park between 5 and 6.30pm.
Thanks to Ringway Infrastructure Services for providing cones.
Flyer: download event flyer here.
Photos: by Sagar Kharecha.
Film: click here to see Thomas Gray’s fantastic new film about cycling in MK, Grid Spinners.
Other rides. Cycling enthusiasts meet for a short ride through CMK every Thursday 5.30pm. Just show up at Station Square.