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Free family cycling day will celebrate RideLondon-Essex

To celebrate RideLondon-Essex returning to Chelmsford this month, the council’s community sport and wellbeing team are hosting a Family Cycling Taster Day on Sunday 26 May in Central Park.

All activities are free and everyone is welcome to come along and help us kick off a summer of cycling!

Amateur Cyclists Enjoy The Ridelondon Freecycle 2023
The RideLondon festival of cycling sees elite and amateur riders take to the streets of London and Essex. Image copyright London Marathon Events.

RideLondon brings elite international cyclists to London and Essex

RideLondon is a three-day event, taking place from Friday 24 May to Sunday 26 May. It’s made up of three rides; the Ford RideLondon-Essex (30, 60, and 100), Ford RideLondon FreeCycle, and Ford RideLondon Classique.

The centrepiece of this festival of cycling is the RideLondon-Essex 100, which takes place on Sunday 26 May and will pass through the Chelmsford district. The 100-mile challenge gives amateur riders a unique opportunity to cycle through some of London’s best-known streets and the picturesque villages and countryside of neighbouring Essex.

You can find full information about where the riders will travel though Chelmsford, and how being part of the route will affect residents, here.

An Amateur Cyclist Dressed As A Pilot At The Ridelondon Freecycle 2023
RideLondon Freecycle 2023. Image copyright London Marathon Events.

If the route passes through your local area, you’ll be sure to see riders flying by and they would love for you to cheer them on!

Alternatively, you can head to the council’s Family Cycling Taster Day, which will take place in Central Park to ensure maximum enjoyment and easy access for those who want to celebrate. Attending won’t mean missing out on the action of RideLondon-Essex 100, as the event includes a family ride from Central Park to Writtle, stopping at one of the best viewpoints to watch riders.

Celebrating with a Family Cycling Taster Day

On Sunday 26 May, Central Park will be host to a range of cycling taster sessions, designed with the whole family in mind. From 10.30am to 2.30pm, you can enjoy an array of free activities for all ages, including making your own fruit smoothie on our Smoothie Bike, joining learn-to-ride sessions (for all ages!), and discovering our free Explore Chelmsford cycling maps.

Councillor Natacha Dudley says the event is an opportunity to celebrate RideLondon-Essex and cycling in general:

“The Family Cycling Taster Day is a perfect way to begin our Cycle For Summer programme, which aims to encourage everyone to get cycling, to benefit our health and the environment.

“Seeing the thousands of riders take part in RideLondon-Essex, as well as the incredible professionals in the RideLondon Classique, is always inspiring and reminds us of the joys of cycling. We’re very fortunate to have many great traffic-free cycle routes throughout the district that make cycling an option for all of us, however experienced we may be.”

– Councillor Natacha Dudley, Cabinet Member for an Active Chelmsford

Timetable of events

You can drop in and meet the team any time from 10.30am to 2.30pm. The smoothie bike will be available all day for you to cycle your way to a delicious treat!

There are also organised events throughout the day, led by our experienced cycle instructors and all completely free to join.

10.30-11.30am

  • Come and try balance bikes for children aged two to five years old (balance bikes supplied)
  • Learn to ride taster for children (bring your own bike)
  • Bike workshop: Learn how to maintain your own bike

11.30am-12.30pm

  • Come and try balance bikes for children aged two to five years old (balance bikes supplied)
  • Learn to ride taster for adults (bring your own bike)
  • Bike workshop: Learn how to maintain your own bike

12.30-1.30pm

  • Come and try balance bikes for children aged two to five years old (balance bikes supplied)
  • Learn to ride taster for children (bring your own bike)
  • Bike workshop: Learn how to maintain your own bike

1.30-2.30pm

  • Family bike ride: A gentle ride from Central Park to Writtle, where you will watch and cheer on riders in RideLondon-Essex 100, then head back to Central Park. The ride is approximately three miles in total, all on traffic-free cycle paths. Children must be supervised by an appropriate adult.

Please book in advance for the balance bike and learn to ride sessions, bike workshops, and family bike ride. Book your space here.

Pro Cyclists Ride Through Essex In The Ridelondon Classique 2023
Elynor Backstedt (GBR) leads her Trek-Segafredo Team (USA) teammates through Essex during the Ford RideLondon Classique 2023. Image copyright London Marathon Events.

Speak to the team about cycle for summer

The council’s community sport & wellbeing team have created a cycling program for summer 2024, designed to get you cycling for summer.

At the Family Cycling Taster Day, you can speak to the team to find out about upcoming events, learn to ride sessions, and the fantastic giveaways you can enter by using our free Explore Chelmsford maps!

An Example Of Explore Chelmsford Cycle Route Maps
An example of the Explore Chelmsford map, complete with I Spy competition details!

There are multiple cycle paths in Chelmsford, offering short, medium and long route options, so there’s something to suit everyone. Visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/explore for more information.

For advice on where to watch RideLondon-Essex, visit www.activeessex.org/ridelondon-essex/ridelondon-essex-spots-to-watch-and-local-events/

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Molly Smith
Molly Smith

Molly writes stories about public health, community safety, leisure, community sport, parking and Chelmsford Market.