Free family cycling events in Chelmsford to mark return of RideLondon-Essex
The world’s greatest festival of cycling returns to Essex on Sunday 28 May with 25,000 riders expected to take part, many of whom are raising money for charity.
Ford RideLondon-Essex features 100, 60 and 30 miles rides. The event hopes to inspire us all to make cycling part of daily life. As the name suggests, the route begins and ends in London with a loop through Essex – and riders will pass through Chelmsford during the challenge!
To mark this celebration of cycling coming to Chelmsford for another year, there’ll be lots of events for residents to enjoy.
Chelmsford set to celebrate RideLondon-Essex
RideLondon is a London Marathon, Mayor of London and Essex County Council event, and honours both Alzheimer’s Society and The Eve Appeal as its charities of the year. Chelmsford City Council’s Community Sport and Wellbeing team is proud to be supporting the event and doing all they can to optimise the enjoyment it brings Chelmsford’s residents.
"We’re absolutely thrilled to see RideLondon-Essex is back for another year. It was a fantastic event last year, inspiring many of us to get back on our bikes and others to get active in other ways, with our Heart and Sole walks or Spring in to Action sessions.Antony Bensley, Community Sport and Wellbeing Manager
"2022 was the first RideLondon-Essex and organisers have used feedback from last year’s event to minimise the impact a race of this kind can have on those living nearby. This means fewer road closures and shorter closure times to lessen the impact on people going about their daily lives – without taking away any of the fun and excitement for those who want to join in this wonderful celebration of cycling."
To embrace the spirit of RideLondon-Essex, we’ll be hosting free events in the lead up and during the challenge.
Family Cycling Taster Day
Ahead of RideLondon-Essex in May, a Family Cycling Taster Day will be held in Central Park on Saturday 29 April.
The event will host a range of activities for children and adults, with ‘learn to ride’ courses for all ages and a balance bike session for 2-5 year-olds. Attendees can bring their own bike and helmet or use those provided by organisers. There’ll also be bike workshops where attendees will learn how to fix and maintain their own bikes.
Whether you’re an experienced cyclist, a relative newbie or are just cycle-curious, there will be something for everyone. You’ll find all the latest details about this event on the Chelmsford City Sports website.
RideLondon Cycle Festival
On Sunday 28 May, the day of the event, our very own RideLondon Festival will be held in Writtle.
The festival will feature tonnes of family friendly activities – mostly cycling related, but many just for fun! Expect ‘come and try’ sessions, trails, jump demonstrations, and meet-and-greets with local clubs and coaches. All taking place alongside bouncy castles, sports activities and refreshments.
With this all happening close to the RideLondon-Essex route, you can watch participants cycle by and cheer them on.
RideLondon Festival will take place at Writtle College Sports Ground (Fox Burrows Lane, Writtle) on Sunday 28 May from 10.00am to 3.30pm.
Inviting families to take part
To take advantage of having such a renowned event in Chelmsford, we wanted to ensure residents were granted VIP access! The Community Sport and Wellbeing Team will be running ‘We Ride’, a family bike ride open to a limited number of people.
The ride will start from the festival and join the closed road circuit, giving you the chance to ride alongside (or, rather, follow closely behind) the RideLondon-Essex participants on the actual route they’re taking.
We Ride is open to adults and children, and covers a 1.5 mile loop. Numbers are limited, so it is essential that you sign up.
Cycling in Chelmsford: Not just for RideLondon-Essex
If you can’t wait for these events to get cycling, you don’t need to! With over 30 miles of dedicated cycle routes in Chelmsford, you can get started any time.
"Cycling is a great way to help Chelmsford become even greener, and boost our health and wellbeing at the same time!Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford
"The City Council’s Community Sport & Wellbeing team has devised a range of great family-friendly cycle routes around Chelmsford – with short, medium and long options to suit everyone. We’ve also embraced cycling as an alternative to the car, installing secure bike hangars in the heart of the city, to make cycling a straightforward commute option for people, whether working in the centre or travelling on from the bus or train station.
"Now spring is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dust off your bike and ‘gear up’ for our Family Cycling Taster Day and the RideLondon-Essex festival!"
You can find maps for the cycle routes Councillor Moore mentioned.
What you need to know
Please be aware the RideLondon Cycle Festival is only accessible by bike or on foot – there is no vehicle access to the site. There is a convenient cycle path via Fox Burrows lane, leading to/from central Chelmsford.
Find out more about access and road closures at ridelondon.co.uk/community-info.
Essex County Council and the organisers of Ford RideLondon-Essex are holding public engagement events for residents to meet the team, learn more about event plans and ask any questions they may have. The next event is in Great Waltham on 6 April. Further details can be found on the RideLondon website.