Shropshire Star

World Bike Girl among mass of riders as 200 get in the saddle to celebrate cycling in Shrewsbury

A mass bike ride for families took over the streets as the town to celebrate cycling and promote safer streets for children.

Scottish author and cycling adventurer Ishbel Holmes, known as World Bike Girl, and her daughter Sophia, two. Pictures: Phil Blagg Photography

Around 200 riders saddled up in Shrewsbury for the "Kidical Mass" ride, supported by Dave Mellor Cycles in Frankwell.

The event started at the William Clement Memorial Obelisk at St Julian’s Friars before heading over English Bridge, along Old Potts Way, up Town Walls, and through the streets of the town centre on a circular route back through the Quarry. There was music, fun, and much laughter as the huge group of riders pedalled the four-mile loop.

Shrewsbury's streets were taken over by around 200 cyclists. Picture: Phil Blagg Photography
Shrewsbury Kidical Mass 2023 proved a popular event. Picture: Phil Blagg Photography

Councillor Rob Wilson, who helped organise the event alongside local Shrewsbury residents, said: "It was great fun! We had scores of riders of all ages enjoying the freedom of pedalling on two wheels.

"There were cargo bikes, tandems, trailers, and even some bidding cyclists on balance bikes. It was such a great success that we’re already planning the next event. We hope to make it a regular fixture in the town."

Claire Rogers and Emme Moore, aged 6, get ready to ride. Picture: Phil Blagg Photography
Joshua Watkin, aged five, prepares to pedal. Picture: Phil Blagg Photography

The Kidical Mass ride also has a serious purpose as it is part of a worldwide campaign calling for safer streets for children and young people. Previous UK Kidical Mass events have taken place in London, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, and Inverness.

Shropshire’s first ever event was held in Church Stretton in May and Shrewsbury’s organisers hope their ride will become a repeated event.

Radbrook mum Liz Richardson, who attended the event with her sons, said: "My young boys and I love cycling and use a mixture of roads, cycle paths (when possible), trails and pavements. Our dream is to be able to cycle from Radbrook to Woodfield Infants School safely, on a regular basis.

Hands up if you love cycling! Kathy Fabre got involved in Shrewsbury Kidical Mass 2023. Picture: Phil Blagg Photography
Organiser hope the event will be a regular in the calendar in Shrewsbury. Picture: Phil Blagg Photography

"The first half of the journey is relatively calm and we cycle on roads as there are no bike paths until Roman Road. The final part around the school is nearly impossible, with no bike paths up to the school and narrow, busy roads full of cars. Today was a glimpse of what it would be like for my boys to cycle safely on the streets every day."

Anyone interested in future rides can stay up to date via the Kidical Mass Shrewsbury Facebook page.