The most awesome Kidical Mass Norwich (so far)

Now in its third year, the Kidical Mass Norwich ride on Sunday 5th May was bigger than ever. Over 200 riders reclaimed the city’s streets. Peter Silburn reports on a day full of smiles

Gathering at the start in Chapelfield Gardens

Kidical Mass Norwich grows from strength to strength. The first ride in 2022 attracted around 60 riders. For this year’s event over 200 riders were enjoying the warm sunny weather and a chance to ride with friends safe from car traffic.

Getting ready for the off

Kidical Mass is a growing movement for all ages and abilities with the aim of promoting the enjoyment of cycling as a group, improving cycling confidence and most importantly, having fun!

A penny farthing and a tall bike joined the ride

Kidical Mass rides are inclusive for all ages and abilities, for disabled and able-bodied alike. The rides are fun, safe environments for families and friends to cycle together. They highlight the need for segregated routes that enable children to walk, scoot, wheel and cycle everywhere in safely.

Heading across Tombland

The event on Sunday started with a short ride for the smaller riders around Chapelfield Gardens and the Forum. The full ride then took riders on a 4.6km (2.8 mile) route along Castle Meadow, past the cathedral and across the river at Coslany Bridge, taking in a loop up and down St Benedicts Street (much to the delight of diners sitting outside) before returning past City Hall to Chapelfield Gardens.

The quadracycle led the ride

Smiling faces were everywhere. The joy was clearly infectious. Comments from adults afterwards included “heart-warming”, “epic” and “empowering”.

Riding confidently along a traffic-free St Benedicts Street

New for this year’s event was a quadracycle, which led the ride. A penny farthing and a tall bike brought up the rear. The lasting impression of the event was seeing very young riders cycling confidently and independently – and with big smiles on their faces!

Smiles all around

Eight-year-old India, who attended the ride, said: “It was really fun because usually I have to cycle on the pavement, so I enjoyed going on the road and feeling safe.”

Cycling past City Hall

Fern Blevins of Kidical Mass Norwich said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have so many people join us for the Kidical Mass ride. It really shows how many families would like to cycle when it’s safe to do so. Unfortunately, this generation of children are increasingly deprived of this freedom, in a huge part due to the danger of road traffic.

“As well as being a joyful and fun family ride, Kidical Mass demonstrates the need for safe, joined-up cycle infrastructure, so our kids can cycle safely every day of the year.”

Independence

The next Kidical Mass Norwich ride will be on Saturday 21st September, as part of World Car-Free Weekend. Follow the Kidical Mass Norwich Facebook group and watch out for a newsletter update for further information.

Group photo at the end in Chapelfield Gardens

All photos by James Harvey

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