By Ola Young
On Sunday 23rd July, my friends and I took part in the Manchester HSBC UK City Ride event organised by the British Cycling and HSBC UK in partnership with the Manchester City Council. It was the sixth event out of 13 traffic-free, mass participation rides in cities across the UK, as they open up a variety of main roads across the UK this summer for cycling only.
We decided to go on a hunt for ‘Mobikes’ – the new dockless Manchester’s bikes rental scheme – as our “bike of choice” for the ride. The bike provided a very convenient choice and, to my surprise, still a great opening topic for conversation even amongst the keenest cyclists who were very intrigued to know more about them. What I also recently discovered was the potential to track carbon emission savings by accessing the trip’s report on the mobile app. As our Manchester office has recently adopted the use of Mobikes for business travel, it will be interesting to track this potential carbon saving against other modes of transport within the city area.
Initially, I was shocked to see thousands of people gathered in Albert Square ready with their bikes, a sight I wished was not so unusual. Our bright orange-wheeled transporters definitely stood out from the crowd, alongside some very quirky, bespoke cycling apparatus such as the monowheel, recumbent bicycle and (personal favorite) the double-decker bike for which, how a person managing to land on its seat still amazes me. It was equally lovely to see the event opened up to families of all ages, inclusion for disabilities and even provision for dogs in trailers to enjoy the ride!
I think this initiaive of traffic-free city ride on a bike is fantastic and in a sustainable way to see the city. Thanks for the huge support and services from the volunteers and emergency response teams for provided a safe and fun day exploring the city.
Look out for free city rides near you here
Photo credit – Teodor Sofroniev