On the Tuesday after Christmas eighty plus people, young and not so young, responded to an invitation to “work off the Christmas pud” by taking part in a community bike ride around traffic calmed streets in Bounds Green and Bowes.
The quiet streets in the Bowes and Bounds Green LTNs make it safe for kids to take to their bikes.
The festive bike ride criss-crossed the boundary between Haringey and Enfield, two boroughs that have been taking measures to encourage their residents to adopt healthier ways of getting around – walking and cycling – by preventing cars, vans and lorries from cutting through residential side streets.
A vision of safe, healthy and people friendly streets
The community groups that organised the ride also straddle the borough boundary: Haringey Cycling Campaign and its sister organisation Enfield Cycling Campaign were joined by the Haringey branch of Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, and by Better Streets for Enfield, whose vision is for the borough’s streets to be safe, healthy and people-friendly.
The ride was also a great success for two local bike-friendly businesses. The Prince in Trinity Road opened early for pre-ride coffees and post-ride lunch, and Hot Milk Café, near Bounds Green station, opened specially for the half-way break – both did a roaring trade.
Adrian Day, co-ordinator of the two Enfield groups, was struck by the diversity of the people who turned out for the ride:
“There was a good mix of ages, including many young people and a couple of people in their seventies, and we had Turkish-speakers from Edmonton-based Londra Bisiklet Kulübü, members of women’s bike group JoyRiders, and a cute dachsund. We had a good reception too from people along the route, who smiled and waved as we rode past.”
“I can see why you like cycling now!”
Film-maker Carla Francome’s young son thoroughly enjoyed his first group ride (on a balance bike):
“It was so nice being part of a big gang, I felt like people cared about me. And it was fun. I see why you like cycling now.”
Community bike ride film from Carla Francome on Vimeo.
Thanks to Basil Clarke from the Palmers Green Community webpage for the ride report.