The streets of Belfast were taken over by hundreds of cycling enthusiasts today (Friday 10 June) as Ride on Belfast made a welcome return to the city.

The popular event is part of Bike Week and returned for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Encouraging people to swap four wheels for two wheels, it promotes an active lifestyle through encouraging people to commute by bike.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Tina Black with Stephen McNally from Cycul, organisers of the Ride on Belfast event

Belfast’s First Citizen, Councillor Tina Black was at City Hall this morning to welcome cyclists.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people choosing to leave the car at home and hop on their bikes to get into work today. There are so many benefits to cycling – not just in terms of the environment and helping to create a greener city, but also in terms of physical and mental health. I hope that if anyone is commuting by bike for the first time today they might consider making it a more regular habit.”

Councillor Black added: “Promoting sustainable transport and getting people to think more about embracing sustainable living is one of priorities during my year in office. Events like Ride on Belfast are great at raising awareness and encouraging people to think about ways in which they can live more sustainably. Also, with the cost of living crisis, we know how expensive it is to fill up your car; and while we appreciate cycling to work won’t be possible for everyone, for those who can, we hope today’s event gives them some food for thought, and encourages people of all ages to get on their bike.”

Celebrating its eighth year, the event is organised by Cycul Belfast and supported by Belfast City Council.

Cyclists joined the Ride on Belfast peloton from Queen’s University Belfast to City Hall this morning

Stephen McNally from Cycul, one of the organisers of today’s event, said: “We’re delighted to bring Ride On Belfast (#ROB8) back again after a two-year break. During the pandemic, interest in cycling and active travel boomed, right across the city, and it has been great to see so many people at City Hall today.

“Ride on Belfast is the one day in the year when people can experience what it’s like cycling to work in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London and all the other great European cities, that have embraced cycling as the most effective, efficient and healthiest way of travelling in the city. We hope this persuades not only more people to embrace the simplicity of cycling to work, but also persuades politicians and transport planners to make this an everyday experience – not just one day in the year.”

Early this morning, the peloton departed from Queen’s University, travelling through the Holylands, down the Ormeau Road and towards the city centre. On arrival to City Hall, a number of vendors provided free breakfast and coffee.

For additional information, you can visit the website at www.rideonbelfast.com

 
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