Inverness cycle campaigners to mark World Bicycle Day
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Inverness campaigners will mark World Bicycle Day on Saturday at their latest monthly Kidical Mass ride through the city.
The group wants to see safer streets for children of all ages and abilities and is part of a global movement running the regular get-togethers.
Organisers say they look forward to welcoming new and returning wheelers for a friendly and inclusive ride, which begins at Bellfield Park and finishes at the Archive Centre where there will be fun activities, snacks and other surprises.
They said: "Everyone is welcome – every month we have such a massive variety of bikes, trikes, recumbent, tandem, scooters, wheelchairs, and riders of all abilities. There is no need to book, just come along, but children do need to bring their responsible adult.
"If you want to take part in a toy swap please bring along a toy that you are no longer playing with and exchange it for something different!"
The United Nations marks Word Bicycle Day on Saturday, June 3. Explaining why it celebrates the bicycle, the UN states on its website that cycling offers a range of health benefits.
It adds: "According to the World Health Organization (WHO), safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is also a pathway for achieving greater health equity. For the poorest urban sector, who often cannot afford private vehicles, walking and cycling can provide a form of transport while reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and even death. Accordingly, improved active transport is not only healthy; it is also equitable and cost-effective."
Kidical Mass is growing rapidly across the UK and worldwide, with about 40 groups now established in the UK. On the global weekend last month over 500 rides took place worldwide, with an estimated 150,000 in attendance.
Organisers of the Inverness event point to recent research from Cycling Scotland which shows that while 97 per cent of drivers agree that driving too closely to people is dangerous, more than one-third admit that they don’t think of someone cycling as a person, being more focused on getting past and getting on with their journey.
A spokeswoman for Kidical Mass North said: "This behaviour by drivers, combined with the lack of segregated cycling infrastructure in our city, is a major deterrent to people cycling for everyday journeys.
"The Kidical Mass movement aims to give voice to children in the debate around active travel – we need to make it possible for them to cycle to school, or to the park or to play with friends – we need to give them back the independence they have been denied. Limit traffic, not our children."
The ride begins at Bellfield Park on Saturday at 1.30pm