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Kidical Mass ride to crown safe cycling campaign this Saturday

By John Davidson

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Kidical Mass starts at Bellfield Park in Inverness and follows a route to the city's archive centre. Picture: Katie Noble
Kidical Mass starts at Bellfield Park in Inverness and follows a route to the city's archive centre. Picture: Katie Noble

Campaigners in Inverness are hoping a Europe-wide push for safer streets will be the crowning glory as they come together this weekend.

The monthly Kidical Mass cycling and wheeling group is gathering on Saturday – the same day as the coronation of the king – but the focus will be on ordinary people who want to travel safely.

Organisers describe this weekend's family-friendly ride as "the biggest weekend of the year in the cycling calendar".

The Kidical Mass Action Weekend sees every town and city across Europe involved in the organisation coming together on the same weekend to show how many people believe in safe streets for all ages.

Last year an estimated 90,000 people took part at around 400 sites across Europe. Inverness is the most northerly Kidical Mass ride, and people of all ages and abilities are being invited to be a part of the action.

A spokesperson for Kidical Mass North said: "Kidical Mass is a worldwide organisation. Our motto is 'making space for the next generation' and the purpose of our events is to get kids and adults excited about cycling and improve confidence by cycling in a safe and friendly group around the city.

"A city that is safe for children to cycle in is safe for everyone. We all benefit from short journeys being done by bike or other active travel methods – less congestion, cleaner air, easier on the wallet, happier and healthier residents."

As it is coronation weekend, those taking part can dress up in their finest regalia – with crowns on top of helmets, king of the mountain racing jerseys, Disney princess dresses, etc. As long as you can cycle safely in it, then come dressed for a celebration, organisers say.

"This is a fun and friendly marshalled ride from Bellfield Park finishing at the Highland Archive Centre with some fun activities and snacks. Everyone is welcome – all ages and abilities, bikes, trikes, recumbent, tandem, scooters, wheelchairs, the more the merrier. There is no need to book, just come along but children do need to bring their responsible adult.

"As it is already a holiday weekend, we plan a street party theme for our fun and games at the end, with mountain bike ramps from 42 Cycling and face painting, as well as our usual favourites such as the smoothie bike."

This Saturday's event will also be the first official event for Inverness’s new Bicycle Mayor, Emily Williams, who is the first bike mayor in Scotland.

Her role is to promote cycling and active travel and is part of a worldwide network of Bicycle Mayors.

People are asked to arrive at Bellfield Park in Inverness for 1.15pm, ready to ride after a safety briefing at 1.30pm.

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