Whether you are interested in cycling as a sport, a leisure activity, a way to keep the kids active or just as a way to get to work on time, there are events for all at the welcome return of Bristol Cycle Festival from September 16 to 24 2017.
“What makes Bristol Cycle Festival unique is that we represent so many different tribes of cyclists,” says festival producer Hannah Taylor. “For us it’s really not about the type of bike you ride but enjoying the ride as you go.”
There will be more than 50 bike-themed events during the nine days of the festival, and a varied programme: from the Dundry Drubber sportif and Vintage Velo retro bicycle ride; to pedal powered film screenings and workshops to address issues facing cyclists.
There will even be a chance for cycling singletons to find love on two wheels, at Cycle Speed Dating or on the Random Tandem – Love on a Bicycle pop-up rides.
“Together We Ride” is the festival tagline for 2017, and everyone with a bike in Bristol is invited to ride together at Carnivelo, the UK’s only bike carnival on Sunday, September 17.
Bristol Cycle Festival was founded in 2010 when Bristol was awarded Cycling City status. Following its success, the cyclists of Bristol decided to take on the festival themselves.
After five years as an annual community run event, there was no festival in 2016, but its return this year sees the highest ever number of events being included in the programme.
“Bristol truly is a cycling city. It would have been a tragedy to lose the festival when there’s such a strong cycling culture here,” Hannah adds.
“I love riding my bike. It’s such a simple joy to pedal your way through the streets of Bristol. The support the festival has had already, just proves that so many Bristolians feel as passionately about their bikes as I do.”
Hannah’s first experience of the festival was as a punter at the Two Wheeled Drive-In screening of Point Break in 2011, cycling along the Avon Gorge to a hidden location.
“The atmosphere was one, of being amongst old friends, and by the end of the evening we were sharing film quotes and private jokes with the people we’d sat next to,” Hannah recalls.
“I certainly didn’t consider myself a cyclist or part of the cycling community at that point. I was just a girl who had a bike to get her to work. But something had changed, if nothing else, my perception of what I thought a cyclist was. They were just people like me, who liked to ride their bikes.
“And more than that, it was about the power of the bicycle to create connection, community and wellbeing in people’s lives.”
For more information about Bristol Cycle Festival 2017, visit www.bristolcyclefestival.com