Ealing Joins Freecycle Event

130 cyclists on Prudential ride

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Ealing Safer London Transport Team giving free bike marking service. Copyright: Meena Toor 

Lesley Alexander and Mike Sargent, with 16 year old daughter Isobell. Copyright: Meena Toor.

Ealing Cycling Campaign ride co-ordinator, Paul James with Ben Owen. Copyright: Meena

Bikers get briefed before rides set out. Copyright: Meena Toor


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On Saturday 3rd August, Ealing Cycling Campaign guided 130 experienced and non-experienced cyclists into London for Prudential Freecycle’s free cycling event. Ealing Safer London Transport Team was also on hand to mark bikes in a bid to reduce bike theft.

Ealing Cycling Campaign – a group of social cyclists – helped arrange two different rides for cyclists. Meeting outside of Ealing Town Hall from 9.15am, cyclists of all ages could take part in an ‘easy ride’ through Ealing’s flat back streets, or an ‘experienced ride’ through Uxbridge Road, towards Central London. Ealing Cycling Campaign ride co-ordinator, Paul James, says:

“I like to encourage people to cycle. It keeps me fit and healthy. It’s a very reliable way to get to work. Hopefully, we’ll have all sorts coming on the rides – adults and children.

“We have a leader and back stop (marshals that are positioned at the front and end of the group) so it’s all very controlled. People can learn to ride in a safe environment with other people around them.”

Ride London, organised as an offshoot from the Olympics last year, is made up of members who organised the London Marathon. In partnership with Ealing Cycling Campaign, feeder rides (smaller riders that guide riders to a larger ride) were created to provide safe entry into London to attend the London Freecycle.

Feeder rides are a popular way of non-experienced riders getting involved. Ben Owen, ride master for the earlier ‘easy ride’ says they, “show people a quiet cycle route into London that they otherwise wouldn’t know – it allows people to get out attending cycling events.”

51 year old couple Lesley Alexander and Mike Sargent, with 16 year old daughter Isobell, are attending a cycling event for the first time. Lesley explains why they joined:

“We think keeping fit is very important. We think doing things together as a family is important. And because, I’ve lived in London for a long time and have always been keen on cycling, but I don’t generally cycle in London because I am concerned about the traffic and the dangers of cycling in London compared with other countries.”

Experienced rider, 30 year old, Oliver Don has attended previous cycling events like Skyride and agrees that “it’s generally fun to bring people together. I’m looking forward to the London bit because I don’t often get to cycle in London.”

Also in front of Ealing Town Hall, the Ealing Safer London Transport Team was promoting bike tagging to cyclists.

In conjunction with Ealing Council, the Metropolitan Police and TFL, the Safer London team were providing the equipment free as part of a campaign to reduce bike theft. Sargent Antony Beasley said:

“It’s very important. It’s like have a registration number on a car, for your bike. If the Metropolitan Police, or any police force, recover bikes, then we need a way to trace the owner of the bike.

“By registering your bike with the bike registering kits that we use, we can then look back and see who owns this bike.”


Meena Toor @journomeena


8th August 2013