‘Cycle Sunday’, Traffic-free Cycling Fun on Bristol Downs: Sunday 16th September

On Sunday 16th September Bristol Downs is set to be taken over by thousands of cyclists of all ages for some traffic-free cycling fun!

Cycle Sunday is a free annual event which will offer a car-free route for children and adults of all abilities to enjoy, plus lots of other child-friendly activities.

Taking place from 10am-2pm, Circular Road and Ladies Mile will be closed to cars so that people can enjoy a relaxing, 3.5 km bike ride around the most beautiful area of Clifton Downs.

Cycle Sunday will also give children the chance to practise cycling on the road safely and previous events have seen many children learn to ride their bikes for the first time!

All are welcome along to enjoy the festival atmosphere. Join in with the Carnivelo which will visit Cycle Sunday this year for some fancy-dress fun, let Dr Bike fix your bike for free, try out specially adapted bikes and create a work of art on the paint spinning bike.

You can also enjoy pedal powered smoothies and watch tall bikes and penny farthings whizz by!

An annual event, Cycle Sunday is now in its 4th year and attracts up to three thousand participants.

Its success has demonstrated the huge amount of interest in the Downs as location for bike riding especially for children who need plenty of space and a lack of hills to develop cycling skills and stamina.

Joining Cycle Sunday 2018 will be Bristol’s Family Cycling Centre with their especially adapted all-abilities bikes.

Cycle Sunday is supported by many local organisations who will be offering activities on the day. These include the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge (FOD+AG), Avon Gorge Wildlife Trust, Life Cycle UK, The Bristol Bike Project, Pedal Progression, Bristol Cycle Festival, Bristol Cycling, Ape Project and Bristol Energy.

Cycle Sunday is a free event organised on a shoestring by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, along with local parents.

James Cleeton, Sustrans South Director explains:

“Sustrans is committed to encouraging people to walk and cycle across Bristol. We have supported Cycle Sunday from the very start, giving advice and information to the group who ran the first three events in 2015. Since 2016, we have organised the annual Cycle Sunday and continue to work closely with the community of parents who founded it.

“The event enables young and less confident cyclists to get out on their bikes and experience the Downs in a completely different way. The atmosphere is so positive and it’s a great opportunity for cycling organisations across the city to come together and offer activities to the cyclists who come along.”

Vicki Cracknell, founder of Cycle Sunday explains:

“Cycle Sunday was established to expand opportunities for car free cycling in Bristol. We are looking forward to welcoming people of all ages and abilities for a leisurely ride around the Downs again this year. The event is brilliant for children who can develop their skills and build their stamina on our 3.5km route. We always love hearing the stories of those who have learnt to ride at Cycle Sunday!

“A bylaw from the 1861 Downs Act prohibits cycling on the Downs apart from on a short section near the Water Tower and the shared used path along the busy Westbury Road (A4108). Our aim with Cycle Sunday is to demonstrate the huge demand for safe, car free cycling around the Downs with its 400 acres of beautiful, flat parkland.

“There is a wonderful opportunity for leisure cycling there, particularly if it was possible to hire bikes up at the Downs. This would enable people from other parts of the city to come by bus and enjoy the Downs by bike.”

The new Lord Mayor, Cleo Lake who chairs the Downs Committee will attend the event and this year’s event is sponsored by solicitors Barcan and Kirby with additional support from Bristol Bicycles, Bristol Cycling and Pedal Progression.

Cycle Sunday 2018 is a free ticketed event. To register to attend please visit www.cyclesunday.net.

Happy cycling!