Now that the Tweed Run and the World Naked Bike Ride (NSFW) have been and gone, you may be wondering if the silly season is already over for cyclists. Not to worry though, there’s plenty more to look forward to!Thanks to the Tour de France kicking off in Yorkshire this month, the UK has gone a bit bicycle mad, with special events and festivals taking place throughout the summer. From serious, sportive stuff like RideLondon’s Grand Prix to the family-friendly focus at the Bristol cycling festival, there’s something for everyone - especially chic cyclists. So what’s on?
Yorkshire (Various)Yorkshire is positively bursting with cycling events this summer thanks to the Tour de France. Check out the Yorkshire Festival, which offers 100 days of art and culture in the build up to the Grand Départ. Expect music, art, literature, history, and theatrical productions that showcase the very best of the country.
Bristol Cycle Festival (5-13 July)Organised by volunteers from the local community, the Bristol Cycle Festival is one of the most understated events on the list but well worth a trip if you’re in the area. With a cycle-in cinema, a vintage velo inspired by the Tweed Run and talks from academics, adventurers and artists, it focuses on cycling advocacy and localism. Prizes for winning the vintage velo include entry into L'Eroica Britannia’s prestigious Peak District rides.
Prudential RideLondon (9-10 August)Held on the 9th and 10th of August, RideLondon brings together cyclists of all abilities for a weekend of races, fun rides and festival antics. Developed by the Mayor of London to promote cycling in the city, the FreeCycle event is of particular interest. Roads will be closed at some of London’s most well known landmarks, so you can enjoy the city by bike but without the traffic! Dreamy!
The RideLondon Grand Prix event is much more serious. It’ll showcase the Olympic and Paralympic cyclists of the future at a series of junior events. However, if you want to get involved with the sportive stuff rather than the spectacle then the RideLondon-Surrey 100 is for you. It is, quite literally, a 100 mile race from London to Surrey.
Tips for Cycle Fests
- Sort insurance. If you’re going to compete in a race or take part in an off-road trail, make sure your bicycle insurance premium covers you in case of an accident. “Depending on how sportive or recreational you are, you might already have full coverage,” says Gerry Bucke, general manager at Bikesure. “However, it’s always wise to double check before you attend a cycling festival as levels of coverage will vary according to your activities.”
- Check the rules before you attend! For example, L’Eroica only allows bikes made before 1987 and will not tolerate clipless pedals or internal cables. It would be pretty heartbreaking to get all the way to the Peak District with your Brompton only to find out they aren’t allowed.
- Reserve a place. These kinds of events are more popular than ever so it’s wise to reserve your place or ticket - especially for free events like RideLondon as they’ll have a cap on numbers.
- Look fabulous. Any opportunity to ride your bike is an opportunity to Bike Pretty, right? From gorgeous gear to beautiful bike helmets, you’re sure to look dazzling at this year’s cycling festivals if you check out our outfit ideas!