October 2022 report


Keeping the rides safe is the thing we spend most time on when planning. Most importantly, we just don’t want anyone to get hurt, but it would also set back all of our goals if they did.

It would raise the wrong kind of awareness of cycling issues. It would not increase confidence in our child (or adult!) attendees. And, though a community can be bonded together by a traumatic event, that’s really not what we’re going for.

Maps, marshals and messages are the three key legs of our safety strategy.

  1. Maps, because we can’t have a safe ride without having a safe route and a plan. We ride the proposed route making notes on where the difficult junctions are so that know where we need to position our –
  2. Marshals. We are so grateful to have a growing pool of marshals who position themselves (at junctions and when riding) to ensure that children are kept clear of hazards. We make sure they know where they need to be with –
  3. Messages. We circulate the marked up map ahead of time and hold a briefing just before the ride. We maintain headset communication between the ride organiser and the front and back of the ride, so that we can keep the group together and safe.

October’s ride was a big success – the weather was beautiful, people came (40 of them!) on a variety of bikes (including our first recumbent trikes!) and we all arrived safely and together at Forbury Gardens.

For me, a highlight of the day was watching the children play and the adults mingle after the ride. Our three year old does not yet have the speed or stamina to ride the route, but we brought his balance bike with us and he was delighted to be able to whizz around the gardens with the bigger children.

He also offered his little bike to a one year old to have a go. Many adults also test rode each others bikes. It was great seeing the knowledge sharing of how we all make it work between families with children of different ages.

Please come and join us for our next rides! We’ll be in Wokingham on 12th November or in Reading on 10th December. We’d love to see you, as a rider or a marshal, or even just to meet you at the end of the ride.