An east London borough is looking to kick start a cycling revolution following the huge success of bespoke cycling event last weekend.

Almost 10,000 people flocked to Abbey Green in Barking on Saturday (21 May) to enjoy the fun in the sun at BikeFest, sponsored by Amazon Key.

As well as the professional Tour Series cycle races, which were televised on Sunday night ITV4, residents enjoyed a huge range of activities including BMX bike displays, Salsa dancing workshops, live music, electric vehicles, information stalls from local campaign groups, and children’s entertainment.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “BikeFest was a huge success and it did exactly what it was meant to do: promoting sustainable and healthy travel in fun and creative way.

“Residents were involved on the track, on the electric vehicles and on the dance floor – it was wonderful to see.”

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First Regeneration, said: “Sustainability is central to our mission to accelerate regeneration for the people of Barking and Dagenham, and BikeFest really illustrated this.

“It demonstrated just how exciting, varied and practical cycling can be – from professional racing and daredevil stunts to everyday commuting and electric Lime bikes.   We hope it will help to start a cycling revolution, to improve air quality and reduce traffic and congestion in the borough.”

Video: highlights from round six of the Tour Series in Barking


Mick Bennett, Tour Series race director, said: “The Barking BikeFest will live long in my memory and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. It was a triumph for showcasing sustainable transport, healthy living and community engagement. It was fantastic to see so many families attending in anticipation and leaving with smiles on their faces.”

The community races, supported by Willmott Dixon and Weston Homes, gave hundreds of local people – aged from three to 64 – the opportunity to compete on the professional racetrack, under the enthusiastic gaze of their friends and loved ones.

There was also an all-abilities Cycle 4 All race – sponsored by EcoWorld – which demonstrated how inclusive cycling can be and providing an opportunity for disabled residents to cross the finish line and receive a medal.