On 18 May central Croydon will be brought to life with a wide variety of fun things to do, some simply for entertainment, and others to promote health, fitness and sustainable travel.
Leading the fun is the Bicycle Ballet, a dance company whose members create exhilarating outdoor performances on bikes. They will be popping up at locations across the town centre, starting at Boxpark at 3pm, before going through North End, the High Street, and finishing in The Queen's Gardens in the evening.
The Queen’s Gardens themselves will host the ‘Active Zone’ with lots of opportunities to learn and get advice about how to get active and stay healthy. DIY Fresh fruit smoothies and wholesome street food will be available, all to a soundtrack of DJs and live music from local promoters, Beats and Eats.
North End will host a range of stalls, including Brompton Bicycles and Cycle Republic, who will be showing off some of the latest cycling kit on the market. There’s also the opportunity for drivers and cyclists alike to learn about road safety in an ’exchanging places’ demonstration which lets riders learn how much of a restricted view many lorry drivers have.
Cycle Republic will also be part of the ‘Mechanic Zone’ further down the High Street, providing free fixes and tune-ups for bikes in need of a little TLC. Thhis is where a bike-marking service will be on hand to keep your bike secure and increase the chances of its being returned if lost or stolen.
Throughout the day there will be events taking place on the Croydon street circuit. Visitors will be able to try out all sorts of bicycles, from cargo bikes to folding Bromptons and bikes made from recycled parts.
Local schoolchildren will be competing against each other in the afternoon, and the public can get involved in a series of events for charity, including a team relay. Details about this and how to sign up can be found on the Croydon Cycle Fest website at www.croydoncyclefest.co.uk.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, said: “The last two Tour Series race days in Croydon were impressive, and with the Cycle Fest now in place to bring the whole day alive this year’s event is going to be an amazing experience. Croydon’s got so much to offer, and community events like this really bring the town centre to life.”
Brompton Bicycles’ head of marketing, Carmen Byers had this to say: “We are looking forward to being involved in Croydon Cycle Fest. As a company we are always looking to get more people to try our bicycles to showcase how fun cycling is, we have no doubt the event will give many people the opportunity to do so.”
Karen Poley from Bicycle Ballet said: "The Bicycle Ballet Company celebrates cycling in a fun and quirky way, exploring the highs & lows of cycling & people's relationships with their bikes. We can hardly wait to perform at Croydon Cycle Fest - we're aiming to meet everyone! Watch out for epic human/bike sculptures, slo-motion races & plenty of shenanigans."