Thursday 18 May will see Croydon host its first ever Cycle Fest, with a day packed full of events and activities taking place across the town centre, ramping up to two professional races on the Croydon street circuit.
Local schools will be taking to the course from midday, and visitors will be able to take part in cycle confidence classes on Katharine Street. At 2pm there will be a Brompton Experience where riders will aim to complete as many laps of the circuit as possible on a folding Brompton Bicycle, and at 2.30pm the re-cycle Bikes to Africa event will take place, using bikes made from recycled parts. The Mayor’s charity race will take place at 3pm, with a team relay on the full race circuit. All proceeds will be going to CODA and The Samaritans, the new Mayor’s Charities for 2017. For details about how to sign up to take part in any of these charity events, please visit the Croydon Cycle Fest website at www.croydoncyclefest.co.uk.
As well as the cycling activities, Croydon will be buzzing with dance and music. Beats & Eats will be hosting the live stage at The Queen’s Gardens, with acts and DJs performing from noon until the end of the day, with great tunes to keep everyone dancing. Food will be on offer in the shape of a gourmet hog roast and posh pizzas, whilst MyPT Studio will also be on hand to help burn off the calories. Rimski’s Piano will also be performing in the Promo Zone on the High Street at several times from 12.30pm, and the Bicycle Ballet – an innovative dance group, who perform thrillingly while on their bikes – will be showing off their routines at different locations during the day, beginning at Boxpark at 3pm.
Croydon Cycle Fest is about celebrating everything to do with bikes and promoting cycling as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. There will be representatives from British Cycling and other organisations giving advice on how to get fit, and in the Active Zone (The Queen’s Gardens) there will be a number of healthy food and drink options – including Urban Smoothie Bikes, where you will be able to blend your own cycle-powered smoothie.
Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, said: “Cycling is hugely important to modern cities. It’s often the best way of getting around in Croydon and London. At the same time it’s a brilliant way of staying fit and it can also help people to cope with poor mental health in a positive way. Then, for competitive people, it offers so many ways of challenging yourself – from speed and endurance to challenging stunts on BMXs. This new festival celebrates all of that and promises to be a fantastic day out for spectators and participants alike, it’s also a great way to celebrate Croydon”.
The day of activities builds up towards the two professional races that take place in the evening: at 5.30pm, the Matrix Fitness GP Series women’s race and at 7.30pm, the Tour Series men’s race. The Tour Series is returning to Croydon for the third year in a row for Round Five of the 10 round series. It features seven top professional teams, including last year’s series winner Madison Genesis – while the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series will have a record 13 full-time teams competing.
Expect an evening of high-cadence drama before the winners are crowned at 9pm.