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First live Kidical Mass of the year takes place in Inverness

The first live Kidical Mass of 2022 promoting safe cycling among the younger generation, took place in Inverness today.

The event, which started at Bellfield Park on the eastern bank of the River Ness, took more than 100 riders for a gentle cycle around the city centre before finishing at Northern Meeting Park.

In support of Kidical Mass, the bells of the Inverness Cathedral rang as the group passed.

At the end of the cycle, children participated in games and activities such as a cycling obstacle course.

Kenny Chan with Abby Haywood and Elspeth Chan, both 7 before the Kidical Mass started.

People of all ages participated using various modes of transport, including bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, buggies and even tandems.

The aim is to promote safe cycling and confidence building for those who feel it daunting to cycle around Inverness because of traffic.

Due to Covid-19 and weather, several of the Kidical rides that were due to take place had to move online throughout January and February.

While the group based in Inverness can safely navigate the city, it has highlighted the need for improved active travel infrastructure.

‘Bikes represent fun, independence and freedom’

During the pandemic, cyclists were often able to ride without too many hazards due to a decrease in cars on the road.

As the country comes out of the pandemic, events like Kidical Mass will educate and support people into becoming confident cyclists when car usage increases.

The hope is that the event will also convince more people to cycle to places instead of taking the car.

There are currently several projects under construction designed to improve active travel infrastructure following funding from Transport Scotland.

The Kidical Mass cycle run took place on Saturday afternoon in Inverness between the Bellfield Park and the Northern Meeting Park. Picture by Sandy McCook.

Sara Ramsey, one of the organisers, said: “It been a phenomenal day for the first ride of 2022. The weather has been kind and we had 105 people take part and ride around the sunny streets of Inverness this afternoon.

“It’s been a ride that we have run since the summer of 2021, trying to get families out to have fun on their bikes and to make sure kids know that bikes are not terrifying things to be kept to parks.

“Bikes represent fun, independence and freedom and a great way to travel without having to be reliant on the car.

“We are grateful for the support from the council, that they are looking to make more active travel routes around Inverness.

“However, small sections of active travel that don’t join up won’t get people to ride further distances such as the shops or their GP Practice, so we need these routes to link up.

“A lot of families with young children don’t feel safe, but if it is an active travel route, more people will feel safe and therefore leave the car at home.”

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