Community Cycleworks is working with a multi-agency partnership in Snodland to engage local young riders in a positive biking project. The aim is to reduce the instances of anti-social biking while showing young people that bikes can be used as a mode of transport, a means for fun and adventure, and a way of getting a healthy dose of endorphins without having to ride towards oncoming drivers on the wrong side of the road!
Our partners are Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, Clarion Futures, Kent Police, Kent Youth Sertvice, Mitie, Holmesdale School, Kent Fire and Rescue, Snodland Town Partnership and our honourary club link with Wigmore Cycling Club.
Our activities cannot completely remove what is deemed as anti-social riding, and often the joy of pulling a wheelie is too much to bear for the young riders. However, through our project we have significantly reduced reports of this locally, as well as providing a safe traffic-free space for them to meet up, ride, practice new skills, fail, try again and then succeed while supporting each other.
Activities include a local event at Larkfield fire station:
…mountain biking rides on local trails, bike repairs and maintenance workshops and, of course. plenty of opportunities to swerve, wheelie and combo… away from members of the public and off-road in a safe, traffic-free environment.
We appreciate that they are not angels but they are good kids. While they can use bad language to each other, and are often in a big group (due to the positive power of social media), which can sometimes feel intimidating… but all of our riders have reported being driven at on purpose and nearly 25% have been intentionally knocked off of their bikes by drivers.
So, instead of feeling intimidated by them… why not try taking a deep breath and asking them to show you their best trick? They will often turn into complete show offs and laugh with you at their failures.