Safety first as organisers take decision to pull plug on event, but it will be back next year

Organisers of Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride, cancelled on Sunday due to a combination of a road traffic accident and poor weather that made conditions dangerous for entrants, have said it is impossible to reschedule the event for later this year, but promise it will be back in 2012.

The four rides that make up the mass-participation event open to all ages and abilities had each been due to travel on a route including the Portway, closed to motor traffic each year to allow Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride to take place.

However, an accident involving a van there on Sunday morning before the road was closed resulted in diesel and glass being spread across the surface, while there were also fears that a lamp post over the road might collapse.

With safety considerations uppermost, organisers cancelled the ride for the first time in the 18 years it has been held, and as it turned out it was four hours before the road could be cleared and reopened.

Councillor Jon Rogers, Bristol City Council's Executive Member for Cycling, commented: "Everyone was really disappointed. Over 5,500 people had registered to take part, and more were registering on the morning of the event. 100's of people had already turned up ready to ride, even in the rain, when the decision came through that the event was cancelled.

"Today, we considered the the possibility of rescheduling the event for later in the year. Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride is a major event that involves a huge amount of work and resources to ensure that it is safely and properly run for thousands of people to enjoy.

“It was concluded that logistically it is not possible to reschedule for this year. However, we'll concentrate efforts on making next year's event even better. In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to enjoy the many other cycling events being held in and around Bristol this summer."

In the meantime, there are a number of other cycling-realted events coming up in Bristol in the months ahead, starting with the World Naked Bike Ride on Sunday.

The same day sees Dinotour, a family cycling treasure hunt for dinosaur clues that follows 13 miles of the Bristol-Bath Railway Path between Whitehall and Bath.

On Thursday 23 June, there’s the Bristol Bike and Walk Picnic on College Green, and on Saturday 25th June, cyclists get half-price entry at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Finally, 17 July sees the 56-mile Great Weston Ride, which starts in Bristol before heading over the Mendips and the Somerset Levels to Weston-Super-Mare.

Full details of all those events and others can be found on the Better By Bike website.




Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.