Hundreds of cyclists took to the streets of Leicester on Friday evening in memory of schoolteacher Sam Boulton, killed while riding his bike in the city last month, with his fiancée and other members of his family among those taking part.
The ride, which began in the East Midlands city’s Cultural Quarter, finished outside the Parcel Yard pub by the city’s railway station where Mr Boulton was killed on 27 July, his 26th birthday, when he was run over by a van after a taxi passenger opened a door in his path.
The pub, on London Road, was the favourite of Mr Boulton, a teacher at Castle Rock High School, and the venue is displaying an exhibition of his artwork.
At the ride, organised by Leicester Critical Mass which meets on the final Friday of each month, his fiancée Alia Ahmed told the Leicester Mercury she was “overwhelmed” by the turnout, with many of those riding wearing t-shirts paying tribute to Mr Boulton.
"I have been really touched by the messages of sympathy I and Sam's family have received,” she said. "We are hoping to make something positive come out of the tragic death of Sam.
"We want to get the message out that Leicester is a green city and people should be free to cycle in safety."
Matt Scull from the Leicester Cycling Campaign Group commented: "It is important to celebrate Sam's life with this memorial ride and the turnout is very good.
"But the second important thing is to raise awareness of cycling and our right to use the roads like anyone else."
Leicester City Council has unveiled plans for a £2 million protected cycle lane on London Road, although campaigners are pressing for cyclists to be allowed to use the parallel New Walk, which is closed to motor vehicles but where cyclists are also banned.
Since Mr Boulton’s death, more than 1,000 people have signed a petition urging the council to designate New Walk a shared space between pedestrians and cyclists.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.