An estimated 4,000 young cyclists took to London’s streets on Saturday to protest against knife crime following a spate of murders in the capital.
The BikeStormz 6 ride, organised by 19-year-olds Jake100 and MAC, was held in support of the nationwide #BikesUpKnivesDown campaign.
Participants rode from Tooley Street, close to City Hall, to Oxford Street, reports The Independent.
MAC, who co-founded the BikeStormz movement in 2014, told the newspaper: “This is the biggest ride out for the youth against knife crime.
“We want people to put the guns down, put the knives down and for everyone to love their life, live their life and be peaceful and respectful,” he added.
“Never leave your house with a bad intention.”
Videos posted online of Saturday’s ride and previous Bikestormz events show riders pulling wheelies and weaving in and out of traffic.
However, the initiative, which is aimed at bringing young people together and overcoming social barriers, has the support of the Metropolitan Police and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Participants in Saturday’s ride – some as young as nine – came from across the UK.
One, 13-year-old Ruby Bailey, who belongs to the Street Elitez bike community, said: “This is the big ride of the year.
“We all get together and there are people from Birmingham, Cardiff and all over the UK.
“We’re not here to cause trouble. Everyone thinks we are, but we’re not.
“Some of the people here used to be involved in knife crime, but since they got on their bikes, they switched their lives around and stopped using knives.”
Broadcaster Jeremy Vine was among those who tweeted their support on social media - though some London taxi drivers weren't so welcoming.
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) April 9, 2018
— Dean (@deannieweanie) April 7, 2018
My cabbie was none to pleased with all the "little shits" near St Pancras today.
Good to see so many kids together doing something positive- just wish they were safer about it! Hope they all had a great day. #bikestormz
— Beverly Rose (@beverlydawnrose) April 7, 2018
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.