There was a brilliant turnout yesterday for the Winter Wonder Ride, a family-friendly women’s group ride organised by Westminster Women on Wheels with help from the Westminster Cycling Campaign.
The ride, which was organised to promote safe cycling for women in central London, took in most of the capital’s iconic sights before finishing by the statue of suffragette Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, and was attended by cyclists from across the UK. Oh, and the dress code? "Warm and Fabulous".
Only protected bike lanes or low-traffic roads were used during the ride, in a bid to both celebrate the installation of safe, segregated cycling infrastructure and to call for further expansion of London’s protected bike network, which the group claims is key to encouraging more women to cycle.
One of the event’s organisers, Helen Jones, said, “Leading rides in London for women made me realise how important it is, especially for women, to feel safe cycling on city streets. Protected lanes give this sense of safety, but lanes shared with motor vehicles, even Westminster’s ‘quietways’, do not.”
Judging by all the photos and videos shared yesterday, the ride was a roaring success and hopefully a harbinger of things to come – with many of those taking part saying it was the first time they had ever ridden their bikes in central London.
Held four days after the murder of Ashling Murphy in Co. Offaly – a tragedy which highlighted the inherent dangers for women exercising outdoors – the Winter Wonder Ride’s aim to make women feel safe while cycling in London has never been timelier.