Cyclox chairwoman Dr Alison Hill explains how there has been a cycling renaissance during Covid-19 pandemic and how it will be celebrated with a series of events in September.

The Covid pandemic and recurrent lockdowns resulted in lots of people getting out cycling.

They saw roads empty of cars, giving them the confidence they needed to dust off their bikes, lying unused in their sheds for years.

Although poignant to see the restrictions imposed on our lives it was joyous to see families cycling for pleasure.

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Demand for bikes shot up, in particular by those people who wanted to commute to work but who were fearful of going on public transport.

Many keyworkers across the county benefitted from the Bikes for Keyworkers scheme, run by Cyclox and Active Oxfordshire, where a group of volunteers refurbished 500 donated bikes. Nationally the government saw the resurgence of cycling and provided funding to get more cycling infrastructure built. Oxfordshire County Council secured £3million from the government to enable the development of cycle routes and low traffic neighbourhoods in the city.

To mark this renaissance in cycling and to help get more people onto their bikes, Cyclox is hosting a Celebration of Cycling in Oxford and market towns across the county in September.

There will be cycling events throughout the month culminating on October 4 with the Women’s Tour of Britain which goes through Oxfordshire.

hese events will be for everyone who wants to cycle, young and old, confident and less confident, able and less able. There will be events for their bikes as well, with several free bike repair sessions across the city, and there will be a celebration of the cycle as well as cycling with people showing of their bikes whether large or small, narrow or wide, one wheel or more.

There will be several events in Broad Street at the weekends, with cycle smoothie makers, a puppet show, stalls.

There will be lots of rides with qualified ride leaders bringing people into the city from different communities to see the wonderful Broad Meadow.

There will also be rides around the city – a traffic light free city circle, a city tour by Bainton Bikes, and a Tour de Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

The wonderful group JoyRiders will be doing several rides during the month.

There will be a commuter challenge – where we can expect the bike to come out best.

In addition, there will be cycling celebration events in Witney, Bicester, and Chipping Norton, Barton, Blackbird Leys and Rose Hill. Florence Park will host a cargo bike festival. And on the 4th October please join all those who will be lining the city and county roads to cheer on those amazing women who are racing in the Women’s Tour of Britain.

The tour, which starts in Bicester, heads south and goes over the ring road to Headington and then loops round Oxford and finishes in Banbury.

Thanks to all our partners in this Celebration of Cycling: Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Active Oxfordshire, Bicester BUG, Windrush Bike Project, the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Wheels for All, Cycling Without Age. To find out more about how to join in go to the Cyclox website.

The charity Cyclox has a mission to get more people cycling, more often, and more safely. It links up with key decision makers to put cycling on the public agenda and is a partner with active travel and low-carbon groups.