CYCLISTS of all ages will illuminate a seafront to set a shining example of nighttime safety as a popular biking event makes its spectacular return.
Hundreds of people, riding bikes decked in Christmas lights and bright clothing splashed with twinkling accessories, will descend on Southsea’s seafront to join Portsmouth’s annual Glow Ride later this month.
The event is aimed at promoting cycle safety during longer, darker nights of winter, and is expected to attract about 1,000 participants.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, the city’s highways boss, was looking forward to the spectacle, which is being staged by Portsmouth City Council.
She said: ‘It's fantastic to see the amazing effort that goes into decorating bikes and I can't wait to see the glow of riders this year.’
Taking place on Saturday, October 26, the two-mile circular route will see cyclist ride around Southsea Common.
The route will be closed to traffic, giving cyclists the chance to ride safely along the road.
As well as the ride, there will also be an events village featuring food, drink and music, and a special mini race for younger cyclists not able to take on the main event.
The spectacle will take place from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, with the events village opening in Avenue De Caen from 3pm. Registration is open now.
Cllr Stagg added the day was about passing on promoting a vital safety message throughout the city, which has previously been rated one of the most dangerous for cyclists outside of London.
She said: ‘We want to encourage people to keep cycling safely through the winter, by being bright and being seen.
‘Wearing light or reflective clothing and making sure you have a working set of lights on your bike can make a big difference when it comes to being seen after dark.
‘Glow Ride will hopefully help riders understand the need to be visible to other road users at this fun event.’
Councillor Matthew Winnington, Portsmouth’s health and wellbeing boss, said cycling was a great alternative to cars and was key to improving the city’s air quality.
‘We want people to cycle day and night and throughout the year, not just in the warmer and lighter months,’ he added.
To book on, see the Eventbrite link at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/cycling.