Portsmouth shines brightly with the glow of 1,000 cyclists
HUNDREDS of cyclists lit up the seafront with a magical glow as they joined in the city's first Pedal Portsmouth Glow Ride.
A large stretch of Clarence Esplanade, in Southsea, was shut to allow the army of more than 1,000 riders to take to the street safely.
Bikers of all ages dressed up for the occasion, wearing high-visibility jackets, glow-in-the-dark outfits and decorated their bikes with Christmas tree lights.
The scheme was set up as a way to promote cycling safety during the darker winter months in the city.
It comes amid a rise in the number of cyclists in the city being involved in accidents and crashes in recent months.
Janice Butterworth, of Castle Road, Southsea, was cycling with her nephew Maxwell Smith, eight.
She said: ‘It’s been an amazing night. We’ve been blown away by how many cyclists there were. It been incredible.’
Maxwell – who only learnt to ride a bike last month – said: ‘It has been really fun. I loved some of the outfits people have been wearing.’
Riders were able to cycle from Blue Reef Aquarium to the Portsmouth to the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Victor Tewkesbury, 35, travelled from Emsworth with daughters Lavina and Leonie, 12, and Hermione, 11.
He said: ‘This is a great idea – anything to make the roads safer is good.’
Fiona Carter, 62, of Southsea, was cycling with her husband Gary, 50, daughter Erin, 35, and grandchildren Lola, five, and Lumen, three.
She said: ‘It’s really good fun and just lovely to be able to cycle with the kids safely.’
Portsmouth Lord Mayor, councillor David Fuller set off the glowing hoard of cyclists with a blast of an air horn.
He said the event had been a stunning success and one that he would like to the see become an annual spectacle.
Speaking to The News, he said: ‘There were more than 1,000 people here tonight which has been stunning.
‘Honestly, the glow of the bikes on the seafront was as good as the Blackpool illuminations.
‘There were some really “blingie” bikes here tonight too, which was great.’
There were prizes for the best dressed.
The event was staged by Portsmouth City Council.