HARDY cyclists braved abysmal conditions as they lit up Portsmouth’s seafront with a magical glow over on Saturday.
Hundreds of people took part in the third annual Portsmouth Glow Ride over the weekend.
However, lashing rain almost washed out the event, with the deluge driving down numbers from an anticipated 1,500 riders to about 400.
But in spite of the weather, those who did turnout for the event, in Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, said they had a brilliant time.
Mum Rachel Grimes, 38, of Southsea, was riding with her daughter Sienna De Carter, 11.
She said: ‘We're not fair weather cyclists. We don’t have a car so we cycle everywhere whatever the weather.
‘So a bit of rain is nothing for us – skin is waterproof, so we’re not going to let a bit of bad weather spoil our fun.’
Sienna, who had lights and glowsticks dangling from her body and bike, added :’Even though it is raining, everyone look really happy.
‘I don’t mind the rain at all. I really love cycling because it makes your healthier.’
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.
One bike was even decked out with its own Christmas tree for the early evening spectacle.
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason, kicked-off the event – as well as joining in, too.
‘This is a great opportunity to get the people out in the city, being fit, being healthy and going round celebrating cycling,’ he said. ‘The weather is not great tonight but it’s good to see people still turned up.’
The scheme was set up as a way to promote cycling safety during the darker winter months in the city.
Roads were blocked along the seafront, allowing the two-wheeled hoards to ride around Southsea Common safely.
Dan Cooper was riding with his partner, Rebecca King, 36, and their two children, Isabelle Cooper, seven, and Cameron King, 14.
Dan, of Southsea, said: ‘This is a great event. It’s something that everybody can come to enjoy. It gets people out and having fun. Who cares if it’s raining?’
Rebecca said: ‘It’s been a good upbeat atmosphere. Isabelle has loved having a bit of a boogie in the rain.’
Seven-year-old Isabelle – who was riding a tandem bike with her dad – added: ‘I thought it would be horribly cold but it’s great.’
Portsmouth City Council's head of transport, Councillor Lynne Stagg said the event was all about promoting cycle safety.
She said: ‘Being visible is very important. I’m forever shouting out of the window of my car at cyclists saying: “You haven’t got any lights, you haven’t got any lights!”.
‘I’ve come close to almost hitting people who aren’t using lights and are wearing all black. So being seen is so important, especially in Portsmouth where the roads are busy, narrow and congested.’
The glow ride was staged by Portsmouth City Council.
Prizes were awarded for the best dressed.