The Maidstone Cycling Campaign Forum is encouraging bike owners across the town to sign up for the World’s Biggest Bike Ride, an initiative from Cycling UK which is aimed at getting people out on their bikes on Saturday 12 September.

Matt Mallinder, Cycling UK director, said: “Imagine if everyone who owns or has access to a bike in the UK all went out riding on one day. We’d have millions of people leaving their cars at home and showcasing the amazing benefits of cycling.

“In many respects, we’re already in the midst of a massive big ride, with numbers of people cycling during the lockdown reported to be up by 200%. We want to inspire people to keep riding.

“Even the Prime Minister called it a ‘golden age of cycling’ while promising one of the most comprehensive sets of measures ever to capitalise on that trend. Now we want cyclists everywhere to stand and be counted.”

The World Biggest Bike Ride is part of Cycling UK’s Pumped Up campaign which has been aimed through the summer at capturing the increased interest in cycling brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Mallinder added: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re old or young, fast or slow, prefer to ride on the road or the trails, the important thing is that everyone gets out and rides.

“We know the powerful effects of cycling, for the communities where we live and work, but also on our health and well-being. Cycling is sometimes portrayed in the media as a minority interest activity – but if we all got out and rode on the same day, that would send a really powerful message that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Pumped Up is about inspiring everyone to enjoy that unique thrill and sense of freedom that riding a bike brings, whether you’re a dedicated cyclist who can inspire friends and family to ride, or someone who’s just starting out and needs some advice and inspiration.

Anyone who wants to take part in the World’s Biggest Bike Ride is encouraged to register their ride on Cycling UK’s Pumped Up homepage.