Cycling event comes to the county for the first time
RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, is a legacy event from the London 2012 Olympic Games and was first held in Essex in May 2022. In partnership between Essex County Council and RideLondon, the mass participation event saw 25,000 cyclists take to the streets for the 60 and 100 mile event.
Essex was chosen for its close links with London and its rural landscape, as well as previously holding historic cycling events such as a Stage of Tour de France in 2014 and Hadleigh Park Olympic Cycling in 2012. To build upon aspirations set out in the Fit for the Future strategy, it was Active Essex’s hope that the major mass participation event, alongside two stages of the UCI Women’s World Tour; RideLondon Classique, would inspire Essex residents to get active.
Working collaboratively with London Marathon Events; organisers of RideLondon and Essex County Council, Active Essex helped to deliver and ignite communities across the route, encouraging residents to support riders, inspiring activity and kicking off a week of celebrations in the lead up to the Queen’s Jubilee.
In addition to inspiring activity, the RideLondon event brought many benefits to the county. The world-renowned event helped put Essex on the map, encouraging tourism and showcasing the rural and urban areas the county has to offer through various media outlets. The Sunday 100 mile ride can be seen as a big challenge for some, and therefore many riders take part to raise money for charity; one of which was The Active Essex Foundation.
Active Essex took on the role to activate communities, as well as engage schools either on or near the route across the three days. For both communities and schools, there were a plethora of activities available across the week including skate jams, banner competitions, FAN zones and festivals. These activations created a positive atmosphere, where residents were inspired to get involved, and it was great to see local businesses engaged too. The Active Essex website became a hub of information detailing community activation areas. From sharing news stories of route announcements and spots to watch with activation zones, to blog stories on those participating and local cycling clubs and initiatives.
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