Get on your bike at Havering Bikewise

HAVERING residents will be told to get on their bikes this weekend, but in the best possible way.

The borough is holding its first dedicated cycling event, Bikewise, on Sunday (March 6), which aims to encourage people to cycle more.

Bikewise will take place at Hornchurch Country Park and will include cycling displays, a polo tournament and led bike rides.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who named Havering as one of his 13 Biking Boroughs last year, has been invited although it is not yet known if he will attend.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, Havering Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to start cycling and this event will allow us to give them help and support in getting started.”

The MAD BMX display team will show off their skills during the day, and also offer coaching to small groups.

In the polo tournament teams of three will play polo on their bikes, with a trophy given to the triumphant trio at the end of the day.

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Those who need to give their bikes some TLC can visit Dr Bike for information about maintenance, and local police will be on hand to talk about safety and security for riders and their bikes.

A unicyclist will also be doing displays during the day and there will be plenty of children’s activities, including face painting and a balloon modeller.

British Transport Police will be using a specially adapted lorry to show cyclists where they are in a driver’s blind spot to try and reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists.

Transport for London’s director of better routes and places, Ben Plowden, will be at the event.

Cllr Tebbutt said: “For more experienced cyclists, Bikewise will be a great chance to get their bikes looked over by Dr Bike, or enjoy watching stunt cyclists and the polo tournament.

“Now is a great time to think about cycling, there are health benefits, it’s cheaper than getting out the car for every short journey and we are also constructing a walking and cycling route throughout the borough, Ingrebourne Way.”

Ingrebourne Way is a 13-mile long walking and cycling route which will run from Dagnam Park to the riverside in Rainham. The first phase of the project is due to be completed this spring, with the rest finished by 2013.

Entry to Bikewise will be from the Airfield Way/Squadrons Approach entrance to the country park, and people are being encouraged to cycle to the event.

Those driving will be able to park in the St George Hospital car park, Suttons Lane, under an agreement with NHS Havering, or at Ingrebourne Hill, Rainham.

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