Riding for black unity
Full article here” https://www.voice-online.co.uk/entertainment/whats-on/2022/07/27/riding-for-black-unity/
‘Awesome, vibrant’ cycling event which aims to drive positive change returns to streets of London for third year
THE BLACK Unity Bike Ride (BUBR) sets off around the capital once again on August 6, 2022, and following on from last year’s ride, which was nearly scuppered due to severe weather, organisers are expecting a surge in participant numbers.
The annual ride is led by an alliance of more than 20 black-led cycling collectives from across London and welcomes novices and experienced riders alike to join in. Birthed in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, and during a period of mourning the tragic death of George Floyd, BUBR served as an antidote for the UK black community, who were calling for a coming together to unite against social injustice and inspire more active wellbeing.
The ride creates support for the capital’s underrepresented demographics to take to the city’s streets and increase the diversity of the current cycling population in the capital.
BUBR founder Ajasa-Oluwa says: “The Black Unity Bike Ride is a community ride that was created with the aim of inspiring more unity and a sense of empowerment.
“It’s an awesome, vibrant day where we get participants aged seven to 70-year-olds riding side-by-side and enjoying some of London’s most iconic landmarks.”
He added: “BUBR is a perfect example of the positivity that can be achieved when we choose to unite.
“We make sure that each ride is a joyful experience that feels empowering, all within a safe
space, where our riders can be their unapologetic selves without judgement.”
Despite the severe downpour, last year saw over 1,000 people from around the capital, of all backgrounds and ages, hit the roads of London to promote peace and unity as part of the trail.
Participants mounted their bikes at Walthamstow, riding through the bustling roads and across the River Thames, to the event’s end destination –— Shoreditch Park via the West End.
This year sees the introduction of the BUBRFest, which is the finale for the 15-mile ride. BUBR have partnered with Black Eats LDN, who will provide music, entertainment and 20 vendors selling food and arts celebrating black culture.
Lauren Larocque, a 2020 and 2021 BUBR rider and now a BUBR volunteer, says: “The pandemic was very tough, and really tough for black people who had been triggered by events that highlighted once again the discrimination and oppression suffered by the black community.
“Before I found and signed up to the BUBR, my mental health was declining, and I had never even imagined having the confidence to cycle across London, and to do it with people like
me had a really positive impact on us all. “Cycling is now a huge part of my life, and I owe that to the BUBR.”
BUBR is a charity initiative that has grown significantly in just 24 months — this has been reinforced by a new collaboration with the leading cycling brand Le Col and the launch of the official BUBR kit.
The allure of embracing and encouraging the UK’s black community where cycling is concerned is highlighted by the BUBR strategic partners including; Sport England, London Marathon Events, Sky, Science in Sport, Trek and Rapha. The support is good to see.
Last year, Ajasa-Oluwa explained why he felt inspiring black people to get on a bike wasn’t as difficult as some made out.
“BUBR dispels the myth that black people do not cycle,” he enthused.
“By documenting our activations and with the support of some strategic partners, we believe we will not only inspire more black people to ride their bikes but also potentially inspire the careers of future Olympic cycling champions from our communities.”
The organisation is currently recruiting 500 volunteers to support the successful execution of their 2022 event.
This year’s ride will take place on Saturday, August 6 — starting at Leyton Sports Ground at 9am for registrations. There will be two rest and refreshment pit stops along the 15-mile route.
To register for the Black Unity Bike Ride 2022, visit blackunitybikeride.com/bubr22/