Croydon Bicycle Theatre at CRO Cycle Fest


Riders from Cypress Primary in South Norwood

Thursday May 18th saw Croydon Bicycle Theatre debut at the Croydon Cycle Fest, held alongside the Tour Series.  

Croydon Bicycle Theatre was formed following the Croydon Cycling Campaign’s ‘CRO Ghost Tour’ in November and aims to create original theatrical events that will get people onto their bikes in the borough.

Thursday’s event saw the group work with two Norwood Primary schools on a heritage ride, introducing the children to Tessie Reynolds (the 1893 record breaking London to Brighton cyclist) and her controversial rationals. Tessie, and LCC volunteers, led the group through Croydon’s parks into the town centre ready for the schools cycling events at the festival, encouraging the children to share what cycling means to them along the way as well as what it meant to Tessie.

The aim of Croydon Bicycle Theatre is to show that cycling is a safe and normal way to travel and happily that aim was achieved. Suzanne Jessel from Rockmount Primary said, ‘It felt like cycling through the countryside and the parents were asking to have a copy of the ride route so that they could do the ride again with the whole family.’

Many of the children joined the Mayor’s ribbon cutting ceremony, launching the schools racing event and getting a taste of what it felt like to compete on the professional circuit.

Croydon Bicycle Theatre’s next stop is Arnhem, Croydon’s twin town, where they will be working out how Croydon, a town whose centre was redesigned in the ‘60s around the car (and unfortunately has changed very little since), can have a twin with such a radically different perspective on urban transport. And how that perspective could be brought home to create a town where school children cycling happily on our roads can become something that doesn’t just happen when the professionals are in town…

Watch this space!

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‘Tessie’ with former Mayor Trakas-Lawlor and current Mayor Toni Letts