Following our Brothers In Paris fundraiser event, where 10 of our facilitator team rode all the way from south London to Paris, the cycling bug stuck for many of the team. As part of the training camp leading up to the Paris ride, we hosted a number of opportunities for our donors to train with us. One of the activations was a Ride With Us session in Victoria Park in east London.
Following the success of the Ride With Us session we always had the ambition to follow it up with a bigger and better event that shared our new found love for cycling with our community.
On 16th July 2020 two founders of ORIGIN were having a conversation that sparked an idea. 16 days later on 1st August 2020 the Black Unity Bike Ride was born.
We planned a 14-mile route from Walthamstow in north-east London to Brixton in south London. The ride included three pitstops, one in Hackney, another in Clerkenwell and the third and final pitstop was in Westminster – opposite the Houses of Parliament.
When we arrived at Walthamstow Underground Station we were pleasantly shocked by the hundreds of people that were there, ready and waiting to partake in an event that can only be described as historical. So many people had heard about the event via word of mouth or social media, we even had people come from as far as Bristol, Nottingham and Ipswich.
We had participants as young as eight riding alongside elders in their late sixties. It was a beautiful sight witnessing a sea of joyful melanin cycling through the West End of London. We had all types of bikes involved; road, mountain, hybrids, Brompton, Santander and even a Chopper. The day was a complete positive success and a real testament to what the community can achieve when we unite and work together.
There is significant under-representation of Black cyclists at all levels in the sport, however on 1st August 2020 over a thousand of us proved our community has a big passion for cycling.