Cyclists from across London are coming together to ride for positive change
The Black Unity Bike Ride will take place through the streets of London on Saturday 5 August.
The 2023 edition of the Black Unity Bike Ride (BUBR), founded by Londoner Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, is the fourth year of the event and continues the drive for positive change and to encourage unity and empowerment among the Black community. The annual ride, dubbed London’s carnival on bikes, is led by an alliance of more than 17 Black-led London-based cycling collectives and welcomes novices and experienced riders to join the peloton.
The event, which is delivered in partnership with London Marathon Events, began in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and during a period of mourning following the tragic death of George Floyd. It also provides inspiration for more people from underrepresented groups to start cycling and increases the diversity of the current cycling population in the capital.
According to Sport England research, 75 per cent of people from an ethnically diverse background never cycle and only 57 per cent of Black people are considered active – which is even lower than the majority of other ethnic groupings. The BUBR serves an inclusive Black pan-London community event, where many of the participants are cycling novices – only 22 per cent of the BUBR community describe themselves as advanced cyclists.
BUBR founder Tokunbo 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 participants aged seven to 70-years-old ride side-by-side and enjoy some of London’s most iconic landmarks.”
“BUBR targets the Black community and welcomes all that celebrate Black culture and are keen to see the sport of cycling diversify. This year we expect to welcome 2,000 participants at the ride, now dubbed the carnival on bikes.”
Hamid Vaghefian, Head of Community Engagement at London Marathon Events, says: “It’s crucial that all ethnic and social groups have access to cycling and can benefit from its obvious health and wellbeing benefits. Sport and activity have a unifying effect and, only in May, we saw more than 20,000 cycling enthusiasts take to the streets for Ford RideLondon, on a day that transformed the streets of London.
“We are passionate about continuing to promote cycling by delivering the Black Unity Bike Ride, which inspires people of all demographics and is paving the way for the next generation of black cyclists.”
The 2023 Black Unity Bike Ride starts at Leyton Sports Ground and has pit-stops in Hackney and Holborn before crossing the River Thames and finishing in Dulwich Park. The event concludes with a celebration called BUBRFest, which features music provided by Kiss FM DJ Shortee Blitz. For the second year in a row, BUBR has partnered with Black Eats LDN, whose vendors will be selling food and drink celebrating Black culture.
BUBR is a charity initiative that has grown significantly in just three years, this is reinforced by the launch of the BUBR kit in collaboration leading cycling brand Le Col and the recent BUBR Africa tour to Ghana.
BUBR is supported by a number of other strategic partners including Sport England, Sky, Science in Sport, Trek and Rapha. BUBR is currently recruiting 500 volunteers to support the successful execution of the event.
The 2023 ride will take place on Saturday 5 August – starting at Leyton Sports Ground, with registrations open from 09:00. The start time is 10:00.
For more information and to register for the 2023 Black Unity Bike Ride, click here.
Image credit: Black Unity Bike Ride