Bike Around the Borough 2016

Young cyclists whizz across Clissold Park en route to breaking the world record. Photograph: Hackney Council / Gary Manhine

Hackney’s schoolchildren cycled themselves into the record books on Wednesday during the annual Bike Around the Borough event.

More than one thousand children from 50 schools in the borough joined a ‘bike bus’ on the nine-mile route, watched on by cheering spectators.

The record-breaking event was part of Hackney Council’s aim to be London’s most cycle-friendly borough with 15 per cent of residents travelling by bike for all journeys by 2025.

The previous ‘bike bus’ record of 880 – held since 2014 by a primary school in Australia – was broken in style by the 1,005 cyclists taking part on Wednesday, with Guinness World Records expected to verify the achievement in the coming days.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, said: “We have been doing Bike Around the Borough for five years, but this year has been exceptional because we are now world record holders!

“It’s been fantastic to see hundreds of school kids cycling on our roads and hopefully it will show them how fun, healthy and easy it is to get around the borough by bike.”

Mare Street

On the road: Teachers make sure the cyclists safely navigate Mare Street. Photograph: Hackney Council / Gary Manhine.

Hackney schools were hoping to break the world record last year but missed their target after two schools dropped out at the last minute.

Inspector Homre Varley, of Hackney’s Safer Transport Team, said: “There are hundreds of school children here today, so it’s a brilliant engagement opportunity for us.

“We don’t really get a lot of time to engage with schools as much as we’d like to, so this has been a really positive experience and the weather’s held up as well too!”

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