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Black Unity Bike Ride: Ready to roll

We caught up with Temi Lateef, a Black Unity Bike Ride organiser and founder of the social enterprise organisation My Choice, to learn about BUBR

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We caught up with Temi Lateef, one of the organisers of the Black Unity Bike Ride, and founder of the social enterprise organisation My Choice. Find out about BUBR ahead of the event on Saturday 7 August, why it’s important to him, and how you can be involved.

Black Unity Bike Ride – what’s it all about?

The Black Unity Bike Ride on Saturday 7 August 2021 will be our second: our first was in August 2020. We welcome everyone to register for free and ride with us, starting from Walthamstow and heading into the city and ending at Shoreditch Park. The BUBR is supported by the BUBR Alliance, which is more than 20 organisations and collectives from across London’s community.

Why a bike ride?

For myself riding a bike in London has been a blessing. It’s allowed me to explore my area and venture out into new parts of London. I think it’s really good for your fitness, and it’s also helped me personally, in regards to mental health. Riding helps me think clearly and put things into perspective, I just think cycling whether solo or in a group can benefit anyone and I encourage everyone to try and jump on a bike and go for a ride.

It seems there’s nothing I do that doesn’t involve a bike anymore, as a Londoner, there isn’t really any more room for cars on the roads. Right now the government are encouraging us to jump on bikes.

Is it getting better to cycle in London?

I’m seeing more people on bikes, both kids and adults. Rome wasn’t built in a day so I think the changes we are seeing in London are great. I look forward to seeing any more additional changes that may take place. The initiatives from the government like bike lanes are encouraging people to jump on a bike to have fun, explore and see the benefits for themselves.

What do you think the cycle campaigning sector could be doing  better?

I think the London Cycling Campaign is an amazing organization and I’ve been privileged enough to meet a few of the members of staff that work there.

I think the rides such as the Black Unity Bike Ride brings about a bit more diversity and understanding. It showcases that people from all different backgrounds and diversity cycle in London and I think by London Cycling Campaign jumping in and assisting us on this ride this year, that is a stepping stone and a start to improving in regards to inclusion, diversity and making the space more comfortable for everyone to get involved. By making small steps and by connecting with people who are in the community, who are on the ground and who are putting on events such as BUBR, it brings about the conversations that might not have been happening before to make cycling in England more diverse, more open and more accessible for everybody.

The 2021 Black Unity Bike Ride is the second iteration. What’s changed between last year and this year?

We’re using the experience from last time to get a bit more professional. We are going all out, making sure the route is all checked, and that all the information is out there for participants. We’ve made sure we’ve liaised with local boroughs and local councils. We’ve been supported by the community in spreading the BUBR message far and wide this year.

We’ve put a lot of work in to organise the ride’s pit stops. We’ve got pit stops for people to regroup in Shoreditch Park and Lincoln’s Inn Fields, with food vendors and hopefully helpers to fix your bike if you do come across any problems. We will also have some vendors selling some merchandise so you can get your t-shirts, hats and any other merchandise you can get to support making the second Black Unity Bike Ride an event even more successful than the first.

Thanks Temi, ride on and here’s to a great 2021 BUBR!

Follow Black Unity Bike Ride on Instagram and Twitter. Don’t forget that anyone is welcome to register for the ride on 7 August 2021 for free on the BUBR website.