The London Borough Of Islington Community Bike Rides Bike Club got off to a flying start, with a good showing of family and solo riders turning up to Rosemary Gardens to set off at 11am on a chilly but bright spring morning.
All bikes were checked by Islington Council’s team of qualified cycle instructors to ensure they were roadworthy and any needing attention were put to rights.
The group set off on a very leisurely, fully marshalled, 10-mile ride around the borough. It went via Highbury Fields  and the Emirates football stadium, stopping off at Paradise Park  for a picnic lunch in glorious sunshine.
"I am new to the borough and wanted to explore it on my bike and the rides looked ideal for me," said one participant.
"I want to start riding my bike to school with a group of school friends and this ride was a good chance to ride with other people," another rider said. He is also hoping to try out some cycle racing in the future.
I am delighted with the way the ride has gone today and we are looking forward to attracting more people to the Bike Club as the programme rolls out - David Shannon, Cycling Officer for Islington and Bike Club Leader
The group returned to Rosemary Gardens to collect their Barclays goody bags with maps, water bottle, Bike Club T-shirt and useful information about the route, which will allow them to go exploring in the future. Every one filled in a questionnaire and those interested in cycle training sessions  were signed up for courses.
This is the first Bike Club in Islington and is being supported by Bike Club, Barclays  and Islington Council. The next ride will be on 8 June 2012 and will explore more of the borough.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to set up a Bike Club in London including accessing funding please contact the Bike Club Officer for London: