Riding against racism
Men, women and children representing Enfield’s cultural diversity joined the borough’s first ever interfaith bike rides in a united action against prejudice and hatred.
The 12km free guided rides on Sunday (8 September) took off from two locations – Palmers Green Mosque and Southgate Progressive Synagogue – with the two groups of 60 riders representing many faiths from across the borough, crossing paths in a symbolic gesture of solidarity.
As well as riding against racism, the communities were keen to show that cycling is a fully inclusive activity, regardless of background. Those who were less confident were able to stay behind for free cycling taster sessions, organised by the Cycle Enfield team.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability, Cllr Guney Dogan, said: “Enfield’s first interfaith bike ride was a huge success and we hope to make this an annual event, given its popularity. By cycling together, individuals, faith communities and interfaith groups were able to show that discrimination and hatred have no place in our borough. They were also able to address some of the misconceptions surrounding their communities. Good interfaith relations are the bedrock of a harmonious and respectful society.
“We hope to see a growing number of faiths represented at future events and are happy to give advice and support to any groups looking to take part.”
The Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion, Cllr Nneka Keazor added: “Faith communities and interfaith events play an important role in standing up to hatred and discrimination. I commend Enfield Council’s first interfaith cycling event as it embodies the principles of respect, tolerance, diversity and inclusivity.”
If you would like to get involved in cycling but don’t know where to start, Cycle Enfield offers several cycle skills courses, guided rides and get-togethers. Take a look at their website for more details: https://bit.ly/2lLy33H
Meanwhile there will be some more news of local groups introducing cycling opportunities to their communities. To find out more, sign up to Cycle Enfield’s newsletters: https://bit.ly/2J3fbqP