Riders celebrate great outdoors on two wheels

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With an adventure ride, a bike-themed photo gallery and a mechanics challenge joining traditional favourite events, this year’s Sydney Rides Festival has more in store for active Sydney-siders than ever before.

The City of Sydney’s annual four-week festival – from 3 to 29 October – boasts more than 30 events that celebrate bikes and family fun in the outdoors.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Sydney Rides Festival is a great way for the whole family to get active and enjoy the best of Sydney in spring.

“This celebration of the outdoors and active living is a chance to switch off the screens and explore the best our city offers, whether you’re a dedicated bike rider or a family looking for a fun day out,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The Sydney Rides Festival is a perfect way for locals and visitors to explore the city’s bike paths and enjoy riding a bike as an easy, safe and healthy way to travel.”

New events include overnight bike camping on Cockatoo Island, a photo gallery at Paddington Reservoir Gardens, and bike mechanics taking on inner tube changing races, chain greasing sprints and a tyre pumping challenge in Martin Place.

Festival favourites returning this year include the Suit Ride and the Spring Cycle across the Harbour Bridge, as well as chocolate rides, cycle speed dating and even a bike ballet.

Light the City returns with a new Halloween theme for its illuminated traffic-free bike ride around Mrs Macquarie’s Point, including a silent disco with harbour views.

Sydney Rides Festival 2017 highlights include:

Suit Ride and Try A Bike session – 4 October
Join us for the official launch of the 2017 Sydney Rides Festival with a bike ride in business attire for city workers and the chance to take part in the try-a-bike event over lunch in The Domain, Mrs Macquarie’s Road, 12pm–1.30pm.

Sydney Rides Photo Exhibition, Paddington Reservoir Gardens – 3–29 October
Explore Sydney’s secret subterranean park with a photographic exhibition in Paddington Reservoir Gardens, showcasing bike-based adventures and favourite rides. Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Oxford Street, 8am–8pm only.

The Big Adventure – 7 October
Jump into a day of family fun at one of Sydney’s biggest green spaces with activities like biking, running, dancing and free yoga. Enjoy a food truck feast, animal petting zoo, kite flying workshops, AFL and NRL kids clinics, BMX displays and roving entertainment including a ballet performed on bikes. Sydney Park, St Peter’s, 9am–4pm

Chocolate Rides and Foodie Rides – 14 and 21 October
After a sell-out in 2016, the almost calorie-neutral Chocolate Ride will return this year with a bike tour of Sydney’s tastiest chocolatiers, gelato and confectioners. The Foodie Ride promises participants a glimpse of cheesemakers, smoke houses and delicatessens, led by expert guides along cycleways, shared paths and quiet backstreet routes. Bookings essential at sydneycycleways.net

Spring Cycle – 15 October
A once-a-year opportunity for beginners, regular riders and lycra lovers to cross the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge by bike and cruise across the Cahill Expressway and The Rocks historic area, with the routes all car-free for the day. The 10km Sydney City Ride ends with a family-focussed event in Pirrama Park at Pyrmont. Participants can also join the 16km River Ride, 50km Classic Ride or ride alongside Australian tour legend Robbie McEwen on the 105km Challenge Ride to Sydney Olympic Park. Departing from St Leonard’s Park from 6am. Pre-booking essential at springcycle.com.au

Overnight bike camp on Cockatoo Island – 21 October
Pack your bike on the ferry for a sleepover at Sydney’s most picturesque campsite, then explore Cockatoo Island by bike after Sunday morning breakfast. Cockatoo Island.

Mechanics Challenge – 27 October
Stop by Martin Place for lunch to cheer on the fastest mechanics in the land, with inner tube changing races, chain greasing sprints and a tyre pumping challenge. From 12.30pm, Martin Place main stage.

Cycle Speed Dating – 28 October
Forget swiping right, speed-dating by bike is the new way for singles to mingle! Already a success in London and Queenstown, Cycle Speed Dating gives Sydneysiders the chance to chat before a relaxed ride and matchmaking. Starts in Surry Hills, 5pm.

Light The City – 28 October
Sydney’s two-wheeled twilight event returns to a traffic-free Mrs Macquarie’s Point for a Halloween-inspired community celebration. Friends and families can fancy dress to impress and enjoy spectacular harbour views, gourmet food trucks, epic illuminations and the popular silent disco as the sun goes down and trees light up. Bike hire is available on the night. Mrs Macquarie’s Road, the Domain, 6pm–11pm.

Visit sydneyridesfestival.net for program details and booking information.