European Capital of Cycling 2024: What it means for Manchester and all the events taking place

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As Manchester’s time as European Capital of Cycling gets under way, here’s what is on the cards for the city.

It's fair to say 2023 was a big year for cycling in Manchester. The Tour of Britain passing through the region and the reopening of the National Cycling Centre in the city turned up the spotlight on two wheels.

Another significant landmark last year was Manchester’s successful bid to become European Capital of Cycling. The move has been fully backed by Manchester City Council, which hopes to get more people on their bikes over the next 12 months.  

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December 8 was the all important date for the bid. It’s successful confirmation just two and a half weeks before Christmas meant Manchester went into 2024 with the hope something special was on the horizon.

As well as promoting cycling as a leisure activity, the title also aims to help authorities promote cycling as a mode of commuting. Miles of cycle paths have already been built across the region, and this could be helped if a pilot scheme to allow more types of bikes on the Metrolink network is given the green light

The first event of Manchester's tenure as the top European cycling city took place at Station South, a bike shop and café in Levenshulme. Organised bike trips from the shop took place earlier this week, and the council hope to expand on these in an effort to give as many people across the city a taste of cycling. 

The ethos of the campaign was ‘Pedal More in ‘24’, and to help with this, a dedicated website has been launched. Details of community events and landmarks will be updated through the site, meaning that you won’t need to miss a thing. 

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Manchester will be o the European cycling map this year Manchester will be o the European cycling map this year
Manchester will be o the European cycling map this year

Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “This truly is a great moment for the cycling movement in Manchester and we hope to be able to use our position as the Capital of Cycling to drive interest as well as investment to our city, expanding people’s ability to get on a bike and enjoy the benefits that can bring. From being part of a community, to improving your physical and mental health, to playing your part in improving air quality, cycling can have a truly transformative impact on our neighbourhoods.”

Harry Radford, Great Britain Cycling Team track sprinter said: “It’s really great to see that Manchester has become the European Capital of Cycling. As someone who grew up and started their cycling journey in Manchester, this is a very special thing to see. Cycling is also a sport of community and brings many people together just through the simplicity of riding a bike. I encourage everyone to try something different, get involved and find the enjoyment of cycling for themselves.”

Manchester European Capital of Cycling event dates

A wide range of events have already been announced as part of Manchester's year as European Capital of Cycling. For further information on these, visit the campaign's website.

  • Racing Under the Roof- National Cycling Centre- February 11
  • National Track Championships- National Cycling Centre- February 23-25
  • Rides for Women- Station South Cafe- March 3
  • National BMX Race Series Opening Rounds- National Cycling Centre- March 23-24
  • Mental Health Awareness Week- May 13-19
  • Bike Week- June 10-16
  • National BMX Race Series Rounds 7 and 8- Platts Field Park- June 22-23
  • Cycle to Work Day- August 3

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