The ‘Bug’ Bike Revival, a really wild ride

Wildlife expert Ben Deed telling Cillian McIlroy all about the local pond life
Wildlife expert Ben Deed telling Cillian McIlroy all about the local pond life
Wildlife expert Ben Deed telling Cillian McIlroy all about the local pond life

The ‘Bug’ Bike Revival, a really wild ride

MerseyCycle is encouraging local families to join their ‘Bug’ Bike Revival this summer. Cycle Safari is a part of MerseyCycle successful Big Bike Revival programme, now it’s fourth year of activities. Cycling UK's development officer for the area Chris Alston joined them for a ride.

MerseyCycle’s volunteer mechanic and ride leader Steve Lomax had the responsibility of guiding 18 adults and children along the traffic-free Liverpool Loopline and Trans Pennine Trail, including 18-month-old Arthur Madden, who travelled in a bike seat on the rear of his mum Lucy’s bike.


Lucy and Arthur Madden on the Liverpool Loopline Cycle Path

Steve said: “Fascinating ride. Enthusiastic participants make leading a pleasurable experience. Can’t wait for the sequel. Who would’ve thought we would see so much wildlife nearby?”

Ecologist Ben Deed of Merseyside Bio Bank took the opportunity to step outside of the office environment to tell the riders about the natural environment at the Halewood Triangle, Knowsley. Halewood Park’s Ducky Pond was the focal point of the ride, with Ben taking the time to teach families about the local wildlife, including dragonflies and damselflies, beetles and different types of bees. Despite seeing some species that are relatively unfamiliar in the area, the rarest sighting of the day was arguably Ben riding a bike. This is something he had not done for many years but happily he intends to keep it up and use it as a fun method for sharing his knowledge of the environment.


The Cycle Safari group at Ducky Pond, Halewood Park

Ben said: “I thoroughly enjoyed our Cycle Safari with MerseyCycle and Cycling UK. It was my first time on a bike for a good few years. Thanks to everyone for being so enthusiastic and for getting me out of the office.”

It was a pleasure to be able to get out on such a beautiful route with lovely people. I now have a new place to visit too with Ducky Pond.

Lucy Madden

Lucy added: “Arthur and I have really enjoyed today’s bike ride. Usually, we only cycle to go to nursery and work. It was a pleasure to be able to get out on such a beautiful route with lovely people. I now have a new place to visit too with Ducky Pond.”

The Cycle Safari for beginners was thoroughly enjoyable and it was great to see so many happy smiley faces, none more so than that of young Cillian McIlroy, who completed the seven-and-a-half-mile round trip on his aptly-named 16” Frog Bike – a huge achievement.


Helen McIlroy of Liverpool Loopline Ladies Cycling Club and her son Cillian

Due to the success of the ‘Bug’ Bike Revival, MerseyCycle are hoping to make Cycle Safari a regular activity in the summer months. Interesting children in cycling and the natural world – what could be better?

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