Kensington gearing up to get on their bikes

Kensington residents are invited to explore the stunning laneways in their very own backyard at the inaugural Tour De Roubaix.

The event, which is part of the Kensington CommUNITY Festival on 29 March, will see local families hop on their bikes and complete a short ride that stops at some iconic spots around the inner-Melbourne suburb.

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Ride organiser and founder of Wheel Women, Tina McCarthy said they hoped to engage younger people in the community and show them how accessible Melbourne is via bikeways.

“Kensington is so close to the city and we have access to so many different routes across Melbourne,” Ms McCarthy said.

“We have this amazing network right at our backdoor yet I still see people driving to nearby destinations.  If we could just teach people how easy it is, maybe we could engage them in more activity.”

The avid cyclist attributes riding to changing her outlook on life and making her a healthier and happier person.

“I’ve seen how it changes people, especially when mum decides to start bike riding.  Once mum gets on a bike the kids quickly want to follow – it’s a great family activity,” she said.

The Tour De Roubaix will form part of the Kensington CommUNITY Festival, which is back for its eighth year.  The much anticipated event, organised by Urban Communities and supported by City of Melbourne and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, is a celebration of multiculturalism and community in the diverse hub of Kensington.

Urban Communities festival organiser Deb Wilson said they were excited to add a new dynamic to this year’s festival through the cycling event and hoped to see many people in the community register to take part.

“Cycling is not just great exercise but it’s a great way to meet people in your community,” she said.  “And you don’t have to be an experienced rider to take part, our course is only 2.4km and children are also welcome to get involved.”

“Kensington is a wonderful pocket of inner-Melbourne, with such a diverse community of people and we’re looking forward to celebrating with everyone who attends the festival.”

2015 will also see the Kensington CommUNITY Festival partner with the AFL’s Unity Cup for the second time.  The Unity Cup celebrates diversity through sport and will run alongside the festival at JJ Holland Park. The youth competition is a partnership with the AFL’s Multicultural program, Essendon, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Hawthorn football clubs and the Australian Federal Police.  It features an Aussie rules touch nine version play off amongst local culturally diverse youth teams.

“We’re very proud to once again be teaming up with the Unity Cup,” Ms Wilson said.

“This event, which has also been running for eight years, holds huge significance in the way multiculturalism is celebrated in the AFL – it’s only fitting that the Kensington CommUNITY Festival run alongside it.”

But the Kensington CommUNITY Festival isn’t just for sports fans, it’s a big day of family friendly and free activities with a jumping castle, face-painting, food, an animal farm, skate clinics, henna, live music, bush tucker and much, much more.

The Kensington CommUNITY Festival will be held on 29 March 2015 at JJ Holland Park precinct inclusive of the Bill Vanina Pavilion, Kensington Community Recreation Centre and The Kensington Adventure Playground (The Venny).

To register for the Tour De Roubaix click here.

Urban Communities would like to thank all major sponsors and local businesses for their ongoing support, especially the City of Melbourne, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Cultural Diversity Week, Spectrum Fire and Security and Tormax.