Have you ever heard of the Black Unity Bike Ride (BURB) in London? Now, you have! Managed by a small team of passionate volunteers, the BUBR Alliance consists of 20+ black-led cycling collectives and utilises its collective power, network and influence to bring about positive change in the Black community. Their annual event, BURBFest22, attracted over 1,000 riders in August.
“BUBR22 was simply the most empowering and inclusive cycling event I have ever witnessed", says BUBR Founder Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, "We had six-year-olds riding alongside sixty-year-olds past some of London’s most iconic landmarks. We had over 1,500 participants, great weather and an amazing atmosphere – honestly, on the day, it felt like being at the Notting Hill Carnival but on bikes!”
Its volunteers describe BUBR (opens in new tab) as a "series of activations that encourages holistic wellness amongst the Black community." Their flagship event – or activation – is their annual 14-mile bike ride across London, UK. However, they also host monthly activations, including Virtual BUBR Challenges, Ride With Us, Spin With Us and Run With Us sessions. A recap of the latest event can be watched here:
However, BURB isn't sitting on its laurels and has plenty of plans for 2023. These include an Indoor Velodrome Special on 26 March 2023, a 450 km ride in Ghara in April (BURB Africa), and another Black Unity Bike Ride in London on 5 August 2023. Another Indoor Velodrome Special is scheduled for September, and four Come Ride With Us events are planned between February and November 2023.
"For 2023, we plan to solidify our annual ride in August as a calendar event but also try new things like taking a cohort of Londoners to ride 260 miles across Ghana in west Africa in April", adds Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, "Our whole vibe is about increasing ethnic diversity within cycling, and it's great that we get to have a lot of fun whilst doing it."
You can support BURB by buying their merch (opens in new tab). There are cycling jerseys, shorts, socks and neck warmers on offer, or you can opt-in for a mug or a wall calendar. To stay in touch with BURB, follow them on Facebook (opens in new tab), Instagram (opens in new tab) and Twitter (opens in new tab).