Bike rides with a difference

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EVERY Friday in September at 7pm, people take to their bikes for what is fast becoming a Hastings institution.

As part of the Coastal Currents visual arts festival, for the third year running, the From Pier to Eternity illuminated bike rides will be seen and heard along the St Leonards and Hastings seafront.

Tonight is From Pier to Eternity Goes Retro. This vintage themed ride is part of the Hastings and St Leonards Heritage Open Days programme, and encourages Victorian dress and classic bicycles.

Historical local footage will be played with a pedal-powered projector at various locations along the promenade, complemented by period music.

Organiser Patrick Nicholson said: “I think these rides play a potentially important role in making cycling a part of the culture of the town, and building up the cycling community.

“The rides bring together very different sorts of cyclists, from commuters to sports cyclists to leisure cyclists, young and old.”

Each week the riders meet at the pier at 7pm. The rides have a different theme each time, but there is always music, lights and costume, and most importantly everyone is welcome.

The rides kicked off on August 27, with a taster as part of the Coastal Currents Spotlight event.

The first of the September events was last week, with From Pier to Eternity Goes Ibiza, a dance themed cycle ride, with upbeat music including trance and latin.

Friday, September 16 sees the arrival of From Pier to Eternity: Dive Dive Dive!, preceeding the Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival, with an aquatic theme involving whale song, fishy music, and culminating in a beach gathering.

September 23, is From Pier to Eternity in Dub, complete with reggae and drum and bass sounds, while the final ride on September 30 is From Pier to Eternity Goes to the Party.

The rides are organised in partnership with Hastings Urban Bikes (HUB), and part-funded by National Lottery Awards for All.

Patrick said: “They challenge the idea that cycling is something people do because they can’t afford a car, and instead make it clear that cycling can be a positive choice.”

Contact frompiertoeternity@hotmail.co.uk or call 07538 308103.