Just in time for the summer holidays, Kings Cross
has today launched a London first - a spectacular mini-city beautifully and humorously painted across the pedestrian expanse of Granary Square and down into Coal Drops Yard by world-renowned street artist, Peter Gibson - aka Roadsworth.
A giant cycling track that mimics real London road systems on a smaller scale, Natural Cycle is complete with streets, crossings and roundabouts and is enlivened by animals and plants that you can see in the local neighbourhood including Camley Street Natural Park. The installation has an important purpose at its heart - to help children become confident cyclists in a safe environment before they go into a real-life situation and to promote sustainable travel from a young age.
To celebrate - and more importantly put the new summer art installation to good use - Kings Cross, Camden Council, and Bikeability are joining forces to host FREE cycling workshops during the school holidays for children aged 10 and under. Using Natural Cycle street art as their textbook, the workshops will teach children how to turn, approach roundabouts and generally to master cycling safely on London roads as the city gears itself up to becoming a carbon neutral cycling capital.
Workshops will be bookable via this link All events | King's Cross (kingscross.community) and will be held on the following dates: 28th July, 1st August and 9th August - with four morning sessions per day. Each session can accommodate 8-10 children between the ages of 4 and 10 years old and will be hosted by qualified Bikeability instructors. The four half hour sessions will take place at:
o 10:30 11:00
o 11:00 11:30
o 11:45 12:15
o 12:15 12:45
The Roadsworth installation will be live for six weeks over the summer holidays and invites children from across London to bring their bikes along, whether as part of the workshop or just as part of a fun family day trip. All children should be accompanied by an adult.
Chrissy Cullen, Head of Place Marketing at Kings Cross, says: With London fast becoming a major cycling capital, important both for health and environmental reasons, we wanted to create an art installation that not only looks striking but that also has an educational aspect. We want to help teach children from across London to cycle safely on our busy roads and Roadsworths art does that in a fun, engaging and practical way.
The routes are separated into two helpful categories, A for advanced and B for beginners. We recommend that beginners follow Sal the Salamanders route at starting Point B, a flat and easy route which does not require any difficult right turns, and that as children progress, they can follow the advanced Frankie the Fox route, a hillier route to practice stops and right turns. This route starts at Point A.
All children that complete the cycling proficiency course will go home with a certificate.
The installation has been curated by Michael Pinsky and Clare Phillips as part of their curatorial programme X Marks the Spot.
Just over twenty years ago, street artist Peter Gibson, now universally known as Roadsworth, began taking to the streets of Montreal in the early mornings, spray-painting cyclist symbols on roads to protest the lack of bike lanes and paths in the city. As the number of Roadsworths arrest warrants mounted, his controversial street images turned the pavement into a political medium, rekindling the debate about the nature of public art. Roadsworth has since used his quirky and witty approach to street design across the world, working with Cirque du Soleil, Tour de France and Banksys Cans Festival.