Saskia Heijltjes

Hi, this is Saskia here. I’m very excited to be the first Bicycle Mayor of Bath! Having grown up in a rural town in the Netherlands, cycling has always been a big part of my life.When in 2012 my partner and I settled in Bath and started a family, we found that cycling with one child on a normal bike was fine, but we struggled to also carry our stuff. When we were expecting our second child, we took a big leap and bought a cargo bike. What a game changer! The bike has brought us so much joy, and it has allowed us to live our life without a car.

I started to get involved in campaigning and promoting active travel in 2013, because I believe enabling more people to cycle and walk for daily trips is a great way to improve our health, communities and the environment. I chair the Bicycle Users Group at my workplace and I’m an active member of local campaign group Walk Ride Bath. In 2021, we started Kidical Mass rides to raise awareness of the need for safe infrastructure for cycling. The rides are so much fun, with many children on their own bikes, ringing their bells and feeling safe on the streets because of the size of the group.

What are your plans as Bicycle Mayor?

As a Bicycle Mayor, I want to grow Kidical Mass in Bath by running regular rides and
reaching out to more people. These events are perfect for people to meet and share
experiences of cycling. I want to build on the strengths of Kidical Mass as a positive event to
inspire other families to take up cycling and to combat stereotypes. I will use the event as a
platform to engage with decision makers and campaign for safe infrastructure for everyone,
so that more people can choose to cycle.