Report: Sky Ride Ipswich

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Sky Ride Ipswich

Event: 12th June 2011
Report and Images: Andy Whitehouse

6,000 people joined TV star Jeff Brazier, Great Britain Cycling Team's Ross Edgar and Team Sky's Alex Dowsett for the first ever Sky Ride Ipswich on Sunday 12th June 2011. Many more came out to watch and experience the day as people of all ages and abilities took to traffic-free streets for the chance to enjoy the town on two wheels. The day marked the second event of Sky Ride 2011 - a national campaign to get one million people cycling regularly by 2013.


The free event hosted by Sky and British Cycling, in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council, allowed riders to take in the 6km route at their own pace. Participants were treated to a whole host of activities and entertainment throughout the day along the route. With live music, a marketplace, and demonstrations from the Sky Sports Living for Sport Flatland BMX-ers, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Stars from the worlds of cycling and TV took time out to help less experienced riders, chatting with participants in the British Cycling Bike Cafe. And there was plenty of entertainment for young people including a Go-Ride racing course where youngsters tested their racing skills and got great tips from pros and British Cycling coaches.

As well as taking part in Sky Ride Ipswich, local residents are also being asked to take part in a nationwide poll and nominate their favourite hill to cycle down in the region. Backed by multiple world and Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, the nationwide search will see the ultimate cycling descent being crowned the UK's Perfect Hill.

Sky Ride Ambassador Jeff Brazier commented: "It's been a fantastic day here at Sky Ride Ipswich, with people of all ages getting back on their bikes and enjoying cycling around the town on traffic-free streets. I just hope that all 6,000 people that have taken part today will be inspired to start cycling more regularly and continue to have fun on two wheels."

Sky Ride People

Local residents Peter, Helen and their son Toby enjoyed the ride: "We know Ipswich really well and they've laid the course out very well - no cars is really nice. We don't ride as much as we should; we've got three lovely bikes and we should really get out more, but after today I think this should kick us into going out on them more often. We'll have a look on the website to find out where there are more rides in the area."

Mr Endurance: "I plan to take part in 22 charity rides this year,I've probably rode around 300 in the past 5 years, I just love to ride my bike.I should hopefully do 6 Sky Rides this year and today I'll ride 10 circuits of the Ipswich course."

Peter, Helen and son Toby: "We're about three quarters of the way round the course and we really like it, I know Ipswich really well and they've laid the course out very well, excellent route, Toby's really enjoying it and so are mom and dad. No cars which is really nice and we've tried the cafe which is nice, well laid out, bit crowded but good to be busy. We don't ride as much as we should - three lovely bikes and we should really get out more but after today I think this should kick us into going out on them more often. We'll have a look on the website to find out where there are more rides in the area." (Ed's note - check for Sky Ride local events in the area on

Samual and James (cool dudes on really cool singlespeeds): "We go everywhere on the bikes, we ride for fun and leisure - some folks are going a bit slow for us so we decided to stop at the bike cafe for a coffee. We use the bikes instead of the car to be honest, it's more fun to ride.You can pick these bikes up for around £200 for a basic model but we've customised ours a bit.This one was built be an Italian guy in london, went in his shop and chilled out all day and walked out with a bike."

Solomon, Archie and Charlie (balloons on heads) and Helen (Solomon's mom): "This is great,we do cycle a lot as a family but this great having no cars around and the kids are safe. We are local to Ipswich so we know a lot of cycle routes, would like a few more but we can't complain.We cycle for fun and I commute on mine."

Also at the event were a couple of celebrity cyclists - here's their 'spin' on the day's activities:

Ross Edgar: "Looks like everyone is having a good time with their families, it's great to be able to get out on traffic free roads. It's great what Sky, British Cycling and Ipswich Council have done today putting on a great show, looks like it was well worth the time and effort. The queue is long for the bib signing and its great to know people are interested in what we are doing."

Alex Dowsett: "Winning the Smithfield Nocturne was a bit of a surprise - I spoke to my dad before the race and he suggested I should go on the first lap but I never thought they would let a Sky rider who is known for his time trialling go away but no one chased me down so I put my head down and went for it. Today is a bit different from last night, I've just done half a lap on the back of a tandum next to a guy on a penny farthing so it couldn't be more different. It's great seeing this side of cycling, I've really enjoyed today, seeing families bring their kids out and give them the chance of a bit of freedom on their bikes. It's a closed circuit, totally safe and lots of smiles on everyones faces. Its fantastic what Sky and British Cycling have done here.