During the afternoon of Sunday 30 August while hundreds of riders completed the HOY 100 Sportive through the Pennines, an exciting Go-Ride session was taking place back at the event HQ at Skipton Academy.
Over 20 young riders completed fun skills challenges before being joined by Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy, for some Go-Ride Racing.
The session was an opportunity for the children of those riding the sportive and local young people to improve their bike handling skills and build confidence with the expert help of a British Cycling Go-Ride Coach. With riders of mixed ages and abilities, there were activities to challenge everyone and a fleet of new HOY bikes available for the young enthusiasts to try out.
The HOY 100 Sportive is organised by Evans Cycles who were announced as a partner of the Go-Ride programme earlier this year. Evans Cycles is supplying 1,500 HOY bikes to help Go-Ride Coaches run sessions across the country.
Handing over a fleet of bikes to Yorkshire Go-Ride Coach, Chris Young, Sir Chris Hoy said: “We’re trying to build bikes that are enjoyable to ride and easy to ride for the kids; making them as light and easy to handle as possible.
"We’re looking forward to some feedback, but also just seeing kids enjoying them as the whole point of this is getting kids into the sport and giving them a chance to try it.
"It’s not just about trying to produce champions of the future, it’s about exposing kids to this great sport and giving them a chance to enjoy it.”
While Go-Ride Club members from Bronte Tykes and Ilkley Cycle Club attended the session, there were also young riders who were completely new to Go-Ride. Parent, Clare Potter, whose daughters Jemima (8) and Betsy (11) took part in the session while their dad rode the 100 mile event, spoke of Sir Chris’s commitment to the programme:
“I think it’s brilliant to have such an icon like him; he’s a legend! I mean, my kids are really excited at the prospect that they might even see him, let alone that he’s part of this whole project to try to engage and inspire them.”
With four hours of riding and racing complete, Sir Chris handed out goody bags and signed autographs for the crowd of parents and young people that had gathered. The 1,500 bikes bearing his name will now be in use by Go-Ride Coaches across the country with the aim of getting more young people into cycling.
British Cycling’s director of coaching, education and development, John Mills, said: “The fact that the bikes bear the name of one of the most phenomenal athletes Britain has ever seen is sure to inspire thousands of young people to get into the sport.
"We are confident that we can provide over two million opportunities for young people nationwide to get into cycling by 2020 and this partnership will help us to be more ambitious than ever in uncovering the next generation of talent.”
Go-Ride is British Cycling's development programme for young people. It provides a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport, acting as a platform to improve bike handling skills. Together with support from the Bicycle Association and Evans Cycles, the aim is to provide over two million opportunities for young people to get into cycling by 2020.