In this – our most amazing year for cycling – we have already celebrated some brilliant milestones. Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, there was momentous success at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and now British Cycling and Sky are thrilled to announce that 1 million more people are now cycling regularly than were in 2008.
In 2008 British Cycling established a partnership with Sky to create a national cycling legacy – to have a British rider winning the Tour de France by 2016, and to promote Sky Ride, our campaign to get a million more people riding their bikes by 2013.
Together with Sport England and over 45 partnership councils we've created thousands of free opportunities to encourage families to enjoy the fun and freedom of a bike ride. From Sky Ride City which has seen thousands of residents take to traffic-free streets, to Sky Ride Local bike rides where friendly Ride Leaders take smaller groups out, there’s been something for everyone.
And it doesn’t stop here. With lots of fun and exciting ways you can continue riding throughout the autumn and winter, we’re now building a lasting cycling legacy all over the UK.
Breeze is the biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. We’re aiming to help thousands more women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride. Also gathering momentum is our social network for cyclists. With over 12,000 users, Social Cycling Groups is making it easy for people to get together, find a place to ride and enjoy a bike ride.
British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, said:
"This is a fantastic culmination to an incredible year for British cycling. In partnership with Sky we introduced the Sky Ride campaign in 2009, setting out our ambition to inspire the nation and get more people on bikes. Within three years we have created an unprecedented shift in cycling participation with the help of Sport England, local authority partners, our members, local Ride Leaders and volunteers.
"Four years ago we were known for our ability to win medals on a world stage. We’ve used this success to drive participation – reaching out to one million more regular cyclists, providing more ways to have fun on a bike and making it easier to get involved."
Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive of Sky, said: “The partnership between Sky and British Cycling has been built around a shared vision to get more people enthused and participating in cycling. The achievement of our target to get one million more Brits on their bikes and cycling regularly is a reflection of both the success of the partnership and the huge inspiration that people have drawn from the incredible accomplishments of the elite British cyclists. We are proud to have played our part and look forward to continuing the partnership for the next four years.”