Scottish Cycling is delighted that Edinburgh will host one of the 14 city centre, family-friendly HSBC UK City Rides this summer.
The announcement which was made by Sir Chris Hoy on The One Show last night means that Scotland will host not just one, but two of the HSBC UK City Rides, the other in Glasgow.
The HSBC UK City Ride programme is part of the first step in British Cycling and HSBC UK’s ambition to make cycling the most popular activity and sport of choice in the UK, with the target of encouraging two million people to take up cycling by 2020.
The event, which visits Edinburgh on 3 September, will be delivered with the support of Scottish Cycling, the event will be the eleventh of these 14, free-to-attend events. The exact route will be confirmed in due course.
Edinburgh-born, Sir Chris Hoy, a six time Olympic gold medallist, said:
“Edinburgh is a beautiful city to cycle around and I’m delighted that it has been added to the HSBC UK City ride programme.
“We want everyone to relive the freedom and thrill that comes when you get on a bike. The HSBC UK City Rides will ensure that tens of thousands of people across the UK get the chance to enjoy cycling through their city on traffic-free roads, inspiring them to make cycling part of their everyday lives.
“By opening up the roads of some of our biggest cities, we want to demonstrate the change and benefits that can come from having cities with fewer cars and more bikes. This is a vision that British Cycling and HSBC UK are determined to drive forward over the course of the next four years. These events are the first step towards achieving that goal and getting two million people cycling by 2020.”
The HSBC UK City Ride will be part of a cycling-filled weekend for the city with the OVO Energy Tour of Britain also kicking off in Edinburgh earlier on the same day.
With significant investment made in cycling infrastructure in the city over the last few years, the announcement of the HSBC UK City Ride cements Edinburgh as a city that is fully embracing cycling at every level, from grass roots right through to elite level competition.
Giles Morgan, HSBC’s global head of sponsorship, said:
“Our partnership with British Cycling is all about ensuring that anyone, anywhere in the UK has the opportunity and inspiration to get on their bike, whether that is for travel, fitness or fun. Over the next eight years we will work with British Cycling and Scottish Cycling to embed cycling in communities up and down the country and inspire two million people to get on their bikes.
“We know that more people cycling will lead to a healthier, greener, happier nation, making a significant impact on issues such as obesity, depression and pollution. Cycling can be the solution to so many problems in this country and we are determined that HSBC UK City Rides is the first step on that journey.”
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said:
“Edinburgh’s City Ride will allow fans to pedal hot on the tracks of some of the world’s top cyclists.
“Follow the route of the Tour of Britain Grand Depart, take in the stunning sights of the Capital and enjoy a fun day out winding through many of our city’s streets. The route will be closed to traffic throughout, ensuring a safe, family-friendly cycle for all abilities.
“The Council is delighted to support the City Ride and to have Sir Chris Hoy’s support - I’m sure our residents will join in their thousands and make the event a huge success."
Besides exploring the city-centre route, the event will give young riders the chance to test their bike handling and pick up new skills on the HSBC UK Go-Ride course. Run by HSBC UK Go-Ride coaches, the area will feature obstacles and challenges for all levels of rider to tackle. There will be bikes and helmets available to borrow and you can find out about all of the local cycling clubs and activities for kids in the area. With 85% of the Great Britain Cycling Team starting out with Go-Ride coaching, this is an essential stop for any budding young riders.
British Cycling and Scottish Cycling’s partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council encompasses a range of free activities to get people of all ages and abilities on bikes. These include HSBC UK Guided Rides, led by friendly British Cycling trained Ride Leaders along carefully selected routes; HSBC UK Breeze which offers free bike rides for women of all abilities; and HSBC UK Ride Social – the UK’s biggest social cycling network. Ride Social allows people to set up their own rides and routes, as well as to join those created by some of the thousands of other ‘buddies’ people can connect with on the site.
For more details, and to register for free, visit www.letsride.co.uk
Full HSBC UK City Ride programme:
Birmingham – 11 June
Nottingham – 18 June
Southampton - 25 June
Newcastle – 2 July
Sheffield – 16 July
Manchester – 23 July
Cardiff – 6 August
Leicester – 13 August
Bristol – 20 August
Glasgow – 27 August
Edinburgh – 3 September
Leeds – 10 September
Coventry – 17 September
Liverpool – 24 September