15,000 Bikes Celebrate the Streets of Manchester

15,000 Bikes Celebrate the Streets of Manchester



Olympic champions join Manchester's celebration of cycling

Sunday 2 August - 15,000 people today joined stars from the worlds of cycling and television at Skyride Manchester to enjoy a day of entertainment on traffic-free, city centre streets- the first in Sky's series of five mass participation cycling events taking place this summer.

Cyclists of all ages and abilities took to the streets of Manchester with friends and family for the event hosted by Sky, in partnership with British Cycling and Manchester City Council.  They were joined by Olympic gold medallists Victoria Pendleton, Ed Clancy and Jason Kenny, as well as TV personality Gethin Jones and Hollyoaks stars Gemma Merna and Jennifer Metcalfe.

The route took in iconic sights such as the Velodrome, the home of British Cycling, as well as Albert Square, the Town Hall, Chinatown and the Sportscity Stadium. As well as having the opportunity to see their city in a whole new light participants were able to take part in a number of activities organised by Sky.  Riders could join a fancy dress cycling parade after having their bikes customised by artists in the Skyride Style Zone, watch Professional BMX riders performing tricks in the Skyride Street Zone and  pick up tips on health and wellbeing from British Cycling and the Department of Health's Bike4Life initiative in the Skyride Active Zone.

Olympic gold-medalist Victoria Pendleton commented: "It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying a day out cycling together and I'm sure having the unique opportunity to cycle through the Velodrome was a great experience for everybody.  I hope today will have reminded people how much fun can be had from cycling and encouraged people to get back on their bikes."

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Culture and Leisure said: "It's been wonderful to see the streets of Manchester filled with so many people cycling and enjoying themselves. As well as the ride itself we've had some fantastic entertainment and the chance to cycle round the world famous Velodrome, home to the phenomenal Great Britain Cycling team has been a real highlight for many, myself included!"

Corin Dimopoulos Sky's Director of Cycling added: "I'm delighted with how popular Skyride Manchester has been and also to see so many families cycling together on traffic-free streets and enjoying the day's entertainment. Today's event was just the beginning in a series of cycling activities, which included over 100 smaller local and guided rides happening in Manchester over the coming weeks. Through our great partnership with Manchester City Council and British Cycling, we hope to build towards our aim of getting one million more Britons cycling regularly by the end of 2013."

People in the region inspired by this event can also get involved in Skyride Local rides which run every Sunday through to October. They will be led by fully trained cycle leaders from British Cycling and will take in everything from the countryside and local sights, to historical and art tours. Riders can pick a level to suit their age and ability and will be given a hi-visibility vest for the ride, as well as a free t-shirt to keep. For full details on the next Skyride Local in you area visit www.goskyride.com/local

Skyride Manchester was the first in a series of five city events taking place across the country, encouraging people to get back on their bikes and enjoy the benefits of a fitter, healthier lifestyle. Events will also be taking place in Glasgow, Leicester, Hounslow and central London over the summer. These will run alongside a series of over 400 smaller local and guided rides, led by fully trained coaches from British Cycling, with over 100 taking place in and around Manchester.

For more information on today's event or to view pictures of today's event simply visit www.goskyride.com/manchester