MAYOR AND SKY GIVE HOUNSLOW CYCLISTS FREEDOM OF THE STREETS
Olympic medallist Ross Edgar joins Hounslow's celebration of cycling
Sunday 9 August - An estimated eleven thousand people today joined Olympic silver-medallist cyclist Ross Edgar for the Mayor of London's Skyride - Hounslow, sponsored by Sky.
The riders enjoyed traffic-free streets, the green spaces of Osterley Park and Syon House and a range of entertainment. It was the second in Sky's series of five mass participation cycling events taking place this summer, following Skyride Manchester on 2 August and ahead of the central London event on Sunday 20 September.
Cyclists of all ages and abilities took to the streets and parks of Hounslow with friends and family for the event. The event - organised by the Mayor of London in partnership with Sky, and Hounslow Council - was the first mass participation event of its kind held outside London's zone one.
Olympic Silver-medallist Ross Edgar 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 some of the splendid scenenery in Syon and Osterley park 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."
The route took in local iconic sights such as Syon House and Isleworth's historic wharf. In Syon park a special pontoon bridge was constructed over the lake to allow riders to avoid and preserve a 17th century crossing, thought to be one of the oldest cast iron bridge structures in the world. Roaming entertainment also gave the event, which is part of a summer of cycling in the capital, a carnival atmosphere, and a festival area in Syon Park hosted a range of activities and information from cycling groups and the event sponsors, Sky.
Mayor of London's Director of Transport Policy, Kulveer Ranger also took part in the event and said: "Mayor of London's Skyride events are all about giving Londoners the confidence to get on their bikes and explore the capital. These are fun, free, family days, and it has been great to see such a wide range of people taking part. Cycling is the healthiest, greenest way of getting about, and that is why the Mayor and I are working to create a cycling revolution in our city. We hope that the thousands of people who took to their bikes will now get back on their saddles again and again."
Corin Dimopoulos Sky's Director of Cycling added: "I'm delighted with how popular the Mayor of London's Skyride - Hounslow 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 the second in a series of cycling activities, which also include over 100 smaller local and guided rides happening in and around London. Through great partnerships such as this with Hounslow 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 take part in the Mayor of London's Skyride event in central London on 20 September, or can 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 your area visit www.goskyride.com <http://www.goskyride.com/> .
For more information on today's event or to view pictures simply visit www.goskyride.com <http://www.goskyride.com/> . Within the website there are tips and expert advice on how to ride safely and in comfort plus views from Sky's cycling ambassadors and British Cycling's stars.