SKY GIVES FREEDOM OF THE CITY TO THOUSANDS OF CYCLISTS
Ed Clancy MBE joins Leicester's celebration of cycling
Leicester Sunday 30 August: Thousands of people today joined stars from the worlds of cycling and television at Skyride Leicester to enjoy a day of entertainment on traffic-free, city centre streets - the fourth 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 Leicester with friends and family for the event hosted by Sky, in partnership with British Cycling and Leicester City Council. They were joined by Olympic medallists Ed Clancy MBE, Shanaze Read, the current UCI Elite World BMX Champion for 2008, as well as TV personality Gethin Jones and former England Rugby Union captain Martin Corry.
The route linked the Golden Mile, St Margaret's Pasture Sports Centre and Abbey Lane. As well as having the opportunity to see their city in 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 and World gold-medalist Ed Clancy commented: "I've thoroughly enjoyed myself at today's city Skyride and am so glad that I have had this unique opportunity to experience Leicester like never before on traffic free streets. Cycling is such a great way to keep fit and I hope today has reminded the people of Leicester how fun it can be as well."
Councillor Ross Willmott, leader of Leicester City Council said: "It's been wonderful to see the streets of Leicester filled with so many people cycling and obviously having such a great time. Cycling is the healthiest, greenest way of getting about, and after today I hope that the thousands of people who took to their bikes will now be thinking of getting back on their saddles permanently."
Corin Dimopoulos Sky's Director of Cycling added: "I'm delighted with how popular Skyride Leicester has been and also to see so many families cycling together on traffic-free streets and enjoying the day's entertainment. Through our great partnership with Leicester 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 your area please visit www.goskyride.com.
Skyride Leicester was the fourth 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 have already taken place in Manchester, Hounslow and Glasgow and the final event will take place in central London on 20 September. These are running 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 Leicester.
For more information on today's event simply visit www.goskyride.com.