Capital's Cyclists to be Given Freedom of the City
British Olympic cycling heroes join Mayor of London and tens of thousands of Londoners at the climax of summer Skyride series. On Sunday 20 September, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Sky will host what is set to be the biggest mass participation cycling event ever held in the capital.
Details of the Mayor of London's Skyride - formerly known as Sky Sports London Freewheel - have been published today, alongside maps of the new larger 15km route that takes in some of London's most iconic sights.
The free event will give tens of thousands of cyclists the chance to enjoy traffic-free city centre roads for the day, encouraging riders of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes with friends and family. The route takes riders past landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral and The Tower of London and will feature St James Park and the river views of The Embankment. For the first time the route will also include the heart of the City of London, allowing cyclists a traffic-free trip down Canon Street, Bank and Cheapside.
As well as providing a unique opportunity to see one of the world's greatest cities in a new light and enjoying a day cycling with friends and family, there will also be a variety of exciting activities to create a carnival atmosphere in the capital. Highlights include:
- Skyride Street Zone - Professional BMX and Mountain Bike riders will perform tricks, with the opportunity for members of the pubic to take a course in stunt riding.
- Skyride Style Zone - Participants can get a free bike make-over using the most up to-date designs and accessories.
- Skyride Photo Point - At designated points riders smile as they ride past cameras for a free memento of the day to download at www.goskyride.com
- Skyride Active Zone - Tips on health and wellbeing from British Cycling and Bike4Life - part of the Department of Health's ‘Change4Life' campaign to tackle obesity in the UK.
- Skyride Active Zone - Cycle Sprint Challenge - An opportunity to try out cycle sprinting on Watt bikes - used to measure power - and compete against friends and family as well as beat celebrity sprint times.
- Skyride Family - Designated area for kids and families, where children can learn new bike skills with free Go-Ride sessions from British Cycling professionals.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:
"It's been a great summer of cycling in London, with more and more people discovering that ours is a fantastic city in which to go by two wheels. We had some 11,000 at our Hounslow event, and the central London extravaganza promises to be the biggest and best yet. The fantastic thing about it is the huge range of people who take part - whatever your age or ability you can come and join in our free, unique, and most importantly fun, celebration of the best way of getting around."
Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive of Sky, said:
"It's only fitting that the culmination of what has been a great Skyride summer is held in our capital city. Working in partnership with British Cycling and local councils, the Skyride team has got tens of thousands of people on their bikes so far. I hope that the Mayor of London's Skyride will help us to encourage even more people back on their bikes. It's going to be a great day - I hope you can join us there."
British Cycling is supporting Sky, and just a few of the famous faces joining The Mayor of London and tens of thousands of cyclists on the day, include Olympic Gold Medalists Sir Chris Hoy and Jamie Staff. TV presenter Gethin Jones, who has been undertaking a 1000km cycle ride around the UK this summer to highlight the freedom and excitement that getting out and about on your bike can offer, will also take part.
Sir Chris Hoy commented:
"Having just taken part in Skyride Glasgow this year, I'm really looking forward to being at the finale of the summer series. This will be my second year at the London event and I've got a feeling we're going to top last year's fantastic celebration of cycling. The sport is such an easy way to stay fit and healthy, because your bike can be taken with you wherever you go. The best part of these events is that it doesn't matter if you're a novice or a more experienced rider, they have something for all ages and abilities."
Mayor of London's Skyride is the final in a series of five city events that have taken place across the UK, encouraging people to get back on their bikes and enjoy the benefits of a fitter, healthier lifestyle. Tens of thousands of people of all ages and abilities have enjoyed fantastic days out in Manchester, Hounslow, Glasgow and Leicester since July. 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 Skyride Local events taking place in and around London. The local events continue into October, with full details on where they are taking place and registration available on www.goskyride.com.
Free registration for Mayor of London's Skyride is easy and takes no time at all - simply visit www.goskyride.com now to get involved. The website has tips and expert advice on how to ride comfortably and safely plus news from Sky's cycling ambassadors and British Cycling's stars.