Get in gear as Sky Ride is coming to Leeds

Caption: Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Keith Wakefield (on foreground on right) flanked by Dan Goodey, British Cycling Recreation Manager for Yorkshire (crouching centre-left) and Leeds City Council cycling champion Cllr Roger Harington (to his right) with cycling pupils from Benton Park School and British Cycling Ride Leaders behind them on Millennium Square. The pupils are also part of a joint Sustrans and Leeds City Council project promoting cycle access to school.

Leeds city centre will be filled with thousands of people this July as the city hosts a free family-oriented mass-participation Sky Ride for the first time.

As part of a new partnership announced today between Leeds City Council, British Cycling, Sky and West Yorkshire Metro, the city centre will become traffic-free on Sunday 7 July to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get out on bikes and take part in the free event.

Sky Ride Leeds is part of this year’s national campaign by British Cycling and Sky aimed at encouraging everyone to discover the fun and freedom of going out on a bike ride.

Together since 2009 they have encouraged one million more people to cycle regularly (once a month) and supported the sport at the highest level.

Sky Ride will also form part of the one year to go celebrations to 5 July 2014, when Leeds welcomes the world’s largest annual sporting event as the host city of Yorkshire’s Tour de France Grand Départ.

In addition to the mass-participation Sky Ride event, the new partnership will also see a Sky Ride Local programme run in Leeds offering a series of free, fun, guided bike rides around the city, starting in July and running through to the end of September.

Guided by friendly British Cycling Ride Leaders along scenic planned routes, the rides are tailored to different ability levels from beginners to experienced riders looking for a challenge.

To encourage women to get on their bikes, women-only rides will also be taking place as part of British Cycling’s national Breeze network. The social aspect of cycling is also catered for as part of the new partnership, with Social Cycling Groups being set up to allow cycling enthusiasts to organise their own rides all-year-round.

The campaign also fits into Leeds’ drive to be the most active big city in the UK, as well as child friendly Leeds, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future.

Team GB cyclist Jason Kenny OBE who won two gold medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games said:

“Cycling is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, plus its lots of fun too. I’d encourage everyone, of all ages and abilities to get out on their bikes and take part in Sky Ride in Leeds this summer.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“We are delighted to announce this partnership with British Cycling, Sky and Metro, and hope it will encourage and inspire children, families and people of all ages in Leeds to get on bikes and start cycling. Sky Ride events which have been held in other cities have proved hugely popular with thousands of people taking part and a great atmosphere, and I’m sure the event in Leeds in July will be a very special day out not to be missed.

“Cycling has enjoyed a fantastic rise in popularity in recent years and in particular with the inspirational success of Team GB, Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins last year. And with a year to go to the Tour de France coming to Leeds, this Sky Ride event will be an exciting start to an amazing 12 months to come.”

Further details including the route of Sky Ride Leeds will be announced shortly, with more information available at www.goskyride.com including the chance for those wishing to take part to register and book their place.

Notes to editors:

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Leeds PR Contact Details

Leeds City Council
Roger Boyde

Senior communications officer

Tel: 0113 247 5472

Mob: 07891 270 580

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

British Cycling

Courtney Perks, Marketing and Communications team

0161 274 2000



Victoria Etaghene

Senior Consumer PR Manager

0207 032 0675


About Sky Ride

Sky Ride Leeds is one of sixteen Sky Ride city events will take place across the UK this summer and each of these events have traffic-free streets, enabling cyclists to enjoy a day of bike-based entertainment and to explore their city on two wheels with family and friends. The free events aim to encourage thousands of people, of all ages and abilities, to get on their bikes.

Sky Ride Local rides are free small, weekly community bikes rides that give participants the chance to get out and explore your local area. Led by a British Cycling trained leader, who is on hand to provide support and tips on how to improve for people of any age or ability they will be taking place across the country this summer.

In 2012 Sixteen Sky Ride City events and 1,000 Sky Ride Local rides which saw over 146,000 participants take part in Sky Ride City events and over 17,000 participants take part in Sky Ride Locals.

About British Cycling

British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI - the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport, from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.

Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation. There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists' interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 70,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling.

About Sky

Sky has been British Cycling’s Principal Partner since 2008, encouraging people, whatever their age or ability, to get on their bikes and have fun, and supporting the sport at an elite level including Team GB and Team Sky. Together with British Cycling Sky has had a target to inspire one million more people to cycle regularly (at least once a month or 12 times over a year) by 2013. In 2009 Sky announced the formation of Team Sky, a professional road racing team which aimed to create the first British winner of the Tour de France within five years.

For more information about the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ in Leeds and Yorkshire, visit www.yorkshire.com/le-tour-yorkshire or follow @letouryorkshire on Twitter.

For more information on the child friendly Leeds initiative go to www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk