Sky Ride returns for Father’s Day special in Leeds

Caption: Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Cllr Lucinda Yeadon (centre) with centre left Heather Nelson chief executive of Black Health Initiative together with British Cycling ride leaders and members of City Riderz

Father’s Day will be extra special in Leeds next month as Sky Ride returns to the city centre bigger and better.

The free family-orientated mass participation bike ride will take place on Sunday 15 June, allowing riders to take to the same stretch of traffic-free road which the world’s finest cyclists will follow when the Tour de France Grand Départ begins from the exact same start point on The Headrow just three weeks later.

The inaugural Sky Ride in Leeds last year was a major success, attracting more than 8,500 people of all ages and abilities to get on bikes with many more lining the route to cheer them along.

The route of this year’s Sky Ride has been revealed today, with the 2014 event promising to be bigger and better including being promoted by Olympic track cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy with an exclusive video message which can be seen at http://youtu.be/wm3W8JgJ6gM.

Among the new elements this year along the 6.5kilometre route around the city centre is a loop around the spectacular first direct arena, as well as the ‘sensory tunnel’ and a ‘tricks and tunes’ area which will create a real festival atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. A shorter route will also be available for young children and families, riders with adapted bikes and those new to cycling who are building their confidence levels.

To register for a free place at Sky Ride Leeds, visit goskyride.com. The first thousand people to sign up will receive a limited-edition gift on the day. In addition, anyone who signs up will be entitled to a free expert bike check at Halfords.

The event is one of 14 to be held nationally and is part of a continuing partnership between Leeds City Council, British Cycling, Sky and West Yorkshire Metro which aims to encourage more people to get cycling.

Sky Ride ambassador and six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy said:

“We want more people to enjoy riding a bike – that’s why British Cycling and Sky have teamed up to bring you Sky Ride. We’ve made it easier than ever to get out on your bike and spend quality time with your family and friends.

“Sky Rides close big towns and cities for big bike events so you can ride safely on traffic-free streets, with a huge festival atmosphere and loads to do both on and off the bike. They are great fun and a great way to get on your bike.”

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“Sky Ride was a fantastic day last year with thousands of people riding the streets of Leeds city centre in beautiful sunshine having a great time.

“This year promises to be even better, with the day falling on Father’s Day so it would be great to see even more families coming along and taking part. The event also offers the once-in-a-lifetime chance to say you rode a part of the route of the Tour de France three weeks before the best riders in the world come to the city for the incredible Grand Départ, so sign up now for what will be another wonderfully exciting day.”

Among those taking part this year will be Chapeltown-based cycling group Black Health Initiative, made up mainly of fathers and sons who arrange regular cycle events and rides in the city.

Chief executive of Black Health Initiative Heather Nelson said:

“Sky Rides give communities an opportunity to part take in a city-based activity. BHI’s City Riderz started two years ago as an activity that fathers were able to do with their children on Father’s Day as an alternative to non-physical activities, encouraging health and wellbeing.

“The Riderz are ecstatic that their group which is made up from individuals from diverse backgrounds and often feel excluded are included not only in this particular city ride but one that is connected to the Tour de France via part of the route. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which can be shared by the family.”

In addition to the mass-participation Sky Ride event, a series of 50 free, fun, guided Sky Ride Local bike rides will take place around Leeds this summer tailored for beginners to experienced cyclists, while there will also be women-only rides on offer through British Cycling’s national Breeze programme.

For more information on Sky Ride and to register for Sky Ride Leeds go to www.goskyride.com

For more information on the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ for Leeds, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/granddepartleeds or sign up for email alerts at granddepartleeds@leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

For more information

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Leeds PR Contact Details

Roger Boyde

Senior communications officer

Leeds City Council

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

British Cycling

Courtney Perks, Marketing and Communications team

0161 274 2000


Sky Ride

Sky Rides are big, celebratory events which take over a town or city centre so thousands of cyclists can ride together on a traffic-free route. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how old your bike is, or how fast you ride.

Sky Ride Local

With Sky Ride Local we’ve done all the planning for you. We’ve found the best routes, trained up Ride Leaders to guide and support you, and picked some cracking places to visit along the way.


British Cycling’s Breeze programme is the biggest initiative ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Our amazing Breeze champions are trained to organise friendly, social bike rides up and down the country and inspire local women to get involved.

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 (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), 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 89,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling. British Cycling was named Governing Body of the Year at the 2013 Sports Industry Awards. For more information, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk

West Yorkshire Metro

West Yorkshire Metro is now part of the new West Yorkshire Combined Authority. For more information go to www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/transport/


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk