British Cycling and HSBC UK have confirmed that Leeds and Sheffield will host two of 13 city centre, family-friendly City Rides this summer.
The announcement of the new HSBC UK City Ride events is the first step in British Cycling and HSBC UK’s ambition to make cycling the most popular activity and sport of choice in the UK, with the target of encouraging two million people to take up cycling by 2020.
In partnership with Leeds City Council and Sheffield City Council, free-to-attend events will take place in Sheffield on July 16th and in Leeds on September 10th. The exact route will be confirmed in due course.
Two of Britain’s most successful ever Olympians: six-time gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy and four-time champion Laura Kenny will today announce the City Ride series, and Hoy explains:
“We want everyone to relive the freedom and thrill that comes when you get on a bike. The HSBC UK City Rides will ensure that tens of thousands of people across the UK get the chance to enjoy cycling through their city on traffic-free roads, inspiring them to make cycling part of their everyday lives.
“By opening up the roads of some of our biggest cities, we want to demonstrate the change and benefits that can come from having cities with fewer cars and more bikes. This is a vision that British Cycling and HSBC UK are determined to drive forward over the course of the next four years. These events are the first step towards achieving that goal and getting two million people cycling by 2020.”
Giles Morgan, HSBC’s global head of sponsorship, said: “Our partnership with British Cycling is all about ensuring that anyone, anywhere in the UK has the opportunity and inspiration to get on their bike, whether that is for travel, fitness or fun. Over the next eight years we will work with British Cycling to embed cycling in communities up and down the country and inspire two million people to get on their bikes.
“We know that more people cycling will lead to a healthier, greener, happier nation, making a significant impact on issues such as obesity, depression and pollution. Cycling can be the solution to so many problems in this country and we are determined that HSBC UK City Rides is the first step on that journey.”
Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sport, said: “Following the arrival in Leeds of Le Grand Départ 2014 which was a truly unforgettable experience, we have been undertaking a range of work with partners to deliver a true cycling legacy in our city.
“Increasing participation and awareness of the benefits of cycling are two of the key aims of our ambition to help achieve this goal. With that in mind, we are very excited that Leeds will be hosting in September this year our first HSBC UK City Ride.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to discover the delights of cycling in a fun and safe environment around the city centre whilst also enjoying the sights of some of Leeds’ most iconic buildings.”
Richard Eyre, head of City Centre Management & Major Events at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’re thrilled to bring a new traffic-free bike ride to Sheffield city centre with our exciting new partner.
“Sponsored by HSBC UK, City Ride will hit our streets in July and is suitable for all. With many wonderful green spaces so close to our city centre, we can guarantee participants a taste of both big city life and the great outdoors, and hope that thousands will be inspired to get on, and stay on their bikes.
“Entries for the family friendly ride will be open soon and I would encourage everyone, young and old, novice or pro, to sign up and get involved in what promises to be a fantastic fun-filled day here in Sheffield: The Outdoor City.”
Besides exploring the city-centre route, the event will give young riders the chance to test their bike handling and pick up new skills on the HSBC UK Go-Ride course. Run by British Cycling coaches, the area will feature obstacles and challenges for all levels of rider to tackle. There will be bikes and helmets available to borrow and you can find out about all of the local cycling clubs and activities for kids in the area. With 90% of the Great Britain Cycling Team starting out with Go-Ride coaching, this is an essential stop for any budding young riders.
For more details, and to register for free, visit www.letsride.co.uk
Full HSBC UK City Ride programme:
Birmingham – 11 June
Nottingham – 18 June
Southampton – 25 June
Newcastle – 2 July
Sheffield – 16 July
Manchester – 23 July
Cardiff – 6 August
Leicester – 13 August
Bristol – 20 August
Glasgow – 27 August
Leeds – 10 September
Coventry – 17 September
Liverpool – 24 September