Some 200 cyclists from York will escort the Olympic torch into the historic city when it passes through on its relay on 19 June – one of only two places in the UK granted permission by London 2012 organisers LOCOG to provide a cycle escort, the other being Cambridge.
City of York Council says that the torch cycle escort will be marshalled by council cycle trainer, and will ride behind the main torch convoy as it heads along Tadcaster Road before peeling off at Micklegate Bar, with the cyclists heading towards Knavesmire for an evening celebration starting at 5pm.
Councillor Sonja Crisp, the council’s cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion said: "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Torch Relay as it brings a taste of the Olympic spirit to Great Britain. We've worked hard to offer residents another fantastic way of sharing in the build-up to the 2012 London Games which will add to the spectacle."
Participants in the cycle escort, which is being co-ordinated by the council working alongside the police, York College and local cycling groups, will be chosen from cycling clubs and organisations based in the area, while some places will also be given as prizes in the York Cycle Challenge as well as through a competition to be run in the York Press.
More information on other ways to help out as the Olympic torch visits the city is available on a dedicated section of the council’s website.
Councillor Dave Merrett, City of York Council's cabinet member for City Strategy added: "With cycling an Olympic sport and so many people in York keeping active on bikes, this special escort helps showcase the city's exceptional cycling culture and provision for safer cycling which includes improvements to the junction of Micklegate Bar and Blossom Street junction where the escort will travel."
We’ve contacted Cambridge City Council to find out further details of the cycling element of the torch relay there, and will let you know those once we have them. The torch is die to arrive there on the evening of 7 July and depart the following morning.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.