Cycle fans in Glasgow went crazy yesterday as seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong invited them, via the internet, to join him on a 60-mile ride in the city. But others could be forgiven for cheering loudly at the news too – namely organisers of Glasgow’s Skyride, which just so happens to be this Sunday.
Armstrong, 37, was in Scotland for the U2 gig at Hampden Park, and his message on social networking site Twit-ter - "Hey Glasgow, Scotland! I'm coming your way tomorrow. Who wants to go for a bike ride?" saw 250 cyclists greet the American as he took his bike from the boot of a car yesterday.
And with the Scottish city in a frenzy after the mega stars appearance, organisers of this weekends mass participation Skyride will be keeping their fingers crossed it has captured the imagination of many more and inspired them to get out on their bikes and peddle.
Corin Dimopoulos, Director of Cycling, Sky said, “It was an amazing experience for those who got to ride with him. And it shows, once again, the huge interest in cycling across the nation. When you ride you really can share the roads with your heroes and this Sunday we’re looking forward to Sir Chris Hoy joining thousands of riders, on traffic-free streets, at the Skyride in Glasgow.”
The Glasgow event is the third Skyride following successful skyrides in Manchester and Hounslow. Manchester attracted around 15,000 cyclists and Hounslow was not far behind with 11,000.
The Skyride Glasgow route will be open and free of traffic from 10am-2pm and highlights will include riverside scenery along the River Clyde, architecture of the iconic Armadillo, Glasgow Green, the home of Skyride's Entertainment, and photo opportunities at Nelson's Monument. Cyclists can meet at one of two Hub points, Kelvingrove Park or Queens Park and join a marshalled ride to the central route.
Skyride Entertainment will carry on until 4pm, so once you've cycled the route a few times, there's plenty of time left to enjoy the fun at Glasgow Green.
The Skyride events form part of Sky’s partnership with British Cycling, announced last summer, and follow the creation of a new professional road-cycling team. By inspiring people, through these and other initiatives, Sky is setting itself the target of getting one million more people cycling in the next four years.
Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton, a cycling ambassador for the event, said: “Cycling is a great way to stay healthy and it’s good for exploring and meeting new people. My message is simple, get on your bike and join us at one of the fantastic free events Sky has planned.”
Sky has also launched a new cycling website at www.goskyride.com to give a simple one-stop-shop for news on each of the Skyride events. The last two Skyride’s are in Leicester on Sunday, August 30, and The Mayor of London’s Skyride on Sunday, September 20.