Leicester City Council to build on Skyride

Event to encourage more onto their bikes

by Kevin Emery   September 2, 2009  

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The Leicester Skyride was such a success that plans for regular guided cycle rides across Leicestershire are being proposed by Leicester City Council. The event saw around 8000 riders take part and the council says it wants to build on the achievement and hopes the event will encourage many more people to cycle and feel safe and confident on roads or cycle paths.

Cyclists of all ages and abilities took to the streets for the event hosted by Sky, in partnership with British Cycling and Leicester City Council, and they were able to experience an 8km circular route around Leicester that was free of all traffic with Olympic medallist Ed Clancy MBE and former England Rugby Union captain Martin Corry.

Councillor Ross Willmott, leader of Leicester City Council said of the event: "It's been wonderful to see the streets of Leicester filled with so many people cycling and obviously having such a great time. Cycling is the healthiest, greenest way of getting about, and after today I hope that the thousands of people who took to their bikes will now be thinking of getting back on their saddles permanently."

The council is now hoping to make this an annual event, and they also want regular guided rides across the city and county without road closures to introduce cycling into everyday life.

There are more than 60miles of sign posted cycle-ways in the city and Councillor Sarah Russell, cabinet member for environment, said in the Leicester Mercury: "Skyride was absolutely amazing. We are hoping it will now be an annual event. We are working with British Cycling and employing somebody to help organise many more local rides, which we hope will start regularly from March.

"Skyride showed there is a whole new generation of cyclists. We hope to develop this further and make cycling an everyday part of life for more people. We have many fantastic and safe cycling routes and it is about helping people get the confidence to cycle on them and on our roads."

The council is also looking to hire paid ride leaders who are qualified cycle coaches, Bikeability instructors, or members of cycling clubs with experience of leading.

Leicester Bikeability also organises training for schools, adults and community groups throughout the city.