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Thousands attend Southampton Sky Ride

Olympic champion and TV chef join the masses for latest ride

Organisers of yesterday's Southampton Sky Ride say 10,000 people took part in the ride - the second in Sky’s series of 12 mass participation cycling events this summer.

Olympic Gold medallist Victoria Pendleton and TV chef Jean-Christophe Novelli joined the event hosted by Sky, in partnership with British Cycling and Southampton City Council.

The route took in the Southampton Bargate, the Titanic Memorial and the green open spaces of Southampton Common. As well as the ride itself there were all sorts of activities and entertainment along the route and at the Sky Ride Entertainment Village in Hoglands Park. Ranging from live bands, celebrity interviews and bicycle bingo to a fancy dress parade, BMX riders demonstrations and an inflatable five a side football pitch.

Victoria Pendleton said, “It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying a day out cycling together and I’m sure having the unique opportunity to enjoy the traffic-free streets was a great experience for everybody. I hope today will have reminded people how much fun can be had from cycling and encouraged people to get back on their bikes.”

Jean-Christophe Novelli added, “It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying themselves on their bikes today, there was such a great atmosphere both on the course and in the Entertainment Village. I loved the crazy outfits some of the cyclists wore; they added an extra spark to what already felt like such a special day. I hope Sky makes this an annual event in Southampton!”

People in the region inspired by this event can also get involved in Sky Ride Local rides, which run from every Sunday through to October starting on Sunday 1 August in Southampton.

They will be led by fully trained cycle leaders from British Cycling and will take in everything from the countryside and local sights, to historical and art tours. Riders can pick a level to suit their age and ability and will be given a hi-visibility vest for the ride.

Full details on the next Sky Ride Local are available online.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine ( 

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