What is Sky Ride?
Sky Ride is a huge, fun biking event that is held in a town or city center, providing cycling enthusiasts of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to converge for a ride on a traffic-free route. This not only encourages people to get on their bikes but also acts as a great day for families to come together for lots of fun both on and off the bicycle.
The event is held in different cities where a predetermined route and assigned with no particular start time or starting point. Participants can ride as little or as much as they wish to at a pace they are comfortable with. Given that the route passes through the city center, they are allowed to stop and admire the sights and monuments.
Finally, the Sky Ride event is completely free and open to anyone who’s up for a day of fun on two wheels! You only need to register and show up!
History of Sky Ride
The first Sky Ride event was held back in 2009 in London, launched by the British media group Sky. It was started as a five-year public participation initiative between British Cycling and Sky to encourage more Britons to get out and on their bikes. The event, held between August and September, featured a mass of events in major cities, as well as 400 smaller events held locally.
The first installation of Sky Ride was fairly successful, with more than 100,000 people participating countrywide. Organizers built on the success of the maiden installment to expand the event to other cities in the country and the numbers have been growing ever since.
Sky Ride Local
Borne out of Sky Ride City, these are a series of local events held across the country. Experienced cyclists from British Cycling step up to guide small groups of participants on routes in different Sky Ride cities on Sundays throughout the summer.
These local rides offer a selection of cycle paths at varying levels of difficulty that range from Ride Easy and Ride Steady for different ages and abilities to Ride Strong and Ride Well for teenagers and adults. Depending on your level of experience, age, and riding abilities, you get to select a route that best suits you.
Each Sky Ride Local event is organized in chosen locations across the Sky Ride City before the main City ride and after. Furthermore, the routes followed in the Sky Ride Local events vary in distance and degree of difficulty with both on-road and off-road cycle paths incorporated.
Some of the Sky Ride Cities where the event is held include:
Sky Ride London
The roads of the capital were closed to give way to a much-awaited Sky Ride London festival with participants pouring into the clear streets. Thousands of bike enthusiasts took the opportunity to explore the famous landmarks of London from a unique perspective, with the cycling route passing through sights like St. Pauls’ Cathedral.
Sky Ride Manchester
The last Sky Ride event in the city of Manchester featured more than 15,000 participants who turned out to enjoy a traffic-free ride in the city streets. The chosen 12-mile route zigzagged through famous city landmarks such as the Platt Fields Park, Velodrome, Philips Park, etc. with people getting a chance to witness the sights more up close.
Sky Ride Leicester
The Leicester Sky Ride event also saw a great turn out featuring participants of all ages and riding abilities. Led by members of Sky, the caravan of riders got up close and personal with renowned city landmarks like the King Power Stadium, Cultural Quarter, and Town Hall Square. Guests also got to enjoy other fun activities, such as bike stunts by experts in a carnival-like atmosphere.
The success of Sky Ride
When the organizers of Sky Ride City were launching the event, they had the vision to get more people to enjoy the freedom and fun of riding. Although this was only held in five major cities across the country, it attracted more than 100,000 people in what has proven to be a successful annual biking event.
The experience has been expanded into at least 12 cities in the country with hundreds of smaller events being held locally to further boost the number of participants. Sky Ride City has also proven to be a popular event with families taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some outdoor fun and revel in the hot summer weather.
This has been reinforced by the inclusion of a line-up of pro-cyclists and celebrities who not only act as Sky Ride ambassadors but also serve as a great pulling factor for fans who turn out to see their idols. Popular personalities such as Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins have become a constant during the events.
Ever since it was introduced, Sky Ride has proven to be a crowd favorite across the country and citizens come together to have some fun on two wheels. The Sky Ride City events also allow guests and tourists to experience the city in question uniquely!