Free family cycling festival returns to Sheffield in July

British Cycling and HSBC UK have announced that they will be returning to Sheffield in July following the success of last year’s free, family cycling event.

HSBC UK Let’s Ride Sheffield (formerly Sky Ride) will take place on Sunday 15 July, when 6.5 kilometres of city centre roads will be closed to traffic to give thousands of locals the perfect opportunity to explore their city on two wheels.

The HSBC UK Let’s Ride events seek to inspire people to get on their bikes to address many societal problems which blight Sheffield and other major UK cities, including congestion, which Sheffield City Council is currently undertaking work to combat.

This year’s event will have a strong community focus, linking up with local attractions, while along the route there will be a range of local community groups, bike shops, local performers and giveaways, with participants encouraged to hop off their bikes and find out more.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling, said: “Last year we were blown away by the response of the thousands of local people who got on their bikes and joined us.

“Along with HSBC UK and Sheffield City Council, we are passionate about creating better cities for cycling, and events like HSBC UK Let’s Ride Sheffield are a fantastic opportunity for people to get on their bike and take that first step towards making cycling a part of their everyday life.”

HSBC UK Let’s Ride Sheffield will be the seventh in a series of 14 events across the UK this summer, which are a key part of British Cycling and HSBC UK’s vision to get two million more people on a bike by 2020. Over 100,000 people attended last year’s events, cycling a combined total of over 1.5 million kilometres in the process.

Luke Harper, head of HSBC UK’s partnership with British Cycling, said: “Taking part in an HSBC UK Let’s Ride event is a great opportunity to cycle around Sheffield without traffic, seeing its landmarks from a completely different viewpoint. These events provide a great day out for families, those who want to get back on their bike after allowing it to collect dust at home, or for the more experienced cyclists who want to try something a bit more relaxed. Plus, you will be doing your bit to help create a greener, fitter, healthier Britain.”

Sheffield City Council hosts a number of events, workshops and training programmes to increase cycling both as a leisure and commuting activity. It is currently developing a 1.5 mile cycle lane in Deepcar, which will link the area to the centre of Sheffield alongside the River Don, and the city has recently become one of the largest providers of Ofo Bikes.

The CycleBoost scheme consists of free cycle training, bike loans, bike doctors and discounted maintenance courses. To date, more than 2,300 people have borrowed a bike for free; 4,546 people have undertaken cycle training; over 300 people have undertaken a maintenance course; and our mechanics have safety checked and made minor repairs to over 5,100 bikes.

Successful cycle events have included the Parson Cross Let’s Ride Pop-up; the Howard Street Dual; the Allez Allez weekend, consisting of the Cote De Wincobank hill-climb; and community event and the Magnificent Seven featuring seven of the city’s steepest climbs.

In addition to the cycling projects, the council is developing schemes to encourage walking, independent travel and improving travel options to work through the wheels to work scheme.

Richard Eyre, Head of City Centre Management and Major Events at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are thrilled once again to be supporting HSBC UK Let’s Ride, formerly known as the Sheffield Sky Ride. It gives thousands of people a traffic-free introduction to the city and some of its many highlights.”

Full details of the day’s activities and route will be announced in due course.

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