As the Tour de France prepares to head for Yorkshire, the East Riding is gearing up for its own cycling celebrations to encourage more people to get on their bikes!
Events will take place across the region during the Cycle4Life Challenge, a week-long celebration of cycling as not only a sustainable form of transport but also a great way of keeping fit.
From next week (Monday June 9) schools across the East Riding are holding activities inspired by the Tour de France. In return for a small donation to the local charity Cash4Kids, children can cycle, scoot or walk to school dressed in a yellow, green, polka dot or white jersey to celebrate the different classifications in Le Tour.
The Cycle4Life challenge will kick off with a community event on Sunday 15 June at Sewerby Hall in Bridlington.
Children and families will be challenged to join in the fun throughout the day, from 10am to 4pm, when there will be a range of cycling activities from mountain biking to watching display teams and a chance to ride some unusual bikes!
Throughout the day the Mountainbike Action Display team (MAD) will be performing near the seafront in Garrison Square in Bridlington.
The council’s public health team is also supporting the week of activities by promoting messages about healthy eating, safety in the sun and the importance of regular exercise. Free health checks will be available during the event at Sewerby Hall.
In the run up to the community event. members of the team will be completing their own annual three-day cycling challenge, starting at the Humber Bridge and following a 170-mile route, ending on Bridlington Promenade. This will signal the start of the week of cycling events, with a mass participation cycle ride up to Sewerby Hall.
During the rest of the week the Cycle4Life team, including East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s road safety team, Viking Radio presenters and cycling advocates, will be cycling stages all the way from Bridlington to Goole, passing through Driffield, Pocklington, Market Weighton, Beverley, Cottingham and Howden.
Along the way the team will visit around 50 schools which have been collecting money for Cash4Kids.
The week of cycling events will culminate on Saturday 21 June at a community fun and cycle day at Goole High School, from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
The day will offer everyone an opportunity to participate in events including a mobile skate park, fun cycle try-out sessions and the MAD display team will be performing in the centre of Goole throughout the day.
Throughout the week, there will be opportunities to win prizes including Raleigh bikes, and items of cycling gear donated by Endura clothing.
The Cycle4Life challenge message will be reinforced and supported by the British Cycling team, who will be leading Sky Rides from Bridlington on 15 June, Goole on 22 June, and around the East Riding throughout the summer.
Councillor Jonathan Owen, chairman of the East Riding health and wellbeing board, said: “Cycling is one of the best ways for people to achieve good health and fitness. Apart from burning away body fat, cycling reduces the chances of heart disease and also helps to combat diabetes and high blood pressure.”
Councillor Chris Matthews, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for infrastructure, highways and emergency planning, said: “The Cycle4Life Challenge is a week-long celebration of why cycling is great, not only as a sustainable form of transport but is also a great way of keeping fit and having a healthy lifestyle regardless of what age you are.
“The challenge aims to promote and spread this message right across the East Riding, challenging children and their families to get out on their bikes, to have fun and be active.
“With the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire this summer, there is no better time to challenge yourself and try cycling.”
Lucy Jordan, headteacher of St Mary’s CE Primary School in Beverley, one of the schools taking part in the Cycle4Life events, said the initiative supports the school’s ongoing work to encourage sustainable forms of travel.
“We encourage children to walk, cycle or scooter to school. Not only is this safer for all concerned, but it is also healthier. We can’t wait for this summer’s amazing cycling events!” she added.