Being a member of British Cycling brings plenty of benefits but in a recent email I received was the most useful thing yet. It was a reminder to get involved in the local Sky Rides that happen right across the country. This weekend there was a ride in Leicester and I took the family in to town to see what it is all about.
After a short train journey we were soon sporting fluorescent yellow bibs and joining thousands of other families to enjoy a 6k, traffic free route that took us right around Leicester city centre.
I can’t talk highly enough about the event and have told everyone I’ve spoken to about how good it was. 6k is a perfect distance for my eldest daughter to ride and with several stops along the route we were never far from a little break or some entertainment. Most of the stops included the opportunity to do something else cycling related. Team Sky had an exhibition stand where people were testing their strength on some Watt Bikes, and we had a family shot on the podium on front of an Arc de Triomphe backdrop. Halfords was offering some free bike servicing and the Leicester Tigers were giving out goody bags (including RAF styled rubber ducks!!??) and taking pictures of families with the Premiership Trophy.
All this was combined with a carnival atmosphere that encouraged novice cyclists and families to get involved. There were activities for kids of all ages so my eldest took part in a short bike handling course while the youngest scooted around on a balance bike.
There were a couple of points through the route where we got a little congested but the busiest part was also the highlight of the ride when we were able to cycle through the Curve theatre in the citys Cultural Quarter. Aside from one or two over eager lycra clad speed freaks, the other cyclists demonstrated the type of courtesy and respect that you’d hope for when cycling with a 6 year old.
All in all, the Sky Ride is a great way to spend a few hours with the kids and there were plenty of things to help get people on their bikes a bit more. The only thing that could make it any better now is if my girls get to see themselves riding their bikes on Sky as they are now expecting …..