Cyclists to be given freedom of the capital at Mayor of London's Sky Ride

31 August 2010

Boris Johnson will be joined by Sir Chris Hoy, Kelly Brook and tens of thousands of Londoners as the Mayor of London’s Sky Ride returns this summer

Boris Johnson was joined by Kelly Brook today (31 August) to launch the Mayor of London’s Sky Ride and unveil changes to an extended 15km route that will allow cyclists to take in more of the capital’s most iconic sights than ever before on traffic-free roads.

Tens of thousands of cyclists are expected to take part in the free mass-participation cycling event, which takes place this Sunday (5th September) and is organised in partnership with Sky.

The route for the 2010 Mayor of London’s Sky Ride will be traffic-free between 9.30am and 4.30pm. Riders will be able to experience the heart of London with a circular route running from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace via the City of London and St Paul’s Cathedral. This year for the first time the route will also take riders through Parliament Square passing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

People of all ages and abilities are being encouraged to get on their bikes for the event and cycle with friends and family. Last year the Mayor of London’s Sky Ride saw over 65,000 people dust down their bicycles and take to the streets to enjoy a day of bike based entertainment.

Joining the cyclists on the day will be the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, actress and model Kelly Brook, four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy and riders from Team Sky, Britain’s new professional road cycling team.

The return of the Mayor of London's Sky Ride is part of a series of initiatives in the capital during what the Mayor has dubbed London's 'Year of Cycling', including Transport for London's delivery of landmark cycle superhighways and cycle hire projects.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "London is in the midst of a two wheeled revolution and Sky Ride promises to add to our aim of making the capital the epicentre of pedal power. Being able to cycle on traffic free streets past some of the world’s most iconic sights is sheer bliss for anyone with a love of our great city or the bicycle. It is surely the greatest cycle celebration in the country and I urge everyone, whatever your age or ability, to come down on Sunday and take part."

Sky Ride Ambassador, Kelly Brook said: “Having taken part in Sky Ride last year, I’m really looking forward to being involved again this summer. I love cycling and it is such a fantastic way to keep fit, the best part about these events is that it doesn't matter if you're a novice or a more experienced rider; they have something for all ages and abilities. Over 65,000 people came to last year’s Mayor of London’s Sky Ride and I hope to see even more people coming down on September 5th.”

Sky Ride ambassador Sir Chris Hoy said: “Having just attended Sky Ride Glasgow and after taking part in the Mayor of London’s Sky Ride last year, I’m really looking forward to the London event. I enjoy all the Sky Ride events but it’s always something extra special experiencing one of the world’s most exciting cities in a unique, traffic-free environment. Through Sky Ride, Sky and British Cycling have a genuine opportunity to make a positive difference to people's lives by encouraging as many people as possible to get on their bikes and I really hope to see even more people taking part in the event this year.”

Corin Dimopoulos Sky’s Director of Cycling said: “I’m really looking forward to September 5th and I hope the thousands of cyclists in the city will be just as excited when the see the new route. The 2010 Mayor of London’s Sky Ride includes even more iconic sights and landmarks than ever before, riding past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament on traffic free streets will be something extra special. We really hope that in addition to the fantastic entertainment on offer throughout the day it will encourage even more cyclists to enjoy this vibrant city on traffic-free roads. Through Sky Ride we want to get Britain back on its bike and ultimately aim to get a million more people regularly cycling by 2013.”

As well as providing a unique opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest cities in a new light, there will also be a range of activities to create a carnival atmosphere across London. Highlights include:

*           The Sky Ride Entertainment Village located at St James’s Park will offer space for participants to take a well earned break and enjoy some entertainment

*           The Sky Ride Entertainment Stage is where you will find a bumper line up of top entertainment taking place throughout the day including exciting games, quizzes and competitions, celebrity interviews and live music hosted by Sky Movies pundit Mark Dolan and BMX rider CK Flash. Highlights include:

*           The Sky Ride Sofa - Riders will be able to hear first hand from Sky Ride celebrity ambassadors including Sir Chris Hoy, Team Sky riders and Pineapple Studio’s Louie Spence

*           Sky Ride Bicycle Bingo – A unique twist on the universally popular game, riders will be able to take part as local stars power and select balls from a bicycle powered bingo machine

*           Sky Ride Wacky Riders - Participants are being encouraged to get creative with their cycling outfits and bike accessories. A fancy dress competition will take place which will be judged by Mark Dolan and CK Flash. The Wacky Riders will then be asked to congregate at the Sky Ride Entertainment Village in St James’s Park for final judging. The best three Wacky Riders will be invited to get up on the entertainment stage to model their outfits and receive their prizes. The winner will receive a trophy with the runners up receiving Sky Ride Wacky Riders medals

*           Exclusive to London, the King of the Mountains Experience will see a section of the route dressed and themed in the same fashion as a major road racing route allowing cyclists to have fun spotting characters such as Didi the Devil and the Yellow Man who can usually be seen at the Tour de France

*           Sky Ride Cycle & Explore with Dora the Explorer - In the spirit of the popular Nick Jr TV show, Dora the Explorer, kids will have the chance to win a Cycling Holiday with their family in Scotland and a Dora the Explorer bike and accessories by finding the character & her friends along the route

*           Sky Ride meets Humungousaur – A designated area for young people, where they can take part in the Humungousaur Strength Challenge on the Sky Ride stage and meet the much loved creature Humungousaur from Ben 10

*           Sky Arts presents the unique and highly entertaining Gilbert & Sullivan Street Theatre - look out for a surprise performance on the route for your chance to join in with the classic songs and famous quotes from their acclaimed operas 

*           British Cycling area - Get tips from British Cycling experts and find out how to join the winning team. Children can also get involved by learning new bike skills on the Go-Ride Obstacle Course, a unique course where they will be taught how to become better and safer cyclists

*           3D Cycle Cinemax - enjoy a 3D cycling experience. Inside a giant dome, on 5 huge screens, visitors can witness exclusive behind the scenes footage of Team Sky as they prepare for their first Tour de France plus Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton winning gold and an insight into what it takes to be a winner from Team Principal and Performance Director, David Brailsford.

*           Sky Rainforest Rescue presents the Sky Rainforest Rescue Pod which will bring the Amazon rainforest to life with the latest 3D technology at Sky Ride. The pod will bring participants up close and personal with the amazing wealth of plants and animals that live in the Amazon, and the deforestation that threatens its future

*           To keep everyone hydrated throughout the day, there are Gatorade Hydration Stations around the route giving out free drinks. An Evans Bike Mechanics shop will be available to assist with any punctures or repairs that may arise and an adidas shop will be selling Team Sky kit, cycling tops and souvenir Sky Ride t-shirts

People in the region inspired by the event can also visit the Sky Ride Local tent; here they will be able to get involved in Sky Ride Local rides which run every Sunday through to October in and around London. Each ride will be led by fully trained cycle leaders from British Cycling and riders can pick a level to suit their age and ability and will be given a hi-visibility vest to keep.

To see the full route, for further information and to register to take part for free, visit www.goskyride.com

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

For more information please contact Jonathan Edwards in the Mayor of London's Press Office on 0207 983 4337 or 07825 781 014 or jonathan.edwards@london.gov.uk

OR

Lara Cornwall (020 3003 6570 / 07939 507 810 / lara.cornwall@freud.com)

Rachel Chan (020 3003 6570 / 07921 929 566 / rachel.chan@freud.com)

Notes to Editors 

Evans

Evans Cycles is the Official Cycle Retail Partner for Sky Ride and is committed to help support the efforts of all of the partners and supporters to get 1 million more people cycling regularly by 2013.

Having a bike that is in good working order is a very important part of enjoying your day out and Evans Cycles fully trained mechanics and staff will be on hand at Sky Ride in case there are any problems with your bike.  To help you further we have created a guide to bike maintenance and setup that you can see on goskyride.com or at evanscycles.com/goskyride.

With over 40 stores throughout the UK, evanscycles.com and our mail order team, we are the UK’s largest quality cycle retailer and stock the widest range of products and brands. We are deeply passionate about cycling in all its forms and our friendly staff will be happy to help out with all aspects of cycling.

Gatorade

Gatorade is proud to support Sky Ride and will be handing out free 500ml retail bottles (not bike bottles, so please still bring your own) to riders of all ages; ensuring they are fuelled to enjoy the ride.

Gatorade is backed by 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated to rehydrate, replenish and refuel the body when it needs it most. Gatorade contains no artificial colours, sweeteners, flavours or preservatives, comes in three great tasting flavours for the UK (orange, lemon and blackcurrant) and is available from most major supermarkets, convenience stores and leading gym chains.

adidas

adidas is proud to sponsor both Sky Ride and Team Sky and to be supporting cycling throughout all levels of the sport. Through these partnerships adidas hope to inspire the public to either return to cycling or take up the sport.

adidas strives to be the leading sports brand in the world and continues to innovate. It is through cutting edge technology incorporated into our products that athletes set records and personal bests. Impossible Is Nothing. www.adidas.com 

British Cycling

British Cycling is home to the Great Britain Cycling Team and represents Britain's most successful Olympic and Paralympic sport. British Cycling governs all cycling disciplines and together with British Sky Broadcasting, its principal partner, has a shared aim of getting one million more people cycling regularly by 2013. In 2008 the Great Britain Cycling Team brought home 34 medals from the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, prompting a new wave of interest in cycling and focusing the nation's hopes on London 2012. British Cycling is funded by UK Sport and Sport England.

Young people are encouraged to get on their bikes this year through Go Ride, British Cycling's development programme which has nurtured the young talents of Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Jason Kenny. There is also Go Ride Racing for more confident young riders, a national entry level competition programme that bridges the gap between school and club based coaching sessions and racing. This summer young people and their families can also take part in a series of led-rides hosted at schools across the UK as part of the Sky Ride Schools programme.

Sky Rainforest Rescue

Sky Rainforest Rescue is a three year partnership between Sky and WWF to help save one billion trees in the Amazon state of Acre, northwest Brazil.  Sky and WWF are working with the Acre state government and local communities to look after the rainforests, encouraging them to conserve trees rather than chop them down; offering incentives for the sustainable use of the forest; working to increase market opportunities for sustainable forest products (like rubber) and protecting the forest by tackling the causes of deforestation.  This summer the Sky Rainforest Rescue Pod has been installed at various Sky Ride events around the country so that young people and their families can learn about the people of the Amazon, their culture and livelihoods, and the threat that deforestation poses for current and future generations.

There are lots of ways for people to support Sky Rainforest Rescue.  For just £3 a month you can sponsor an acre of forest or adopt a jaguar.  Alternatively, a donation of £20 will help save 1,000 tress. For more information visit: www.sky.com/rainforestrescue

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.