Car-free cities to go bike friendly this summer

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Mon 03 Aug 2009 11:33, Last updated: 2009-08-03
Gethin Jones is joined by others during Skyride Manchester

Olympic medal winners joined more than 15,000 people on the streets of Manchester yesterday in a bike ride to promote greener travel.

Victoria Pendelton MBE, Great British Cycling Team stars Jason Kenny and Ed Clancy, and TV presenter Gethin Jones joined the event as several roads were closed for the day.

The 11.5km route began in Albert Square and passed through the car-free city centre. On the way there was a photo stand and a GoLoud zone, where riders were encouraged to make as much noise as possible.

The riders were able to do a lap of the famous Manchester Velodrome, the arena where the British cycling team trained before their medal haul in the Beijing Olympics.

Skyride Manchester was part of a wider scheme to encourage over one million people to use environmentally friendly transport. Further events in Hounslow (9th August), Glasgow (23rd August) and Leicester (30th August) are planned later this month, with Skyride London taking place on 20th September.

Large parts of the cities will be closed off to cars for the events as the cities go green for the day.

Victoria Pendleton said: "Cycling is such an easy way to stay fit and healthy because you can take your bike with you wherever you go.

"You can simply jump in the saddle and go off exploring.

"I'm really proud to be involved in the Skyride campaign and particularly excited about taking part in the Manchester event, as it's the home of British cycling."

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