Bath kicks off Sky Ride 2011

5,000 cyclists take advantage of the city's closed roads

Sky Ride’s 2011 programme kicked off in Bath yesterday, with 5,000 people joining the route around some of the city’s historic landmarks.

The free ride saw cyclists tackle a 6km route, which passed the Royal Crescent and the Circus. The event also included performances from local buskers and demos from the Sky Sports Living For Sport Flatland BMX’ers. A Go-Ride racing course allowed youngsters to test their racing skills and receive tips from professional riders and British Cycling coaches.

Sky's national campaign, which aims to get one million people cycling regularly by 2013, takes place on traffic-free roads and aims to show people the benefits of the bike. Over 200,000 people took part in the rides last year, and 2011 should be even bigger with rides scheduled for 13 UK cities, including Manchester, London and Birmingham.

Local residents were also asked to take part in a nationwide poll to find the best hill descent in their region. Backed by Sir Chris Hoy, it will see the ultimate cycling descent being crowned the “UK’s Perfect Hill.” Entrants are asked to take in to consideration location, view, where the hill takes them, historical resonance and their own personal reasons for choosing it. To submit an entry, visit the Sky Ride Facebook page.

The Sky Ride was just the start of a summer of cycling activity in Bath, and the rest of the country. Sky Ride Local are small, free-of-charge bike rides run every Sunday throughout the summer in many of the cities that host Sky Ride's, and give you the chance to explore your local area under the guide of a British Cycling-trained leader. Rides have varying difficulties, so visit the Sky Ride website to pick a ride that suits you best.

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