City looks back on a year which saw multiple Sky Rides, initiatives to encourage youngsters to cycle, Breeze rides and bike breakfasts

Bradford hosts celebration of cycling with Lizzie Armistead

Earlier this week Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead joined the Lord Mayor of Bradford and British Cycling recreation manager Dan Goodey to look back on a big year for cycling in the city.

British Cycling’s partnership with Bradford Council saw Sky Ride Bradford attract 7,000 riders on a traffic-free cycle around local landmarks. The year also saw the city host free Sky Ride Local bike rides and numerous bike breakfasts in the city’s Centenary Square as well as other local cycling events. Bradford also saw its biggest women-only Breeze ride in 2012.

Armitstead rode around Lister Park with young people and British Cycling ride leaders before heading to an evening celebration.

Armistead tweeted the pic above from the celebration.

The Olympian said: “It’s been fantastic to celebrate how cycling is booming in Bradford. Seeing so many young people enjoying themselves on bikes really brings home how London 2012 has inspired hundreds of locals, including women, to take up cycling.

“There is something in Bradford for anyone who likes cycling – from lovely countryside routes, cycle paths, led rides from Sky Ride and Breeze, and brilliant clubs like East Bradford CC. I hope this event encourages even more people to give life on two wheels a try.”

Last year saw Bradford Council’s Youth Service provide greater access for children to take part in free cycling activities to help raise the sense of wellbeing, aspiration and achievement amongst young people in the city. A number of youth workers trained as Ride Leaders and the service built a fleet of bikes so that cycling could become a regular part of life for young people in the city. Last September, a group of 12 young people from the Youth Service completed a bike ride to the German town of Hamm, Bradford’s twin town.

Bradford Council’s executive member for environment and sport councillor Andrew Thornton said: “We are creating a lasting legacy for cycling in the District with families thoroughly enjoying the opportunity of getting on their bikes together. We are absolutely delighted that Lizzie Armitstead has come to help us celebrate this great sport. As an OIympic silver medallist, she is a great role model for the youngsters.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children and young people’s services for Bradford Council, said: "It’s fantastic that Lizzie has come along to meet so many young people in Bradford. Today has been a real celebration of our very fruitful partnership with British Cycling.Cycling has opened the door for many more young people across the district to get involved in the sport in a way that is safe and supported."

Dan Goodey, British Cycling Recreation Manager for Bradford, added: “Our Partnership with Bradford Council has developed brilliantly over the past three years. We are now delivering more and more opportunities for young people, women and families to get involved in cycling.

“Working with our council colleagues has enabled us to deliver cycling activities right in the heart of the communities in Bradford and to people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to get involved.

“We’ve also been able to use the support from the council to ensure our rides are as inclusive as possible so that people of any age or ability can enjoy riding a bike.”

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