The Mayor of London’s Skyride has been named the Sports Participation Event of the Year at Europe’s largest and most prestigious commercial sport awards – the Sport Industry Awards.
The Mayor’s event – a mass cycle ride past some of central London’s most iconic sights – attracted over 65,000 people in 2009. An even bigger Mayor of London’s Skyride will be held this year, with additional smaller scale events in the capital’s outer boroughs.
The event started in 2007, when sponsored to the tune of £300,000 by Hovis and it was called the London Freewheel. Sky TV took over sponsorship in 2008, keeping the Freewheel name. In 2009 the event’s name was changed to the Mayor of London’s Skyride.
The original London Freewheel was the idea of David Love, vice-chair of London Cycling Campaign. He was inspired by riding in the Cape Argus Pick and Pay Cycle ride of South Africa, once the world’s biggest annual cycle ride, with 30,000+ riders.
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor who received the award on behalf of the Mayor’s team, said:
"The Mayor of London’s Skyride is a fantastic occasion – a free, family event that gives many thousands of people the chance to enjoy cycling past some of the capital’s most stunning sights on traffic-free streets. This award is a testament to the commitment of all involved in the event to playing their part in creating a genuine cycling revolution in London. This year is very much London’s year of cycling, and Skyride will be back even bigger and better."
The Mayor of London has set out a packed programme of cycling investment and activities, across the summer and beyond, to boost the numbers of Londoners travelling by bike. £116m will be spent by the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) on cycling this year, which includes funding for the London Cycle Hire scheme, Cycle Superhighways, training, promotion, led rides and education. TfL is also working closely with 13 outer London "biking boroughs" to develop practical plans that will unlock the huge potential for cycling in outer London.