My Summer as a SkyRide, Ride Leader

3 10 2011

The Mission of Team Sky & British Cycling is a simple one.

By 2013 have one million more regular cyclists in the UK.

The strategy for this, amongst other things, was to create and promote Sky Ride and Sky Ride Local, it seems that the mission is being achieved as of August this year, the total UK cycle population has grown 1.3 Million up to 13 million.

In early 2010 I qualified as a Sky Ride, Ride leader .

While my work commitments held back the ultimate number of rides that I had wanted to do, I did, in the end, managed to do a few.

& it was an inspiring time for me, first off, there were blog readers of mine on some of the rides, who held me in high esteem, talk about humbling.

Then there was a young Girl of about 8 that we let “Lead Us Out” on the way back up the Middlewitch Way, I was at the back of the group, talking to & encouraging some of the slower riders.

Below is half of the ride as taken from my Garmin on the day.

I’m not sure why I didn’t get the return leg, but we covered the same track on the way back, You can see the average speed was a little under 7 Mph, now, for me, that’s a speed I wouldn’t EVER do, but Skyride isn’t about me, it’s about giving something back to the “Community” that saved my life. It’s about inspiring others to follow my lead & to get into cycling, the thing is, my first ride was up a path, like the Middlewood way, done at speeds around that Skyride, I guess what I am trying to say is that every great journey starts with a single, small step, mine was alone, then with the help of Tommo on the Single track, these people’s (for some anyway) was on that skyride, that I was a leader on, I simply can’t express how much that inspired ME !

The other ride that inspired me, for a different reason, was the Carrington Circular

The reason that ride inspired me, was there was a REALLY young rider on it, who struggled in the intense heat, I stuck with that youngster and there parents at the back, going forwards to the front only to ask the other leaders to either slow or stop for us, before dropping back. Despite the searing heat (honest, I know it’s the North of England but we do get the Sun from time to time) that youngster never ever gave up, kept going despite the gap keeping on opening up (until I headed forward to make sure we closed up) and the heat and the long distance (for someone so young) it really was awe-inspiring to see and be part of.


So, while people call me inspirational, I think its fair to say, there are MANY more people out there that are just as inspiring as I am, if not even more so, I applaud sky and British Cycling for all there efforts in getting as many more people into cycling as they can, long may it continue.

While my 2011 Skyride season was cut short, I am making plans for the 2012 Skyride season because frankly I want to give as much back to cycling as i can , it did after all save my life, so if you are thinking about taking up cycling and want to do it in a safe, friendly environment with a group of others, enroll now for a better future & who knows who your ride leader might be :0)

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11 responses

3 10 2011
Ben The Bloater

Ohhhh, I’ve never heard of this, sounds great for someone like me

4 10 2011

It’s great fun for a beginner for sure, there are different levels too as you get fitter you can chose harder rides

3 10 2011
Toby Field (@FatCycleRider)

Id like to do something like this and become a ride leader. Shame there’s nothing near where I live.

3 10 2011

I have a contact or 2 at Britsh Cycling, I’ll make them aware of your feedback, Thanks.

3 10 2011

Nice write up, some future TdF winners ?

4 10 2011

Hope so :0)

5 10 2011
Skippy Mc Carthy

Good to see you enjoyed the experience of helping others particularly the youngsters who will hopefully encourage their playmates to join this programme in 2012 !

British Cycling would do well to use you as a ” Role Model ” in their promotions for 2012 since the ” Before and After ” pictures speak volumes about the benefits of Cycling ! No doctors’ slimming regime without this sort of exercise , or even commitment , can show the results that you have achieved in such a short time frame !

Featured in ” “as a role model has brought you to World Wide Attention so why the British Health System has not picked up the opportunity to remind the ” Great British Public ” that exercise will improve their health and ” lifestyle ” is surprising and dissappointing !

Perhaps your Employers at Manchester could set the pace by using you in Health Promotions to save their ” Health System ” money ! After all there is a campaign under way to reduce ” Health Costs ” and ” Fatties ” visiting the Doctor when they could be ” cycling to fitness ” must be costing millions !

Yet to hear from you about the Manchester Airport Tunnel incident i mentioned in August , would appreciate your looking at skippi-cyclist.blogspot and following through with the contact point to avoid others suffering injury there !

8 10 2011

Hey Skips

BC Are throwing all there support behind me in my quest for the Torch so I cant ask much more TBH

Tho, that said, I’d so love a full time job where I get to promote healthy living and cycling , so maybe I cant ask BC after we finding out about the Olympics

What Airport incident sorry ? my summer has been crazy busy so I assume I must have missed your comment , I live about 20 miles from the Airport, but am happy to cycle that way to work one day if needed and I have some contacts at local Govt level.


9 10 2011
10 10 2011

I recall on your “old” Blog you intended to pay it forward, seems like that’s another promise you have crossed off the list.

10 10 2011

This is just the start TBH

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