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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