This is the third year Sky Ride Leicester has been running and it’s still going strong. This years’ event comprised a five mile traffic-free route round Abbey Park and the centre of the city. Cyclist could start wherever they liked on the route and everyone finished at Phoenix Square where everyone who had completed the eight km ride received a free cinema ticket from Phoenix.
The weather was beautiful for over eight thousand people who took part.
Leicester Media officer for the event, John Coster said, “It’s a good mix of ages and ethnicity. It’s not all about wearing lycra. Cycling’s for everyone.”
This event attracted a lot of families with children having a lot of fun cycling the roads in safety and taking part in the hands-on events at Abbey Park and in the city centre.
For the younger participants there were things to make and do at every stop on the route. This allowed parents a breather and children something fun to do while they rested.
At Abbey Park there was the old favourite Mechano, the chance to customise your high-visibility vest and a table with a large array of craft materials and pens to make and draw whatever you wanted.
It wasn’t just bicycles that were being ridden around Leicester city centre today however. Some of the people taking part had less well known methods of transport. There were side-by-side tandems, tricycles and even one man on a penny-farthing.
The performances of the day included roller derby performers, the flatland BMX world champion and unicyclists from the group Voodoo Unicycles.
Voodoo Unicycles performed an impressive display at Town Hall square, delighting the crowd with wheel walking, popping and 360s.
Abbey Park was the main area for Sky Ride Leicester. The park was full of bikes and people in high-visibility vests.
Rosie was performing after Sambanda on the main stage. Her stunning voice and acoustic melodies wows crowds, but she confessed to me that she wasn’t used to performing at an event like this. “I usually perform in smaller venues. I didn’t think there would be so many people here. I’m going to have to adjust my set to fit the open space.”
Assistant Mayor, Councillor Ted Cassidy, said, “It was a fantastic day for the city. It was a fantastic day for health.”
“It shows Leicester at its best. It counteracts any bad things that happened in Leicester a few weeks ago.”
“Next year, you’ll see me on my bike as well.”