British media group Sky announced the start of Skyride, a five-year program designed to encourage Britons to spend more time on their bikes, in Regents Park, London, today. The plan will begin this summer with Sky supporting a range of events across the United Kingdom.
Those behind the Skyride program have set the ambitious goal of seeing the number of regular bicycle users increased by one million within five years. At the launch of Skyride, Sky’s Chief Executive outlined the objectives of the program.
"We want to get as many people as possible to pick up their bikes again this summer; for fun, for fitness, with friends or with family. This is just the start of our five year campaign to get a million more people cycling by 2013," said Jeremy Darroch.
Events scheduled throughout August and September include a series of mass participation events, on closed roads, in major city centres and up to 400 smaller local events. The mass participation rides will be attended by champion British cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jamie Staff.
At today's launch Pendleton encouraged the public to take the opportunity to get involved with Skyride.
"My message is simple, get on your bike and join us at one of the fantastic free events Sky has planned," she said.
The following events scheduled to take place:
Skyride Manchester on Sunday 2 August
Skyride Glasgow on Sunday 23 August
Skyride Leicester on Sunday 30 August
The Mayor of London’s Skyride in London on Sunday 20 September.
Starting in July, British Cycling will be hosting around 400 rides in local communities.
The announcement of the Skyride program underscores Sky’s ongoing commitment to British Cycling. Last summer the company announced plans to create a professional British road cycling team that aims to compete in the Tour de France by 2010.