Entries open soon for tenth anniversary Cyclone weekend in NE England

Entries for the 2016 Cyclone Festival of Cycling open on October 31st. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event.

The weekend will feature the Tyne Six Bridges family rides on the evening of Friday 17th June, followed by the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge Rides on the Saturday. Sunday sees top mens’ and womens’ road racing in the Beaumont Trophy and Curlew Cup races.

Organiser Peter Harrison said:

“The Cyclone Festival of Cycling has grown so much in ten years, and so has cycling.”

Harrison is encouraging riders of all abilities to sign up for the 2016 Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge Rides. The traditional three rides of 34, 64 and 106 miles are joined for the first time by a 90 mile option.

The first Beaumont Trophy race was held in 1952 with previous winners including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Newton, Russell and Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Don Sanderson.

120 women to attempt new Guinness World Record for static bike power output

British Cycling’s Breeze programme for women is organising a world record attempt for the most mechanical energy produced by pedalling on static bicycles in one hour – 3,220 accumulative watt hours is required to set a new record title.

The attempt will take place at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester Velodrome, on Sunday.

120 women from across the UK, led by members of Breeze, will put in 20 minutes of intense pedalling on 40 static Matrix bikes while an adjudicator from Guinness World Records looks on.

British Cycling will be broadcasting the attempt live on Periscope.

Santander Cycles creates one-of-a-kind cycling events for London

Santander, sponsor of London’s “Boris bikes”, is to host four cycling festival events this summer. The “money can’t buy” events will be staged between July and September and will be available by ballot.

The four events are:

The Science Museum – Twilight Tours
Aafter-hours guided cycling tour on Santander Cycles through some of the museum’s world-famous galleries. Each group will stop at various points to hear from curators about the stories behind the exhibits. Dates are available in July and August.

Totally Thames
During the weekend of Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September, Santander Cycles will run activities at the Potters Field Park on the banks of the Thames by Tower Bridge. Exclusive experiences to be announced soon.

ZSL London Zoo Sunrise Cycle Tour
A tour though the zoo before it opens to the public. Groups will stop at the enclosures to find out more about the animals and ZSL’s work for wildlife in more than 50 countries around the world. This experience will be available on the mornings of 11th, 12th and 13th September.

Open House London
The annual Open House gives people an opportunity to directly experience amazing architecture across the capital, by opening more than 800 buildings’ doors for free over one weekend. On top of this, there will be exclusive access to selected buildings and gardens participating in Open House London available only via Santander Cycles. This includes Lambeth Palace (Archbishop of Canterbury’s London residence), which will offer a Sunset Cycle after hours on Saturday 19th September. More dates and exclusive access to be announced.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Summer in London is the perfect time to take to two wheels and explore the city’s hidden treasures. There are many glorious cycle routes to enjoy in our capital and these new festivals will be a great way to encourage even more people to try out Santander Cycles at a host of unique venues.”

Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer of Santander said: “We want to make using the Santander Cycle Scheme easy, fun and rewarding. These festivals are a great example of the excitement we want to bring to the scheme – giving people the chance to do things they simply could not experience in any other way.”

Santander became partners in London’s cycle hire scheme earlier this year in a seven year deal.

Sky and British Cycling to part company

British Cycling has agreed with Sky that 2016 will be the final year of their partnership.

Sky and British Cycling joined forces in 2008 with the aim of increasing participation at all levels by supporting elite sport alongside inspiring the next generation to cycle more regularly. Achievements have included getting over 1.7m more people cycling regularly, with the Sky Ride events set to surpass 1m participants before the end of 2016. Sky also helped British Cycling deliver 500,000 opportunities for young people to participate in cycling last year via the Go-Ride programme. 60 percent of the current GB Cycling Team came into cycling through Go-Ride. Bike Hub is one of the other sponsors of Go-Ride

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said: “British Cycling and Sky will remain firm friends and part with great mutual affection, having achieved amazing things together.

“The last 10 years have been brilliant for our sport – our membership and participation in cycle sport continues to grow, we’ve encouraged over 1.7 million people to cycle regularly with even more starting all the time and we are seeing the emergence of a new generation of cycling heroes.

“The partnership with Sky since 2008 is an important part of that story. Sky gave British Cycling the platform from which to communicate the best of the sport and, through British Cycling, Sky has delivered lasting and positive change.

“Successes for British riders at London 2012 transformed the country’s sporting expectations but winning medals was never an end in itself – we have harnessed those achievements to inspire unprecedented growth in participation.

“There is still a great deal to do – including getting a million more women into cycling by 2020, sustaining the country’s most successful sports team, continuing to support growth in cycle sport through our regions, clubs, members and volunteers, and transforming Britain into a true cycling nation by making conditions on our roads better for everyone who wants to get around by bike.

“The job is far from finished and British Cycling has a strong culture of setting and hitting ambitious targets so we relish the challenge as we set our sights on what we want to achieve beyond Rio 2016. To achieve these ambitions we need to increase investment into our sport and have therefore developed a clear commercial approach to support our 2017 – 2025 strategy. We look forward to engaging with a wide range of partners who want to join us on this exciting journey.”

Sky Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: “We’re immensely proud of our great partnership with the whole team at British Cycling. Together we have helped to transform the sport at all levels including over 1.7m more people cycling regularly and unprecedented medal success. This is a lasting legacy and we will give everything to make the final 18 months of our relationship just as successful. Our long-term commitment to cycling continues and we will work with British Cycling to identify a new partner who can help bring even more success in the future.”

As well as working with British Cycling to find a new partner from 2017 onwards, Sky will continue its commitment to cycling through Team Sky, WIGGINS and Sky Academy initiatives.

Cities that build for walking and cycling are healthier, happier and richer

New research from the University of California claims that cities with physically active populations are not only more economically competitive they also benefit from increased productivity, improved school performance, higher property values, and improved health and wellbeing.

Studies on the economic benefits of walking and cycling interventions revealed an average return of £13 on every £1 invested. In the UK, the return is as high as £19 for every £1 invested. People feel good about living in an active city. In a US study, 9 in 10 people said that cycling events make them look more positively on their city.

Chad Spoon, part of the research team at Active Living Research, University of California, said: “We hope this research will open the eyes of government leaders to the many important benefits of designing cities to support active living. This includes economic benefits such as increased home value, greater retail activity, reduced health care costs, and improved productivity. A city’s ability to compete depends on an active population. The research is clear on this – it shows how an active city can be a low-cost, high-return investment.”

The Active Cities report, created by Nike in partnership with academics, non-profit organisations and built-environment specialists, also identified nine cities from around the world that have successfully embedded physical activity into their core strategies, including Bristol from the UK. The cities are all embracing the four ‘calls to action’ described in the Active Cities report: they prioritise physical activity, use existing resources, design for people to be active and plan for movement for the long-term.

The cities featured in the report are Hernando, USA; Buenos Aires; New York City; Copenhagen; Rio de Janeiro; Medellin, Colombia; Red Deer, Canada; Bristol; and Adelaide.

The report will be discussed today at a summit taking place in Bristol. Speakers from KPMG, the University of California, and the CBI, alongside Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson, will call on city leaders to make physical activity a priority and recognise the positive economic and social benefits that it can bring.

The summit is hosted by Sustrans, Bristol 2015 European Green Capital and Nike.

The summit brings together leading experts in the field to identify the legislative and policy changes needed to make active cities across the globe a reality. Attendees at the summit include local government leaders, and national and international experts in the creation of active cities from the worlds of health, planning and business.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, commenting on the work that has been happening in his city, said: “This new research highlights how vitally important it is to promote walking and cycling for shorter journeys in and around the city. Not just for environmental and health reasons, but because it will make Bristol a more successful and happy place to live and work.

“European cities that make it easier for people to travel by bike or on foot have proved to be more economically competitive and offer a better quality of life for their residents.

“Many in Bristol have long recognised this benefit and have been working to make sure our city is as accessible to walkers and cyclists as possible. We already have more people commuting to work by bicycle or on foot than any other city in England and expect to see this increase even further.

“By encouraging more people to walk and cycle around the city we can make this city a healthier, happier and more attractive place to live.”

Mandy Ayres, Senior Director for Global Community Impact at Nike, said: “Modern life has engineered movement out of our daily routine, and we need a collaboration from government, employers, civil society and individuals to bring physical activity back to the places we work, live, learn and play. Creating the right physical environment to give everyone a chance to get active won’t just make citizens feel better – it creates a competitive advantage for a city.”