Cycling fever is sweeping Ripon, in a momentous year that has propelled our city into the global spotlight for the UCI Road World Cycling Championships.
Ripon Together has organised an excitingly ambitious programme of events to get Ripon cycling, and Ripon Community Poppy Project has galvanised the city to knit more than 2,000 cycling jerseys to create special bunting for the UCI Road World Championships.
Starting today and finishing on September 28, Ripon Together has planned a raft of events to generate interest in the cycling championships, and support a wider range of positive objectives, which include reducing obesity, promoting mental and physical wellbeing, and reducing air pollution.
The launch event for Ripon Cycling Together will be held at Ripon Cathedral - a key partner of Ripon Together - this Saturday, June 29, 10am to 2pm, where a new photographic exhibition capturing the county’s growing obsession with cycling will be revealed to the public for the first time.
There will also be free health checks for bikes, chances to get advice on good cycling routes, and displays of bikes from yesteryear. Police will also be there to support with bike marking equipment.
Biggest of all, Ripon Together is inviting city residents to ‘cycle to the moon and back’ and take on the challenge of clocking up enough miles between them to achieve the equivalent distance before September, in the 50th anniversary year of the moon landings.
Ripon Cathedral is hosting a static bike for residents and visitors to contribute to the distance, and cyclists will be able to log their own miles when they have been out on bike rides.
Simon Hewitt, a director of Ripon Together, said: “This is a unique year for Ripon – the only time we have hosted a world-level event. We want everyone to support that, but we also want to use it to encourage everyone to cycle more – as a sport, for leisure, or just their normal means of transport.“
The Dean of Ripon, and Chair of Ripon Together, the Very Rev John Dobson, said: “We are keen to use every opportunity to bring together people and groups within Ripon to strengthen our community. This year, cycling gives us yet another great reason to unite in a creative way that is appealing to residents and visitors.”
There will be a leaflet available setting out how to record miles cycled.
Backing from world cycling champion
World cycling champion Lizzie Deignan has voiced her support for Ripon Together’s programme of cycling events. She said: “I wish the people of Ripon good luck in cycling to the moon. I hope you come together to get the miles in and that it encourages people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes, do their bit and discover a love of cycling.”
Next week’s ‘Gazette will explore further what Ripon Together has planned.