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Riders dodge raindrops on first Sheffield Sky Ride

Sheffield Sky ride. The ride sets off. Pic: Brian Eyre.

Sheffield Sky ride. The ride sets off. Pic: Brian Eyre.

Bikes were back big style as roads across the city were emptied of normal traffic for the first ever Sheffield Sky Ride.

Grim weather failed to deter hundreds of cyclists from tackling the five mile route from Devonshire Green, circling the city centre and then out to Endcliffe Park along Ecclesall Road.

Around 3,000 people had registered for the big day - although the impact of the former Hurricane Bertha reduced that number.

Mums, dads, children and seasoned cyclists were all keen to make the most of the day, many inspired by the excitement of last month’s Tour de France.

Kathleen Peters, aged 54 from Gleadless, said she’d only bought her bike two weeks earlier as a £200 birthday present to herself.

“This is my first big outing - I’m soaked to the skin but I’m determined to really enjoy it,” she said.

“I saw the Tour de France - I was waiting for six hours to see them on the hill at Jenkin Road - and I wanted to have a go myself.

“Since then I’ve been cycling in Norfolk but I decided to get a bike of my own and really it’s all due to the Tour,” Kathleen said.

Rory and Emma Webster from Batemoor were cycling with their 11-year-old daughter Lydia.

“I suppose you could say this is a day for the committed,” Rory said.

“We often ride as a family and have been doing so for the past two years. It’s going to be a lot safer with none of the usual traffic around.

“This city still needs more cycle routes but after ten years we are getting closer,” he added.

Jonathan and Kirsten Nadin and 12-year-old son Joel had come from Chesterfield for the day.

Jonathan said: “I’ve been cycling for years but I asked Kirsten if she fancied it and she said yes. Cycling is really taking off now and it’s good to see.”

Kisten added: “I’d be a bit more enthusiastic if the weather was a bit nicer. Still it isn’t every day you go cycling in an ex-hurricane.”

Coun Harry Harpham, who helped start the ride, said it was a fantastic turnout for an event which was building on the legacy of the Tour de France.

 

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