Betty saddles up for big Sheffield bike ride

Betty-Ann Hutchin, aged 67, who is to lead Sheffield's first Sky Ride
Betty-Ann Hutchin, aged 67, who is to lead Sheffield's first Sky Ride
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A senior cyclist who took up riding after retiring is urging people to join Sheffield’s biggest public bike ride.

Betty-Ann Hutchin, of Hillsborough, has built up from doing one lap of Hillsborough Park to riding across the city since she learned to ride in 2011 – after missing the opportunity as a child.

She took lessons from cycle initiative Pedal Ready and now the 67-year-old is promoting Sheffield’s first Sky Ride – a five-mile free event closed to traffic – on Sunday, August 10.

Former therapist Betty-Ann, who leads Sky Ride local rides at Sheffield parks, said: “I hadn’t been taught how to ride a bike as a child – once the stabilisers were took off it was a disaster!

“It was certainly a challenge but I haven’t looked back since.

“I love the freedom and sense of achievement it’s given me, it has certainly opened up new opportunities for me.”

Betty-Ann, who has now started swimming, going to the gym and even ice skating, added: “Sky Rides are brilliant events and I hope my experience shows that anyone can get on their bikes and give it a go.

“I know it will be a fantastic atmosphere on the day and I really hope as many people as possible, whether it’s on your own or with your friends and family, will sign up and take part.”

The Sky Ride, which starts at Devonshire Green and calls in at Sheffield United so cyclists can ride around the perimeter of the pitch, will also welcome Curtis Manaton, BMX Rider for the Great Britain Cycling Team,

He said: “With the Tour de France inspiring people across the nation, there’s never been a better time to get on a bike. I encourage everyone to sign up and give cycling a go.”

Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, said: “The aim is to get a much broader range of people cycling for recreation and transportation in urban and rural areas.

n Visit to sign up for the event.