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Cyclists take part in the Sky Ride around Ipswich.

Cyclists take part in the Sky Ride around Ipswich.

Ipswich came alive with energy and excitement as thousands of cyclists saddled up for the sixth annual Sky Ride spectacular.

The free event allows people of all ages and abilities to follow a 7km traffic-free route around Ipswich town centre and the Waterfront at their own pace.

And today for the first time the ride passed through Holywells Park, where visitors got a close-up look at the bikes used by the Great Britain Cycling Team and Team Sky, while Halfords cycle experts carried out free bike checks and minor repairs.

There was the chance to take part in game show style quizzes like ‘Hoyer or Lower’, take selfies in the photo booth, while youngsters tackled a bike obstacle course under the guidance of British Cycling’s Go Ride team.

Peter Cox, British Cycling recreation manager for the East of England, said: “It’s been brilliant to see thousands of people enjoying the festival atmosphere at Sky Ride Ipswich. I hope it’s inspired everyone to get out on their bikes more often – I can’t wait to see everyone on one of our other rides in Ipswich soon.”

Riders were even provided with music along the way, with Sky Ride representatives cycling the route on special bikes attached with speakers.

John Stebbings, Ipswich Borough Council sport and leisure operations manager, said: “This will hopefully continue to drive up sporting participation in Ipswich and help keep Ipswich as one of the most active towns in England.”

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The cycle began at the Waterfront, taking in Ipswich Town Football Club, through the town centre and Star Lane, onto Duke Street and joining up with Holywells Park, before exiting onto Cliff Lane and back to the Waterfront.

Road closures were in place throughout the day while cyclists completed the route.