Video/Gallery: Thousands of cyclists take part in Sky Ride Ipswich 2015
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of cyclists took over the streets of Ipswich in a traffic-free bike ride through some of the town’s most picturesque settings on Sunday.
Riders of all ages and abilities enjoyed the fifth-annual Sky Ride Ipswich, travelling along the sun-kissed Waterfront, visiting Portman Road – the home of undefeated Championship leaders Ipswich Town – and cycling around the town centre in the easy-going five-kilometre route.
After a 15-minute delay, caused by a problem with a barrier on the Cornhill, Ipswich mayor Glen Chisholm waved the chequered flag to start the race outside University Campus Suffolk.
“It is a brilliant event and it is so great to see so many young families and such a variety of bikes,” he said.
“The Waterfront is a beautiful setting for it, and with the Tour of Britain coming back to the town next month, Ipswich is developing a strong connection with cycling.”
Among the participants waiting at the start-line were Colchester family Robin Miller, 46, his wife Carly, 34, and their three-year-old son, in the back seat with his dad, Byron.
Mr Miller said: “We were just saying on the way over here that Colchester should have an event like this.
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“It’s the second time we have done it and it’s just a really good fun, family day out. It brings a lot of people together and it’s good for the community.
“It’s also easy to cycle as there’s no traffic, which is good. And it’s also good for our little one as he gets some good experience on a bike. Hopefully he’ll be riding next year.”
Just behind them was Martlesham Heath fundraiser James Bugg. The 22-year-old is hoping to raise £1,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH).
He said: “You never know if the children in your family are going to be struck down with something serious, which is why I’m fundraising for EACH.
“It’s a better course this year too. There are not so many slow hills which is better for the children. I’m hoping to complete 15 miles.”
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Clare Potts, 25, and her evergreen grandmother Lottie Sherman, 80, perfectly illustrated the wide appeal of the race.
Mrs Sherman said: “I have done the race in London and it was wonderful. I am really looking forward to this one.”
“She is probably fitter than I am!” Mrs Potts said. “It is a great community event and should help the town’s local economy and tourism.”
Organisers said visitors enjoyed a “festival atmosphere” with free events dotted around the town, such as a ‘tricks and tunes’ area at Alderman Road Park.
Some riders also chose to add some character to the bike ride, with an unusual duo of Banana Man and Fred Flintstone spotted racing around the town.
Great Britain Cycling Team member Kyle Evans, a BMX breakout star of 2014, also took part in the event. He said: “Events like these helps put Ipswich on the cycling map. There was great weather for most of the day and a great turnout.
“Cycling is becoming a really popular sport and everyone must be really looking forward to the Tour of Britain next month.”