So today we joined Team Sky, just for a little while! It was the Leeds Skyride, designed to cover 3 miles on traffic free streets. Yay! We'd been looking forward to this for ages – particularly as the ride we had planned to do in London during the first weekend in August we now can't do due to moving house (more on that another day), so this was going to be the last big ride we could do for a little while.
We'd already registered and cycled down the Otley Road to Woodhouse Moor, which was one of the key points where people were able to join the ride. As we approached the junction where people could turn into the park, there was a large line of people cheering, blowing horns, generally encouraging people on after they'd finished a section involving a long hill!
Lots of fun things set up in the park such as bouncy castles, race tracks and BMXing:
We picked up our Skyride bibs:
After making sure more Factor 30 had been liberally applied (as temperatures were due to get up to the high 20s and was already very warm by the time we got to the park), we set off on our ride! The route took us through the university and into the top of the city where we saw the main activity areas that had been set up.
Once here we met another Brompton owner – of a very fetching orange P type:
There was lots going on – clowns on tiny cycles and a man on stilts…
We decided, in all our wisdom, that we would have a go on the Watt bikes – where you have to complete 750m (3 laps of a velodrome) as quickly as possible. There's two bikes, so you get to compete against someone and we went up as the first husband and wife team!
I got off to a good start but unfortunately set a pace I couldn't maintain the whole way, with knowing I'd have to do a sprint finish.
Trev ended up beating me by around 8 seconds which isn't too shabby, given my unfitness and extra weight. I was 35th overall when we had finished and Trev 23rd – but sixth out of the ladies. I'm sure by the end of the day I was a lot further down the leader board, but the plan is to beat my time of 1:08 if we attempt the bikes on another Skyride later in the year.
We got to pose by Bradley Wiggins' time trial bike, but were not, under any circumstances allowed to touch it 🙂
From town, all the way back up to Woodhouse Moor is a fairly steady gradient – a nice chance to see how well the Bromptons fare with overtaking on hills! Pleased to report we did fairly well on that score, despite having knackered myself out on the Watt bike 🙂
We did two laps of the course in total, plus cycling to and from town. In total we clocked up about 11 miles which isn't too shabby for a Sunday afternoon!
It was lovely too have a break on the Moor at the end before cycling home, with an ice cream watching more riders stream through the park, including more Bromptons! I lost count of how many we saw in total today. Was nice to see so many making an appearance 🙂
Definitely a great day out, helped by the fantastic weather! We've already signed up to the ride in York and we may try and do the ride in Bradford and potentially some others if circumstances permit! Can highly recommend it and if you have any occurring near you in the next few weeks you should definitely try and take part if you can. It was good fun and brilliant to be out on traffic free roads with 8,500 other people 🙂