Enthusiasm for all things two wheeled is reaching fever pitch in Yorkshire, as the region in the north of England prepares to host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships between 22 and 29 September. Billed as ‘the most inclusive, innovative and inspiring UCI Road World Championships ever’, the organisers are pledging a whole catalogue of actions to inspire and encourage more cycling in all forms.
While towns and villages along the route are set to celebrate the thrilling competitions, Cycling for All events are planned in Harrogate, the spa town that is the central location for the Championships. A special partnership with the National Federation, British Cycling, will see multiple actions organised on the Worlds’ opening weekend.
In the official Fan Zone, qualified British Cycling coaches will be on site, organising interactive Go Ride and Ready Set Ride sessions, helping children to learn how to ride and acquire basic cycling skills. Go Ride provides older children with a safe environment to introduce racing and improve cycling skills. An action sports area will host professional parkour, BMX and trials displays, while a pump track will also be open to children.
Cycle Expo Yorkshire, an official affiliated event of the Worlds and host of the Official Sportive, will take place in Harrogate on 21 and 22 September. There will be plenty of inspiring activities at the Expo, including a full programme of BMX Flatland and BMX stunt shows, trials demonstrations and coaching sessions for children in the indoors Kids Zone.
With a matter of weeks to go, on 1 September, the major Yorkshire city of Leeds hosted a British Cycling Let’s Ride event. Closing city streets to traffic, Let’s Ride Leeds cycling festival enabled families to enjoy the city from the saddle. During September, pop-up Let’s Ride events are taking place in Sheffield and Leeds. Free from traffic, these events allow riders to enjoy a circuit course in outdoor leisure facilities or parkland.
In keeping with the Worlds’ ambitions of inclusivity, British Cycling Disability Hubs take place on a monthly basis in Leeds & York. Offering support for people with a physical or learning impairment and needing to improve fitness, technique and confidence, these hubs are suitable for those just starting out in the sport or rehabilitating from an injury, as well as athletes looking to compete. Coached activities are tailored to the riders’ aims and requirements.
Inspiring the nation
Beyond Yorkshire, British Cycling is encouraging all cycling clubs in the UK to organise their own mini children’s world championships on 21 and 22 September. As the professionals arrive in Yorkshire, children across the country will be encouraged to take part in their local community - ensuring the celebrations reach across the nation.
Delivered under British Cycling’s Summer 2019 Own the Ride campaign, the aim is to use Yorkshire 2019 as inspiration to encourage more cycling in all forms across the nation. During the championships and beyond, efforts will be made to encourage schools, local authorities, clubs and organisations to use the resources British Cycling has created to enable them to promote cycling activities in their local communities.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire 2019 falls at a key moment in the wider national cycling calendar. Sustrans - a national walking and cycling charity and custodian of the UK National Cycle Network - is organising Bike to School week 23-27 September. Teachers, schools and families can download resources for this dedicated week of activities from the official campaign website.
Cycling for tourists, commuters and schoolchildren
Yorkshire is a true cycling region, embracing and investing in races such as the annual Tour of Yorkshire, that boosts tourism and encourages cyclists to visit the region year-round. This UCI Bike Region generates enthusiasm for elite and recreational cycling, which in turn helps power forward support for new cycling infrastructure projects and encourages more people to cycle more often for transport.
In order to promote cycling as an educational tool and an opportunity to raise awareness amongst children, the 2019 Road World Championships organisers have also put together educational packs for primary and secondary school teachers, which link the UCI Road World Championships and cycling in general to the national curriculum.
The Yorkshire population is ready and armed for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships!