Cathedrals Cycle route comes to Bury St Edmunds...
Cyclists from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, will be taking part in a nationwide relay ride on a new cycle route linking every Church of England cathedral. A team of 5 cyclists will ride between Bury St Edmunds and Chelmsford on Saturday 12 June passing on a specially commissioned baton to the next group of riders in a unique event to launch the new 2,000-mile loop, which links all 42 English Cathedrals to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. As part of the launch of the new route, the Dean of St Edmundsbury, the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, will join the cyclists briefly on one of the Bury St Edmunds rickshaws as they set off from the Cathedral. A second team will follow the route as far as Lavenham.
Sarah Friswell, Visitor Experience Manager and co-ordinator of the local event, said, “We are delighted St Edmundsbury Cathedral is to be a part of this national initiative. After a year of restrictions, the Cathedrals Cycle Route is a great way to help focus on our recovery from the pandemic. It gives people the opportunity to explore our country and heritage, allowing visitors to appreciate not just the beauty and sanctity of our buildings, but to enjoy the journey between them as well.”
The route was launched on 30 May to coincide with the start of Bike Week (30 May -5 June), the annual celebration of cycling delivered by Cycling UK and the baton is currently making its way from the north of England towards East Anglia. The baton will arrive in Bury St Edmunds on 11 June with a team from Norwich Cathedral.
The Cathedrals Cycle Route is a unique partnership between the Association of English Cathedrals, the British Pilgrimage Trust, Cycling UK and Sustrans. It measures 2,000 miles in total, with individual legs between cathedrals varying in length to suit all abilities. It is the invention of academic, entrepreneur and keen cyclist Shaun Cutler, from Northumbria University, and is designed to help us all out of lockdown with opportunities for short cycle rides between cathedrals, new partnerships and fundraising for activities to support physical and mental wellbeing.
The relay ride will raise money for Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, which aims to improve people’s wellbeing and tackle social isolation through the charity’s community cycling clubs, activities and projects nationwide (cyclinguk.org/breakthecycle).
It is hoped that the relay ride will become an annual event and will encourage more and more people to get on their bikes this year and beyond. Each cathedral has a dedicated cycle champion to improve the cycle-readiness of its building, ensure a warm welcome for visiting cyclists and increase the number that currently arrive on two wheels. Sarah Friswell continued, “However our visitors come to our cathedral this year, we look forward to welcoming them and if they come on two wheels, we’re ready with a warm welcome, a place to park their bikes, and somewhere to fill their water bottles.”