Cyclists from Gloucester Cathedral will be taking part in a nationwide relay ride on a new cycle route linking every Church of England cathedral. The route is launching on 30 May to coincide with the start of Bike Week, the annual celebration of cycling delivered by Cycling UK.
Team Gloucester will set off from Gloucester Cathedral on Thursday 1 July, taking the Cathedrals Cycle Network baton to not one but two Cathedrals – Hereford and Worcester. The baton has been specially commissioned for this relay event to launch the new 2,000-mile loop, which links all 42 English Cathedrals to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing.
The first group of cyclists will set out from Newcastle Cathedral on Sunday 30 May and a group is expected to return to Newcastle 42 days later having cycled to every Church of England Cathedral. The start of the relay will coincide with The World’s Biggest Bike Ride, marking the opening day of Bike Week (30 May – 5 June 2021).
Team Gloucester includes members of Cathedral staff and volunteers, Diocesan staff and volunteers, congregation and community members involved in the Cathedral and wider parish. The Team are passionate about raising awareness of cycling as a way to improve overall physical and mental health but also for the benefits to the planet that greener transport can bring.
Canon Andrew Braddock, who will be blessing the cyclists as they leave the Cathedral, said “The wellbeing benefits to people and planet of cycling are significant. We are delighted to be supporting this event and look forward to welcoming pilgrims and visitors following the launch of the Cathedrals Cycle Route”.
Gloucester, along with each of the Cathedrals involved, now has a dedicated Cycle Champion, Helen Jeffrey, to improve the cycle-readiness of the building, ensure a warm welcome for visiting cyclists and increase the number that currently arrive on two wheels. Gloucester Cathedral’s Cycle Champion is working with the Cathedral’s Green Team to promote cycling as a sustainable way to travel, contributing to the Cathedral’s goal to reduce carbon emissions, whilst also promoting sustainable and health living through improved 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.