THE SUN shone on thousands of cyclists as they got on their bikes for a free bike ride through the city centre.
Parents, toddlers and teenagers made the most of the warm weather yesterday at the first ever Sky Ride in Leeds.
The free cycling event was a chance for people of all ages and abilities to ride around the city on traffic-free streets.
Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh returned to her Yorkshire roots to support the campaign, which aims to get more people cycling regularly.
Bradford-born Kimberley, 31, said: “I absolutely love Leeds as a city so any excuse to come back is lovely.
“As a kid I used to ride my bike from morning till night and I don’t think children do that as much any more.
“So it’s a really good way to encourage kids to get back on their bikes.
“I did a bit of a lap from outside the Town Hall and the atmosphere out there is amazing.
“There were lots of Girls Aloud fans chanting and cheering me on too, which was so nice to see.”
The free event, hosted by Sky and British Cycling in partnership with Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Metro’s go:cycling project, allowed participants to enjoy a 5.2km, traffic-free route taking in some of the city’s famous landmarks including the Leeds Town Hall, University of Leeds and Millennium Square.
Riders and spectators were treated to a variety of activities and entertainment throughout the day.
GB Track cyclist Matt Crampton also took part in the event with Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift.
Matt said: “It’s been great seeing people enjoying the weather and enjoying what the city has to offer.
“It’s nice to see so many kids joining in and everyone seems to be smiling and having fun.”
Ben said: “It’s a great way of getting people back on their bikes, getting them active and enjoying cycling.
“Obviously the Tour de France is starting here in a year’s time so it’s helping raise awareness of that too.”
For more, visit www.goskyride.com/leeds