Cyclists from Bradford Cathedral will be taking part in the second nationwide relay ride on the new Cathedrals Cycle Route that links every one of the 42 Church of England cathedrals.
Local cyclists will set off from Bradford Cathedral on Thursday 14th July, heading towards York Minster via Leeds Minster, as part of the Cathedrals Cycle Route Relay 2022, which is being cycled in the opposite direction following the launch in 2021, when cyclists from Bradford heading to Dewsbury Minster and Wakefield Cathedral.
Last year’s team included a member of the Bradford Cathedral clergy, students from the University of Bradford, and members of local cycling groups.
A group set off from Newcastle Cathedral on June 6th, to coincide with the start of Bike Week, Cycling UK’s annual celebration of cycling, and fellow cyclists are expected to return to Newcastle Cathedral 42 days later (weather permitting) bringing back the baton which will have been passed between each of the 42 Church of England cathedrals.
Cyclists will ride between Bradford Cathedral and York Minster, passing on the commemorative baton to the next group of riders in this unique event to celebrate the 2,000-mile loop which links all 42 English Cathedrals to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing and raise funds for good causes.
There are still a handful of spaces available for cyclists looking to take part this year, and places can be booked via cathedralsrelay.eventbrite.co.uk. Cyclists can participate in any of the legs, and for those that don’t want to cycle all the way from Bradford to York, there will be a stop at Leeds Minster. Anyone who is keen to support rather than cycle is also welcome to come and cheer off the cyclists from Bradford Cathedral when they gather from 11am on Thursday 14th July.
The Cathedrals Cycle Route is a unique partnership between the Association of English Cathedrals and Cycling UK, with the support of Sustrans, the British Pilgrimage Trust and Northumbria University. Anyone can ride the route, cycling part of the way between one or two cathedrals or attempting the whole of the 2,000-mile loop.
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.
Maurice Manktelow, Bradford Cathedral’s Cycle Champion, said: “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.
“We are delighted to be a part of this relay again. We have an opportunity to be at the heart of initiatives to support and connect our communities and the Cathedrals Cycle Route is one way of doing that.
“It allows visitors to Bradford Cathedral to appreciate not just the beauty and sanctity of our building, but to enjoy the journey between them as well, which after years of restrictions, is even more important for our mental and physical well being than ever before.”
The Cathedrals Cycle Route is the invention of academic, entrepreneur and keen cyclist Shaun Cutler, from Northumbria University, and was 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.
Shaun said: “The Cathedrals Cycle Route is about connecting our historic cathedrals and enjoying the spaces between them.
“The last few years have seen a lot of change, the Cathedrals Cycle Route is a great way to rediscover and reconnect, supporting people’s mental and physical health and promoting the mission of England’s cathedrals through pilgrimage, wellbeing and heritage.”
Those visiting the Cathedral – whether that’s on foot or by bike – are welcome to get their Pilgrim Passport stamped and stickered at Bradford Cathedral, and Passports are on sale in the shop for those starting out on their Cathedral journey.
Cyclists will travel from Wakefield Cathedral to Bradford Cathedral on the morning of Thursday 14th July 2022, before a new group will pass the baton onto York Minster, via Leeds Minster, after 11am. Cyclists are welcome to sign up at https://cathedralsrelay.eventbrite.co.uk/, to ride either to Leeds Minster, or all the way to York, and everyone is invited to cheer on the cyclists as they depart.