Sky Ride recently got in touch with me and asked if we’d like to take part in their Birmingham Sky Ride and meet the singer Stacey Solomon. H is starting to get to grips with his bike (with the help of stabilizers) and my husband has watched the Tour de France for many years and enjoys watching cycling. I grew up in a cycling household: my Dad cycled to work each day, we didn’t have a car and my siblings and I were always up the park on our bikes. So it seems a natural event to attend. The only thing was that I don’t have a bike.
My last bike was given away by my Dad to a family friend (without my permission or knowledge – still a bit of a sore point). Since then I haven’t got around to getting one, but I’ve been planning to get one when Henry is good enough at riding for us to be able to go on a bike ride together – we are almost at that point now. Luckily Sky Ride stepped in and got us kitted out with bikes and attachments.
The Birmingham event is based at the University of Birmingham campus. It’s a lovely place to have the event as it’s got lots of open space; the red brick buildings are very handsome and the university has its own road network which formed part of the route. We got there and found a party atmosphere and hundreds and hundreds of bikes and their riders.
Sky provided everyone at the event with a free high visibility vest for their ride and the route was clearly signposted. The route takes you through some of the leafiest roads in Edgbaston. There’s only one big hill to get up on The Vale, the university’s main student accommodation site. Other than that the route is fairly flat or downhill. I hadn’t got on a bike for a long time (many years I think) and neither had my husband, but we didn’t find it too difficult. H helped out with the pedalling on his bike attachment. Along the route we came across people on special bikes playing music and some knights and princesses on ‘horseback’ or should I say ‘bikeback’.
Aside from riding the route there was plenty to do. There were stalls publising different ways of getting involved in cycling; we watched the trick cycling which was amazing; and H enjoyed visiting the Disney area. He got to meet Lloyd Warbey, the new presenter of Art Attack, plus there was a chance to decorate your Sky Ride bib. I had the chance to meet Stacey Solomon and interview her along with a small group of fellow bloggers. There was bottled water provided, plus some free snacks from Soreen.
I would really recommend going to a Sky Ride and if you don’t have a bike (like me), you can hire one for a few pounds.