Cyclists from all three of our cathedrals will join a network of riders going between every Church of England cathedral next week, to help launch the Cathedrals Cycle Route.
Our part of the route covers the whole diocese, coming from the north to Bradford, then on to Wakefield via Dewsbury, before heading on to Sheffield.
Bradford cyclists will be putting on their helmets, oiling up their chains and fuelling up ready to tackle their twenty-mile journey to Wakefield Cathedral, a journey which takes in the beauty of the Spen Valley Greenway and will feature a refreshment break at Dewsbury Minster.
From there, Wakefield cyclists will have the opportunity to enjoy the next route, a near 30-mile route to Sheffield Cathedral, stopping at St. Mary's Church, Wombwell on the way for a refreshment break.
Bradford’s Cathedral Cycling Champion, Maurice Manktelow, says of the event: “As a keen and passionate cyclist, I was excited to become one of the champions for the Cathedrals Cycle Route.
“This is a great event for cathedrals to work together, as well as with many other groups, and through establishing this relay and the routes will help encourage positive physical and mental health in those taking part, as well as supporting a sustainable way of travelling!”
The Revd Tim Carroll, Wakefield Cathedral Curate and Cycle Champion says: “We are really looking forward to being involved with the Cathedral Cycle Route this year, a fantastic initiative promoting cycling across the country.
“As a keen amateur cyclist who enjoys riding my bike to work every day I am a big supporter of promoting cycling as both a means of transport and a means of exercise.
“Whether you are wanting to get involved with the Cathedral Cycle Route relay event, or simply looking to get back on your bike in 2021, Wakefield Cathedral offers a warm welcome to all cyclists, any day of the year.”
The routes link all 42 English cathedrals, looking to promote greener travel and better mental and physical wellbeing.
The first group of cyclists will set out from Newcastle Cathedral, the most northerly Anglican cathedral, on Sunday 30 May, and a group is expected to return to Newcastle 42 days later, weather permitting.
The Cathedrals Cycle Route is a partnership between Sustrans, Cycling UK, the British Pilgrimage Trust and the Association of English Cathedrals.
It measures 2,000 miles in total and has sections of long and short rides 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 physical and mental well-being activities.
Shaun said: “The Cathedrals Cycle Route is about connecting our historic cathedrals and enjoying the spaces between them.
“Now more than ever, after a year of living with the coronavirus pandemic, this is a way to support people’s mental and physical health and promote the mission of England’s cathedrals through pilgrimage, wellbeing and heritage.”