Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Sky Ride's the limit

This was the scene outside Guiseley railway station this morning as a gaggle of us prepared to board the train to take part in Sky Ride Leeds. (No, Charlotte's not floating in mid-air but is instead perched on a chair on the back of my bike.  Just lazy).

Sky Ride is a clever new venture aimed at encouraging people of all ages to get on their bikes, by allowing them to ride around city centres on closed public roads.  The UK cycling bug is particularly strong in Yorkshire given the imminent arrival of this year's Tour de France, which spends its first two days here at the beginning of July.      

To quote the Sky Ride Leeds pre-event bumpf: "We’ll be going Tour de France crazy on the day in anticipation of the Grand D├ępart. There will be loads of free things to do and try out, including the brand new ‘Tricks & Tunes’ area, the chance to check out the bikes used by Team Sky and the Great Britain Cycling Team, plus our friendly Bike Cafe, and the opportunity to find out about loads of other free cycling activities in Leeds, we’re rolling out a real festival atmosphere."

Excellent.  Lots of goodwill, good people and good ideas.

Enter "good" old Northern Rail.

Unfortunately none of those pictured above actually made it to Sky Ride Leeds.  No, this was because we weren't allowed on the train.  For reasons of health and safety, it turns out the nice folk at Northern Rail allow a maximum of two bicycles on their big, long trains, Sky Ride or no Sky Ride.  And by the time any of them finally reached Guiseley - the last stop before Leeds - that quota had obviously been used up.  So it was off to the park for the lot of us.        

Methinks Northern Rail's "can't do" attitude will face further challenge when the cycling world descends en masse at the beginning of July. I do hope so.