Bradford schools have played their part in Britain’s biggest cycling school relay.

Children from each participating school pass a golden baton from school to school.

Each Yorkshire authority takes responsibility for the baton’s progress for two to three days each, with hand overs either at different schools or at points of local interest.

The Schools Yorkshire Tour baton is travelling 400 miles across Yorkshire, passed on by children on bikes from 160 schools. It started in York on June 10 to celebrate national Bike Week and will finish in Doncaster on July 2.

Bradford collected the baton on June 13 when Fagley Primary met Leeds school Co-op Academy Priesthope. The next day, Lapage Primary took the baton via the ‘Cycle Superhighway’ to Myra Shay park, where the five nearby schools completed a cycle relay around the park; Delius Special School, Bryon, Dixons Marchbank, Killinghall and Lapage.

The baton went to Lower Fields Primary for a rendition of their cycling mumbo song before continuing to Bowling Park Primary. Children from Bowling Park Primary then rode to Manchester road’s ‘Big Red Bridge’ and passed the baton on to children from Horton Park Primary. The Horton Park children took the baton back to their school for a big, end of day, celebration.

After the weekend children from Rainbow Primary picked up the Baton and cycled it along the now completed and finished Canal Road Greenway out of Bradford and on to Leeds Liverpool Canal. They passed the batonto Wycliffe CE Primary. The baton continued on along the canal all the way to Silsden, with Beckfoot Priesthorpe, Parkwood and Eastwood primary taking turns with the baton. The final leg was on the recently upgraded Canal tow path from Keighley to Silsden. The baton was then transported over to Hebden Bridge for Calderdale Council schools to continue the baton’s journey.

276 children from 14 Bradford Primary schools cycled 34 miles in the region and were cheered on by over 2,000 excited school children at the various baton exchange locations.

All children rode very well, demonstrated their capabilities and showed what an effective mode of transport cycling really is. One of the big bonuses for Bradford this year was the amount of traffic free routes that were used. Much of Bradford’s ride was on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60 million CityConnect route, the award winning Cycle Superhighway and the recently opened Canal Road Greenway, cycling infrastructure either built or upgraded. Local parks were also used to good effect, demonstrating the amount of options there are, to get cycling, in Bradford.

This event aims to increase the number of young people involved in cycling across the whole of Yorkshire, with the ambition of more children using bikes as a method of travel to and from school.

Bradford’s relay was organised by and Bradford Bikeability. Both train children in cycle skills in Bradford. Ian Cullen of Bike Futures said “The Schools Yorkshire Tour is all about inspiring children and parents to choose cycling as an active way to get places, whether that’s the morning commute to school or to one of Bradford’s many scenic locations. Cycling is social, healthy and fun.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “It’s great to see so much of this year’s Schools Yorkshire Tour happening on infrastructure we’ve either built or improved through our CityConnect programme.

“Through CityConnect, the Combined Authority is working in partnership to make cycling and walking a viable option for all residents – regardless of age or ability – by not only delivering new and improved infrastructure, but also through initiatives such as our Bike Friendly Schools scheme.

“Instilling a love of cycling in children from a young age has long-lasting benefits, encouraging independent travel as a teenager and creating good habits for an active adult life.”

Follow #SYT2019 to check on the batons progress across the region.