A TEAM of cyclists from Bradford Cathedral have set off on a regional journey promoting wellbeing benefits of taking to two wheels.

The cyclists are riding part of the new Cathedrals Cycle Route linking all the UK’s 42 Anglican cathedrals. Twenty cyclists are riding between Bradford and Wakefield Cathedral today - World Bicycle Day - passing on a baton to the next group of riders, in a relay event launching the new route. Joining a national network of cyclists from all cathedrals to promote green travel and mental and physical wellbeing, the Bradford team will carry the baton etched with the words ‘Some days you need a hand....other days you are called to lend a hand’.

Bradford Cathedral has teamed up with the University of Bradford Union of Students and Bradford’s Capital of Cycling for the 20-mile journey to Wakefield cathedral, which takes in the Spen Valley Greenway and Dewsbury Minster.

The first group of cyclists set out from Newcastle Cathedral on Sunday and a group is expected to return to Newcastle early July, having cycled to every cathedral. The relay coincides with The World’s Biggest Bike Ride, marking the opening of Bike Week (until June 5) organised by Cycling UK.

The 2,000-mile route is a partnership between Sustrans, Cycling UK, the British Pilgrimage Trust and Association of English Cathedrals. Cyclist Shaun Cutler, who came up with the idea, said: “Now more than ever, after a year of living with the pandemic, this is a way to support mental and physical health and promote the mission of England’s cathedrals through pilgrimage, wellbeing and heritage.”

The ride will raise money for Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, improving wellbeing through community cycling clubs and projects. Bradford Cathedral Cycling Champion Maurice Manktelow said:“Establishing the routes will help encourage positive physical and mental health, as well as supporting a sustainable way of travelling.”

University of Bradford Student Development Leader Adam Tasker said: “UBU have trained up a group of students who have never cycled before to join us on this ride. It will be a wonderful challenge.” Aggie Maxwell, Capital of Cycling outreach officer, said: “Increasing cycling in Bradford will make our city a happier, more prosperous place, by reducing congestion and air pollution, making people healthier and reducing the costs of transport. This ride celebrates the strength of Bradford’s cycling community and the hope we have in its future.”

* Visit cyclinguk.org/cathedrals-cycle-route-challenge