A CityConnect Charity Reindeer Ride will raise vital funds for the Lord Mayor's Appeals in both Bradford and Leeds.

Kersten England, chief executive at Bradford Council, joined Tom Riordan, her counterpart at Leeds City Council, to launch the event, which will take place on December 21.

They will be joined by 60 outriders, including a number of invited guests, to create a "magical procession" along the Cycle Superhighway that connects the two cities.

Local artists Nicola Murray, from Sponge Tree, and Tim Curtis, from Proper Cycling, have collaborated to create bespoke and life-like reindeer heads to adorn a range of adaptive bikes.

Sports stars, including former New Zealand Rugby League International Robbie Hunter-Paul and former England cricketer Ryan Sidebottom, will participate in the procession, with support from Bradford Bulls and Yorkshire Cricket Club.

They will be joined by invited members of the cycling community and other guests, with even Santa and his elf coming along for the ride.

Riders will meet in Leeds city centre at 2.30pm, with a festive Grand Depart at 3.30pm waved off by Leeds’ Lord Mayor, Councillor Jane Dowson. The ride will proceed along the Cycle Superhighway and will be greeted with a civic reception on arrival in City Park by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Abid Hussain.

In Bradford, the ride will raise money for Down Syndrome Training & Support and the Wishing Well Appeal, with the Leeds appeal supporting Candlelighters, the children’s cancer charity.

Ms England said: “This event is a cracking way to celebrate the festive season, promote the award-winning Cycle Superhighway that connects our great cities, and raise funds for the charities of our Lord Mayors.

"It's also the first time I've managed to get my good friend and colleague Tom Riordan on a bike which is a result in itself!”

Cllr Hussain added: “I look forward to welcoming the reindeer riders in to Bradford at the end of their ride from Leeds.

"This is a wonderful event bringing together people from our two great cities and I am delighted that they’ve decided to raise money for our Lord Mayors’ Appeal charities. I’m sure those taking part will have a great time.”

To donate towards the event, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/CityConnectReindeerRide.