The York Minster team nominated for a cycling relay

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FIVE avid and competitive York Minster cyclists will take part in a nationwide relay on a new cycle path connecting each Cathedral in the Church of England.

The 2,000 mile route is launched to coincide with the start of Bike Week, the annual celebration of cycling hosted by Cycling UK.

A team of cyclists from Ripon Cathedral are expected to arrive at York Minster today after completing 35 miles. Tomorrow, the Canon Reverend of York Minster, the Reverend Michael Smith, will lead a cycling team from Cathedral to Bradford Cathedral, the next destination of the relay route. The Minster team plans to complete the 70 mile round trip in one day.

Canon Michael will pass a specially commissioned baton to the next group of runners in a new loop, which connects England’s 42 cathedrals to promote greener travel and mental and physical well-being.

Canon Michael said: “We are delighted that the York Minster is part of it.

“We have the opportunity to be at the heart of initiatives to support our communities in their recovery and the cathedrals bike path is one way of doing it. “This allows our visitors to not only appreciate the beauty and sanctity of our building, but also to enjoy the journey between them, which after a year of restrictions, is even more important than ever for our mental well-being and physical.”

It is the brainchild of scholar, entrepreneur and avid cyclist Shaun Cutler, of the University of Northumbria, and is designed to help us all out of isolation with opportunities for short bike rides between cathedrals, to new partnerships and fundraising for activities to support physical and mental well-being.

Shaun said, “The Cathedrals Bike Trail is all about connecting our historic cathedrals and enjoying the spaces between them.

“Now more than ever, after a year of living with the coronavirus pandemic, it is a way to support people’s mental and physical health and to promote the mission of English cathedrals through pilgrimage, well-being and heritage. ”

The relay race will raise funds for Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, which aims to improve people’s well-being and tackle social isolation through community cycling clubs, activities and of the charity’s projects across the country.



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