Cyclists to set off from Winchester Cathedral as part of Cathedrals Cycle Route

June 17, 2021

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On Sunday 20th June, a team of cyclists will set off from Winchester Cathedral as part of the next leg of a nationwide 2,000-mile relay ride to connect the country’s 42 Church of England cathedrals. 

The inaugural Cathedrals Cycle Route (CCR), which started from Newcastle Cathedral to coincide with Bike Week at the end of May, will see cyclists depart from Winchester to arrive at Salisbury Cathedral later that afternoon.

Hundreds of cyclists have volunteered to ride the different legs of the trip, passing on a specially designed baton at each of the 42 Church of England cathedrals. The bronze sculptured baton, which depicts two hands reaching out for one another, is symbolic of the challenges that people have faced and continue to face as a result of the Covid pandemic, whilst also celebrating a spirit of togetherness with the strap-line reading ‘Some days you need a hand…other days you are called to lend a hand’. A group of 15-20 cyclists will deliver the baton to Winchester on Sunday morning after completing a 29-mile route from Portsmouth Cathedral. 

Sue Reeves, Cathedral Cycle Champion at Winchester Cathedral said, “As a keen cyclist myself I think the Cathedrals Cycle Route is a fantastic idea. This ride celebrates the cycling community in Winchester and is a great way to promote the benefits of cycling to the whole city”.

The Cathedrals Cycle Route candle will be lit and the Revd Canon Roland Riem, Vice-Dean and Canon Chancellor will say a prayer for the cyclists before they set off at 12.30pm.

The Revd Canon Roland Riem, Vice-Dean and Canon Chancellor said, “ We are delighted to be part of the Cathedrals Cycle Route and to support an initiative which promotes mental and physical wellbeing, and creates new links to healthier activities and sustainable travel. The Cathedrals Cycle Route connects all of the Church of England Cathedrals around the UK so that visitors can appreciate the heritage of each building as well as enjoy the journey in between them. We look forward to welcoming pilgrims and visitors that arrive on two wheels”. 

The 2,000 mile Cathedrals Cycle Route is the invention of academic, entrepreneur and keen cyclist Shaun Cutler, from Northumbria University. The initiative has been designed to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. 

Shaun, who has worked with Newcastle Cathedral, Sustrans, Cycling UK and the British Pilgrimage Trust to design the cycle routes, said: “The Cathedrals Cycle Route is about connecting our historic cathedrals and enjoying the spaces between them. Now more than ever, after a year of living with the Coronavirus pandemic, this is a way to support people’s mental and physical health and promote the mission of England’s cathedrals through pilgrimage, wellbeing and heritage.”

It is hoped that the relay ride will become an annual event and will encourage more and more people to get on their bikes this year and beyond.

You can find the cycle routes for every cathedral here and you can keep up to date with the progress of the relay ride on social media by following #CathedralsCyleRoute.