Rain can't stop hundreds enjoying Sunderland BIG Bike Ride

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Even a grey, rainy day didn't deter cyclists old and young from taking part in today's Active Sunderland BIG Bike Ride.

Hundreds of them gathered on the Riverside at St Peter's near Sunderland University to tackle various routes around the city.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson, gets the Sunderland BIG Bike Ride underway.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson, gets the Sunderland BIG Bike Ride underway.

The event covered a variety of distances to make sure that everyone - from children and families right up to experienced cyclists - could join in the fun.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: “Cycling is an incredibly popular activity, and it’s always great to see so many people, of all ages and abilities, getting active and have fun with friends and family”

"There is a fantastic network of cycling routes through our city and the BIG Bike Ride is a great opportunity to explore them and discover places in Sunderland you may not have seen before.”

Riders participating in the 20 and 35-mile rides cycled along Sunderland’s cycle path network, visiting many parts of the city.

The five-mile family ride used the cycle paths from the riverside to Roker and Seaburn.

The longest route, the 35-miler, started in Roker and visited parts of Washington, Houghton, Hetton, Ryhope and Silksworth, before returning to the finish via the city centre.

The Active Sunderland BIG Events programme is designed to deliver as many opportunities as possible for residents to take part in a range of sporting activities.