Sunderland gears up for Big Bike Ride event

SUNDERLAND BIG BIKE RIDE LAUNCH ...  Sunderland City Council Leader Paul Watson is on his bike for the launch of the 2012 Sunderland Big Bike Ride.   Pictured with (L-R) Laura Bartlett, Darren Pike, Lindsey Robson, Activity Officer Richard Hood, and Peter Tate.   #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
SUNDERLAND BIG BIKE RIDE LAUNCH ... Sunderland City Council Leader Paul Watson is on his bike for the launch of the 2012 Sunderland Big Bike Ride. Pictured with (L-R) Laura Bartlett, Darren Pike, Lindsey Robson, Activity Officer Richard Hood, and Peter Tate. #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
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CYCLISTS on Wearside are gearing up to take part in the Big Bike Ride.

The event is part of the Sunderland in 2012 programme of sporting and cultural events to celebrate the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and The University of Sunderland is opening its campus to support it.

Taking place over Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, the routes have been designed to provide a different cycling experience for all participants.

A family ride will take place on May 26, at Herrington Country Park, and new, improved longer rides of 14, 20 and 35 miles, will take place on May 27, from the university’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s.

Graeme Robinson, head of campus services at Sunderland University, said: “It’s great that the university has been able to assist the city by hosting the Sunderland in 2012 Big Bike Ride.”

Coun Paul Watson, Sunderland City Council leader, said: “We hope that this year’s Big Bike Ride will build on the success of last year’s, which had over 500 people taking part.

“This year the focus is on leisure, recreational and family cycling. There’s a choice of four alternative rides, which provide routes for all ages and abilities.

“We’ve kept the costs low, at only £2 per person, so that it is affordable for everyone who wants to take part.”

Coun Watson said this year the event will be special because it’s a way of celebrating London 2012.

The Sunderland in 2012 programme includes a wide variety of sporting, arts and cultural events that people can support, through either participating, watching or volunteering.

The council aims to have at least 50,000 people taking part in some element of Sunderland in 2012 and is also aiming to attract 2,012 new volunteers by the end of the programme.

For more information on all the events being planned visit www.sunderlandin2012.co.uk.

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