On Saturday 12 June cyclists from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, took part in a nationwide relay ride on a new cycle route linking every Church of England cathedral. A team of 5 cyclists rode between Bury St Edmunds and Chelmsford passing on a specially commissioned baton to the next group of riders in a unique event to launch the new 2,000-mile loop, which links all 42 English Cathedrals to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. As part of the launch of the new route, the Dean of St Edmundsbury, the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, joined the cyclists briefly on one of the Bury St Edmunds rickshaws as they set off from the Cathedral. A second team followed the route as far as Lavenham.
The route was launched on 30 May to coincide with the start of Bike Week (30 May -5 June), the annual celebration of cycling delivered by Cycling UK and the baton is currently making its way from the north of England towards East Anglia. The baton arrived in Bury St Edmunds on 11 June with a team from Norwich Cathedral and was handed over to Sub Dean, the Reverend Canon Matthew Vernon.
You can track the journey of the baton.
The Cathedrals Cycle Route is a unique partnership between the Association of English Cathedrals, the British Pilgrimage Trust, Cycling UK and Sustrans. It measures 2,000 miles in total, with individual legs between cathedrals varying in length to suit all abilities. It is the invention of academic, entrepreneur and keen cyclist Shaun Cutler, from Northumbria University, and is designed to help us all out of lockdown with opportunities for short cycle rides between cathedrals, new partnerships and fundraising for activities to support physical and mental wellbeing.
The relay ride will raise money for Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, which aims to improve people’s wellbeing and tackle social isolation through the charity’s community cycling clubs, activities and projects nationwide.