All about Sky Ride Local

Sky Ride Local rides are guided by friendly British Cycling Ride Leaders along scenic planned routes. With different levels, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re building your confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge.

This year, discover more with Sky Ride Local on one our new themed bike rides – all free to join:

Wildlife and wilderness bike ridesWildlife & wilderness
You don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere to enjoy getting off the beaten track. Join us on rides which visit local nature reserves, urban farms and conservation areas, and let our Ride Leaders show you their favourite places for spotting birds, deer, and other animals.

History and heritage bike ridesHistory & heritage
Add an extra dimension to your ride by exploring the places that have shaped your area’s history. Our History & Heritage rides visit steam railways, museums, blue plaques, statues, castles, stately homes, industrial heritage, and plenty of interesting architecture.

Local pride bike ridesLocal pride
From black pudding shops to the last resting place of kings; from the birthplace of celebrities to the home of sporting legends... every place has something which makes it special. Follow our Ride Leaders as they show off their favourite local features and hidden gems.

Waterways and woodlands bike ridesWaterways & woodlands
Whether you’re in town or out in the country, these rides are a great way to get a fresh new perspective. Urban canals, rural rivers, lakes and reservoirs all make brilliant riding. And our off-road routes through woods or forests are perfect for getting away from it all.

City streets and park life bike ridesCity streets & park life
Seeing your town or city by bike is a great way to really get to know it. Join us on parkland paths, traffic-free circuits and some great new bike lanes. Explore quiet roads and get some tips on great routes for commuting by bike.

Eat drink ride bike ridesEat, drink, ride
If there’s one thing cyclists love, it’s food and drink! We’ve uncovered routes visiting great local producers, from ice cream factories to pie makers, from farmers’ markets to fish & chip shops. And of course there are some cracking cafe stops – perfect for a chat over a coffee and cake.

  1. Explore city streets and parks with Sky Ride Local
    Explore city streets and parks with Sky Ride Local

    Seeing your town or city by bike is a great way to get to know it. Join us on some great urban routes this summer. 

  2. Are you up for an autumn challenge?
    Are you up for an autumn challenge?

    Gorgeous longer rides that are a great way to keep cycling through November.

  3. Get closer to the Tour of Britain
    Get closer to the Tour of Britain

    Don’t just watch the race – make a day of it and get out on your bike with us.

Whatever your age, level of fitness or confidence, we’ve got a great ride for you.

All Sky Ride Local rides are led by British Cycling trained Ride Leaders – real cycling enthusiasts who know the routes and can encourage and guide you along the way.


Not cycled for a while and looking for an easy way to get back in the saddle? Fancy a fun way to get your friends or kids riding?  Easygoing rides are great for all abilities and ages, taking place along relaxed, mostly traffic-free routes.


If you’re fairly confident on your bike and ready to broaden your cycling horizons, Steady rides are ideal. At a comfortable pace, and possibly with some modest hills along the way, rides take place on mainly quiet roads with plenty of sights along the way.


You don’t have to be the next Bradley Wiggins, but you’ll need to be fairly fit to take part in Challenging rides. As well as covering a good distance, there may well be a few hills along the way! If you fancy a fresh challenge, these rides are perfect for you.

How much does it cost to participate in a Sky Ride?

All Sky Ride events are absolutely free!

Is there a rider minimum age? Do I need parental/guardian consent?

The minimum age for Easygoing and Steady rides is five years old. Children aged under five can join in these two levels as long as they are appropriately strapped into an approved (BSI standard) child seat or trailer.

The minimum age for Challenging rides is 11 years old. If you provide a false age to make your child old enough for the ride your child will not be covered by our insurance should there be an accident.

With regards to parental/guardian consent, the policy is as follows:

  • Under 16s – classed as minors, must be registered by and accompanied by a parent/guardian. There is a limit of four minors to one adult and that adult is responsible for and must remain with those minors at all times
  • Aged 18 and over – classed as adults, able to register themselves and attend on their own
  • Aged 16 and 17 – classed as adults, but only able to register them-selves only and therefore cannot register or be responsible for any minors (under 16s). Those aged 16 and 17 can attend the event on their own as they are classed as adults.
  • If a minor turns up with another adult/guardian aged 18 or over to take part in Sky Ride Local, it is assumed through acceptance of the terms and conditions the adult/guardian responsible for the minor will have the minor’s parental consent to their participation on the ride.

What types of routes can I expect?

All routes will be fun, safe and interesting with the distance, duration and terrain of the ride varying according to the four colour coded levels.

How do I know which level is right for me?

There’s a Sky Ride Local for everyone. The three levels are Easygoing, Steady and Challenging. To help you decide which level of ride you’d enjoy the most, take a look at the ride level descriptions by clicking the 'levels' tab above. If you’re still unsure, then please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ section on the website.

How fit do I have to be?

Sky Ride Local is for everyone, however fit you are. None of the rides are a race so even if you’re not the fittest person in the world you can still have a go. Just take it easy and select the right level and associated pace for you. If you’re still unsure pick the entry level ride which is Ride Easy and if you find it too easy choose a Ride Steady next time. You will also be able to speak to the Ride Leaders when you are on a ride they will be able to advise you of which other rides will be suitable for you.

Where exactly will the Sky Ride Local rides take place in my city or town?

All routes will be within the local authority boundary and close surrounding areas. The routes and schedules are planned so that there are a variety of ride levels every weekend and that the ride levels are evenly distributed across the city or town over the course of the summer.

How do I register for a Sky Ride Local?

Simply go to the Ride Finder in the top navigation, put in your post code or location in and all your nearest available rides will appear. Find a ride that suits your ability, check your diary and click register! Confirmation and reminder emails will be sent to participants prior to the ride for which they have registered. If you supply your mobile number we will send you a quick text reminder a few days before the ride.

Can I sign up for more than one Sky Ride Local?

Yes, absolutely. Whether you take part in one, two or more Sky Ride Local rides depends entirely upon you! Please remember to cancel your place if you can’t make it so that some one else can have your place.

The ride I want to go on is full. What can I do?

Even if the ride you want to go on is full, why not register your interest anyway and if anybody cancels their place or new places are created we will let you know. Alternatively you could look for another ride with available places. Ride availability is shown for every ride.

How do I cancel my pre-booked place on a Sky Ride Local?

If for whatever reason you can’t make it, simply log back in with your username and password. Go to your dashboard, find the ride in your ‘Ride Diary’ section and click cancel. You will automatically receive a cancellation email by way of confirmation. You can also cancel via SMS if you provide us with your mobile details when you register or update your personal profile.

What if I turn up on the day without registering?

If we’ve got space for you to join in on the day, then of course you can come along. We’ll just need you to complete your registration details with the Ride Leader on the day and accept the terms and conditions like everyone else.

If the ride is at full capacity then unfortunately you won’t be able to take part. It may seem boring of us but our health & safety people wouldn’t be too happy plus you won’t be covered by insurance if there is an accident. To avoid missing out please register in advance.

Who leads Sky Ride Local?

Specially trained and very friendly Ride Leaders from the lovely people at British Cycling lead the way on Sky Ride Local, so you’ll always be in safe hands. Once you have chosen a ride you fancy, you have the opportunity to ‘Meet the Leaders’ via the website.  Find out how long you’re Leader has been involved in cycling and what expertise/interests they have. Also featured will be a recent photograph of each of your Leaders so that you can easily recognise their friendly face on the day! 

What equipment do I need as a Sky Ride participant?

Participants will be expected to have:

i) A bike

All bikes used for a Sky Ride Local need to:

  • be in good working order
  • have fully inflated tyres
  • have two brakes that work or be fitted with a front brake if a fixed wheel bike
  • be an appropriate size to allow the rider to participate safely in the session
  • be appropriate to the environment, surface conditions and activity.

NOTE: Bikes without brakes are not considered safe or appropriate.

The Ride Leaders will undertake a simple bike check at the start of the ride but are not mechanics so won’t be able to work miracles!

ii) Puncture Repair Kit and/or spare tubes

An appropriate puncture repair kit and/or spare tubes that fit the bike being used.
Please note that Ride Leaders are not required to supply you with spare tubes.

iii) Bike Pump

An appropriate bike pump (with valves if necessary) that fits the bike tyres being used.

The above will be communicated to registering participants at the point of registration and through the reminder emails.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

All Ride Leaders and any individual under the age of 18 (including those in child seats and trailers) participating in Sky Ride Local must wear a helmet that:

  • conforms to a recognised standard 
  • is undamaged 
  • is in good condition
  • is the correct size for the rider
  • is correctly fitted and worn by the rider.

For those aged over 18 the wearing of helmets conforming to the above standards is strongly recommended.

What clothes should I wear?

Comfortable and safe ones!

All riders must wear appropriate clothing. Clothing should meet the following criteria:

  • be appropriate for the activity, environment and weather conditions, taking into consideration any possible changes in the weather (remember we do live in the UK and therefore the weather is changeable!)
  • not be too loose or baggy  as it can get caught in the moving parts of the bike
  • trousers and tracksuit bottoms should be tucked in to your socks to prevent them becoming entangled in the chain
  • shoes/trainers must be worn, with laces tucked in.

You may want to consider wearing cycling gloves but this is not compulsory.

Riders wearing inadequate or inappropriate clothing will not be allowed to participate in the ride due to them being deemed unsafe and a risk to themselves and others.

What else should I bring?

It is recommended that participants also bring:

  • food and water/drink
  • money
  • mobile phone if you have one.

What happens if my bike breaks during the ride or I have an accident?

Please bring any incident or broken bikes to the attention of your Ride Leader who will be able to administer first aid if necessary and/or assess whether your bike can be fixed immediately. If the bike can’t be fixed or you are unable to continue the ride for whatever reason the Ride Leader will agree what course of action to take with your consent.

Am I insured whilst taking part in a Sky Ride?

Official participant registration on the ride includes insurance cover. This covers third party liability, but not personal injuries cover.  If you register on the day (due to there being an available space) you will be covered by insurance as long as you have signed the appropriate register and agreed to the terms and conditions.

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