One of our Mini’s – Izzy recently wrote about her experiences as a young cyclist in Otley and won second prize for her school Westgate Primary, in a competition run by Leeds City Council. This Was one of the activities during Leeds City Council’s School Bike Week, spreading the good word of cycling to the masses. Izzy’s article gives you an idea of what it’s like to be a part of our young cycling community and a reminder of what an amazing day the Tour de Yorkshire was! Here’s what she said:
I love cycling and I go out on my bike at least once a week. I explore parts of Yorkshire that are beautiful and I get time to spend with my friends, we are known as the ‘Mini-Flyers’. Some of my friends are amazed at how far we go and have never heard of where we have been. Cycling is my favourite type of exercise, because it gets me really fit and I love being outdoors. Living in Otley, we see cyclists every day and we are home to Lizzie Armitstead, the Women’s Road World Champion. My school organised a visit from her and it was one of the best days ever! She gave an inspirational talk about how she trained and what it was like to be a professional cyclist.
It made me really determined to win and I managed to become the U11 Girls British Schools Circuit Racing Champion this year, which I am very proud of. I would love to be a professional like Lizzie one day.
One of my friends can’t ride a bike yet and she said she would like to learn, which is brilliant. There are some of the teachers at school who love cycling too and I like to talk to them about it. They ask me about where I have been on a weekend and tell me when they have got big rides coming up.
This year the Tour de Yorkshire started in Otley and this meant everyone was talking about my favourite sport, especially when all the schools in the town were asked to take part in a large parade before the races. When the announcement was made in assembly there was lots of excitement and people wanted to do it, but not everyone could as there were only a few places. It made me realise a lot more people want to cycle at school. Two of my teachers had a coaching session and they had to pick people for the parade.I was going to be at the front of the parade with the cycle club, it made me feel very special to be leading it.
The Tour de Yorkshire day was amazing, all the roads in the centre of Otley were closed and there were lots of team buses, team cars and very expensive bikes parked everywhere. The crowds got bigger and bigger and when we lined up for the parade there were thousands watching us. The parade stretched back all the way down the street, it looked fantastic.
When we set off the crowds cheered and clapped us all the way, it felt like we were in a real race and it gave me goosebumps! All the riders from school loved it and couldn’t stop talking about their experience, they wanted more. My teachers really want to set up a cycling club now, to keep us all cycling. I would love more of my school to enjoy what I do.