Liverpool’s new Lord Mayor got on his bike to support public health officials taking part in a 450 mile Cities of Culture cycle ride.
Organised through the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and East Riding and Hull City Councils, the 15 strong group are pedalling from Derry/Londonderry (UK City of Culture 2013) to Hull (UK City of Culture 2017 and arrived in Liverpool en-route on Friday 26 May.
The riders – who include Sefton’s former Director of Public Health Janet Atherton – were welcomed by Cllr Malcolm Kennedy and Olympic and World Champion Gold medal winning cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand, before setting off towards Otterspool and linking up with the Trans Pennine trail.
The aim of the challenge is to highlight the health and enjoyment that comes from cycling and that you don’t need to be superfit to get going and enjoy it.
Apart from burning away body fat, cycling reduces the chances of heart disease and helps combat diabetes and high blood pressure.
The participants, who are volunteering in their spare time, are covering distances of approximately 50-60 miles plus each day.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming the cyclists to Liverpool. As Liverpool continues to grow, we want to encourage residents and visitors to be active and healthy and use one of our citybikes to get around.
“We had a wonderful year as European Capital of Culture and we are delighted to show our support for other cities as they strive to make them a better place for people to live and work and grow.
“We gave the cyclists lots of words of encouragement and support to help them on their way and sent our good wishes with them to Hull for its year as UK City of Culture 2017.”
The city also used it as an opportunity to promote the Fit for Me campaign involving NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Liverpool City Council which aims to inspire and get everyone more active.