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Super cycle from London to Mecca

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CYCLISTS ASSEMBLE: Hajj Ride group ready for epic vogue

CYCLISTS ASSEMBLE: Hajj Ride group ready for epic vogue

 

Group of Muslim brothers set out on a 2000-mile bike ride aiming to arrive just in time for the annual Hajj pilgrimage

Eight British Muslims are cycling from London to Saudi Arabia in an amazing journey for Hajj over a six-week period, aiming to raise £1 million for those affecting in the Syrian War.

They began in the UK and will travel through France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy then Greece before taking a ship to Egypt and then onto Saudi Arabia.

The group hope to be the first to travel to Hajj from the United Kingdom on bicycles.

We received an update from the group on day 14 of the Hajj Ride vogue where we find the men in the city of Brescia, Italy.

Having experienced many challenges whilst on the ride the last few days proved to be particularly eventful and testing, both for the cyclists and support staff.

They headed from the city of Vaduz, Lichtenstein (a bonus country on our journey) back into Switzerland.

The route led them over 1,700m above sea level through the Alps to the small town of Zuoz, which included two incredibly challenging climbs.

The second of these climbs was the Albula Pass, which has a peak of 2,315 metres, making it a quarter of the height of Mount Everest.

Being that high up in plummeting temperature, strong winds and oxygen deprivation caused some real issues.

The primary intension around this journey is to perform Hajj; for this reason they needed to remember not to put themselves in unnecessary danger or harm when pursuing their ultimate goal.

The following day they travelled south from Zuoz over the Italian border to Aprica.

Driving down a steep mountain road, an incident occurred with the van in Poschiavo, 10 miles from Italy.

This meant that the vehicle was out of action and they were unable to provide support to the riders for the second half of the ride.

The cyclists continued on without assistance however and reached their destination in Aprica, coping admirably without their luggage or possessions.

The van was thankfully fixed and they were able to rejoin the group in Aprica that night. 
Travelling from Aprica down to Brescia was an enjoyable experience for the group as the route was downhill and they were able to take in the stunning Lake D'Iseo.

Heading from their lunch stop in Boario Di Terme, the support van received their first medical call of the trip.

One of the riders failed to see a raised kerb when attempting to stop at the side of the road, and ended up injuring his shins against the pedals as he fell off the bike.

The injury was not major however so after treating the wound he was able to continue to the finish in Brescia.

With three countries still left on their journey the Hajj Ride on track to arrive in time for Hajj pilgrimage.

Coach calls out to Asian women to join her in Tour de Yorkshire women’s event

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The Onna Bike ride this Sunday will have 200 people mainly Asian women and girls cycling from Lister Park to Saltaire. The pic above was from a recent trip abroad cycling 600km with the Bradford Cycle Club

The Onna Bike ride this Sunday 30th April will have 200 people mainly Asian women and girls cycling from Lister Park to Saltaire. The pic above is Mumtaz's recent trip abroad cycling 600km with the Bradford Cycle Club.

 

She’s “Onna” biking mission

An inspiring woman has been drumming up interest from across the region to get Asian women involved in biking.

Mumtaz Khan from "Onna Bike" cycling club has been busy organising a community ride on closed roads as part of the Tour de Yorkshire Stage Three event on Sunday 30th April.

The ride will go about 2.5miles from Lister Park to Roberts Park in Saltaire and will feature 200 riders- mainly women.

With Asian women usually ones to shy away from bicycling, Mumatz tells that she only learnt how to ride a bike following the Grand Depart 2014 - Tour de France.

Mumtaz, a Level 4 Black Belt Ju-Jitsu coach booked herself onto some beginners training and, with the support of a female cycle instructor, she was soon cycling regularly. In fact, Mumtaz was learning so much about safe cycling practice that she started to pass on tips and advice to friends.

Now Mumtaz is a qualified cycling instructor and is committed encouraging more Asian women to take up cycling. Through her club she’s organising for over 200 women to make a statement by embracing Tour de Yorkshire.

“We’ve almost hit our target of 200 female riders to take part in Sunday’s event, and we’ve got room for just a few more,” says Mumtaz.

“The ride includes novices and is family orientated - no one has been turned away.

"This is a great chance to get everyone together in Bradford’s broad cycling community so I hope you will join us on the day, in whichever capacity you decide!”

If you’ve got your own bike, helmet and lots of energy get in touch with Mumtaz on mumtazbkhan@hotmail.com

50 miles for 50 years: University of Bradford’s Cycle Sportive

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HOTSPOT: Yorkshire has become a hub for cycling ever since the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France took place in the county

HOTSPOT: Yorkshire has become a hub for cycling ever since the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France took place in the county

The University of Bradford has launched its Cycle Sportive - 50 miles for 50 years.

The cycle ride has been organised to raise funds for the 50th Anniversary Scholarship Appeal at the University of Bradford, and is being run in partnership with Cycling 4 All and British Cycling.

Participants can choose from two routes. The first is a 50-mile, challenging entry level Sportive suitable for keen cyclists and those who have completed some training to prepare for the challenge.

This route includes parts of the 2014 Tour de France and the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire routes.

The alternative route is an easier 50 kilometre challenge with fewer hills, suitable for all cycling enthusiasts who have completed some basic training in preparation for the challenge.

Adam Tasker, project coordinator for Choices 4 All at the Students' Union who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to higher education and access to sport said: “I am delighted to be organising Bradford’s first event Cycle Sportive. Bradford is ideally located. The two Sportive routes encompass some of the most scenic urban and rural locations in the area. Bradford has a tremendous cycling heritage. This event will build on that heritage and provide an exciting challenge for cyclists of all abilities.

“I hope cycling clubs, staff and students, our alumni and friends of the University will support this Sportive which is part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations.”

The Sportive is a one-day cycling event which will take place on Sunday 25th September departing outside the Richmond Building on the main University campus.

The 50 mile route will start and finish at the University of Bradford’s City Campus.

The Sportive will start between 7.30am and 8am and is expected to take between five and seven hours to complete.

To register and take part, visit http://www.bradford.ac.uk/giving-to-bradford/make-a-difference/cycle-sportive/

Run, walk or cycle for your 2016 charity challenge

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FUNDRAISERS: The Halifax to Bradford runners are hoping to raise more than £10,000 this year

FUNDRAISERS: The Halifax to Bradford runners are hoping to raise more than £10,000 this year

Places still available for Halifax to Bradford fundraiser

In 2014, they raised £2,000, in 2015 it was £7,000, and now, with just weeks to go until the 2016 Halifax to Bradford charity run,  the organising team are hoping to break all records and smash their five-figure target.

Open to all ages and abilities, the Islamic Relief-backed run challenges fundraisers to pound the pavement in the name of charity, running, jogging or walking the near 10km distance.

Set up two years ago by 32-year-old Khalifa Mughal, from Halifax, the run initially raised funds solely for Islamic Relief.

This year, funds will be shared between that cause and the British Red Cross with all funds going towards projects helping children around the world.

Khalifa said: “The run this year is a childrens appeal. Basically this year we will be helping the children all across the board, from Syria Palestine and the refugee camps to here in the UK.

“Children know nothing of the ugliness life can have. They know nothing of politics and so forth, and there are a lot of them out there who need help and we just want to do what we can.

The run takes place on Sunday 28th February with runners setting off from Halifax town centre en route to Centenary Square, in Bradford.

Children as young as seven-years-old through to 70 will be taking part in the race with Khalifa’s grandad once again signed up for the hilly challenge.

“It will be the third year my grandad will have done the run which is really good going,” Khalifa added. “He’s told me he won’t be using his bus pass this year so that will be good.”

The event has grown in popularity every year since its conception and has such become an annual event on the Islamic Relief fundraising calendar.

With the aim of smashing their previous fundraising goals, Khalifa said he was hoping to help as many children as possible.

“The more we make the merrier, but it’s not all about hitting targets for me,” he said. “It’s all about making a conscious effort and doing as much as we can to help.

“As long as we raise money to help the children who need it most, I will be happy.”

If you would like to take part in the Halifax to Bradford run later this month, please contact Khalifa directly on 07772 502543 or visit www.fundraise.islamic-relief.org.uk/event/HalifaxtoBradford

Runners are asked to attempt to raise £150 in sponsorship with all who sign up in advance receiving a free personalised hoodie and medal at the finish line.

Sky Ride Bradford: 4,000 people turnout for city centre cycle

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ON YOUR MARKS: Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, sets off on the 5km route alongside Naz Ali

ON YOUR MARKS: Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, sets off on the 5km route alongside Naz Ali

Thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities lined up alongside an Olympic Gold medallist in Bradford last weekend as two wheels proved better than four throughout the city’s streets.

British cycling legend, Jason Queally, was on hand to lead this year’s Sky Ride Bradford event, which once again resulted in the city turning yellow as families and friends cycled through traffic-free routes in their signature high-visibility vests.

The five kilometre route passed through some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including Little Germany and Bradford Cathedral, whilst a host of free activities and entertainment was available for people to join in.

BUSY: Over 4,000 people took to the streets of Bradford last weekend for the annual Sky Ride event

BUSY: Over 4,000 people took to the streets of Bradford last weekend for the annual Sky Ride event

Queally also took part in a Q&A session at The Hub in City Park after taking on a Halfords mechanic for the tyre pump challenge.

Tom Mutton, British Cycling Recreation Manager for Bradford said: “Once again, we’ve seen Bradford struck by the cycling bug.

“It’s been great to see so many people get together with their family and friends and take to the city’s streets on their bikes.

“The atmosphere has been electric and I hope that it will have inspired people to get out cycling more often.”

CHALLENGE: British Gold medallist, Jason Queally, competes in a tyre pump challenge

CHALLENGE: British Gold medallist, Jason Queally, competes in a tyre pump challenge

Elsewhere on the day, the ‘Tricks and Tunes’ area at the back of Bridge Street, proved extremely popular as youngsters got a taste of skills training and cycle racing with British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme.

Others meanwhile took their cycling to the extreme on the ever-popular air bag jump.

In total, 4,000 cyclists turned out to the annual event on Saturday 19th September, with the event set to return once again next year.

In the meantime, there are lots of Sky Ride Local and Breeze women-only guided rides planned for locals to take part in, as well as plenty of opportunities to ride together and discover more with Ride Social too – all of which is completely free.

The next and final Sky Ride big bike event is in Coventry on 27th September.

CYCLE: Families from across the local area headed down to the city centre to join in the Sky Ride event

CYCLE: Families from across the local area headed down to the city centre to join in the Sky Ride event

Ride4Peace

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With just days left until the Tour de France arrives in the UK, 25 cyclists from across the country have completed a gruelling ride from Glasgow to London in a 600-mile trip to raise money for charity and promote peace.

The event, which started earlier this month, had been named ‘Ride4Peace’ by its organisers – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC).

TEAM: Cyclists took to the road earlier this month as they aimed to raise £100,000 for British-based charities by cycling from the top to the bottom of the United Kingdom

TEAM: Cyclists took to the road earlier this month as they aimed to raise £100,000 for British-based charities by cycling from the top to the bottom of the United Kingdom

Cyclists took on the challenge with the ambition of raising £100,000 for British-based charities, the British Heart Foundation and Humanity First.

Tackling the winding Ride4Peace route participants got to tour the British countryside, stopping at 13 Mosques in Glasgow, Newcastle, Hartlepool, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, Feltham, and finally London.

Faith and civic leaders, sports enthusiasts and members of the public were all on hand to greet and motivate the team at each checkpoint and cheer the cyclists along.

The Ride4Peace is just one of several events which the AMC has organised over the past month to commemorate 100 years since its establishment in the UK. The £100,000 being collected will take the total amount raised to close to half a million pounds over May.

CYCLE: Almost half million pounds has been raised by the AMC since March, to celebrate the group’s 100-year anniversary

CYCLE: Almost half million pounds has been raised by the AMC since March, to celebrate the group’s 100-year anniversary

In addition to stopping at 13 Mosques and a number of BHF shops, the Ride4Peace cyclists stopped to pay their respect at Bailiff Bridge Memorial Park, a First World War memorial originally built in 1921 and recently restored in 2007, and also at the Commonwealth War Graveyard in Ripon.

Explaining why the cyclists chose to stop at the memorial sites, Ali Khan, a member of Team Ride4Peace said: “Like myself, many of the cyclists are of South Asian descent and our grandparents and great grandparents played a big role during both world wars.

“About 74,000 members of the Indian army offered the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the British Empire in the First World War and more than 1.5million people from across the Commonwealth forces in both World Wars.

“It was the collective sacrifice of all those who served that helped to provide us with many of the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy today. Their memory is something to be cherished and celebrated.”

Adding why it was so important to welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds to the mosques during the cycle, Ali added: “We hope that opening up our Mosques across the country to anyone and everyone will demonstrate that they are beacons of peace within local communities and not places to be suspicious of.”
More information about the Ride4Peace can be found at: www.ride4peace.org.

It’s a record!

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It has been another year to remember for British sport, with records being broke in every direction by individuals and teams in 2013.

Andy Murray made history as he became the first Brit to clinch the illusive Wimbledon title for more than 70 years, whilst the unstoppable Chris Froome bagged the Tour de France title just 12 months after fellow Brit, Sir Bradley Wiggins, completed an identical feat.

Yet it isn’t only on the main stage where sport is blossoming in the country with latest figures, released by Sport England via the Active People Survey (APS), highlighting a rise in participation across the whole country.

In Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in particular, record figures have been registered with 2.7million people from the demographic, aged 16 or over, playing sport at least once a week.

PROMOTER: Naz Ali is delighted with the figures which rank cycling as the number one participation sport in the UK, overtaking football for top spot

PROMOTER: Naz Ali is delighted with the figures which rank cycling as the number one participation sport in the UK, overtaking football for top spot

The figure is a huge rise of 570,200 since the first recordings were taken in October 2006, and 45,000 higher than April 2013, making it the highest number ever recorded by the APS.

Naz Ali, cycle enthusiast and Bradford Council Youth service worker, has seen an ‘amazing increase’ in people taking up his sport of choice and welcomes the latest figures.

“It is obviously great to see so many people from minority backgrounds getting involved as sport really is inclusive to everybody,” he said.

“I work a lot with people from minority backgrounds, be that race, or gender, and the increase we have seen is just as amazing as that of the latest figures published.”

The latest APS figures have also taken into account members of the BME community aged 14-16, a previously unaccounted for age group, meaning in total 2.84million people aged 14 and over take part in sport for at least an hour a week.

Naz Ali, who is based at Toller Youth Café, and works both in his own time and as part of his job to promote cycling amongst young people and local communities added his excitement about the chance to build on these figures.

“The statistics are brilliant for everybody but especially for cycling,” he said. “The sport is now recognised as the most participated in the whole country, overtaking football, and is something that could not have been dreamt of just five years ago.

“In our cycling courses, we have had a large rise in attendees with more than 90 bikes now in our hub for people, who can’t necessarily afford their own bike, to come and have a ride.

“Next year will be another great year for sport, with the Tour [de France] coming to the country, and we are expecting the rise in numbers to just keep going.”