My Journey to be official event partner of Cycle Southampton Sporterium

My Journey has been named the official event partner for next year’s Cycle Southampton Sporterium. The announcement was made at a special event to celebrate this year’s Cycle September challenge.

This is the second year that Southampton has taken part in Cycle September, which is run by My Journey in partnership with cycling app Love to Ride. The challenge invites individuals and workplaces to see how many points they can earn for cycling and encouraging others throughout the month. This year saw 101 organisations and 1,343 participants - including 156 new riders - take part locally. Collaboratively they achieved 153,840 miles over 18,037 trips, saving a total of 51,207 lbs CO2.

This success was recognised at a Cycle September Celebration Event at The Spark, Solent University on Wednesday 30 October, which was attended by the highest scoring workplaces in the local area. Representatives from each organisation received prizes from Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Peartree Ward, before hearing about the next big date in Southampton’s cycling calendar: the Cycle Southampton Sporterium.

The event will be the first of its kind in the city and is being delivered by ReesLeisure, the team behind the popular ABP Southampton Marathon, Winchester Half Marathon, Southampton Sailing Week, TryTri Events and Wessex Swim School. The Sporterium will include a long-distance ride – or sportive – starting from the city centre and taking riders on a loop (of either 100km or 60km) of the surrounding Hampshire countryside. Cyclists will also be invited to take part in a timed race - or criterium – which will challenge participants to complete as many laps as possible on a fast-paced 1 mile circuit around Southampton’s parks. The criterium will commence with non-competitive racing in the morning, followed by corporate and unrated cyclists and finally culminating in British Cycling Championship cycling in the evening. The event will also provide a range of fun cycling activities for families to enjoy throughout the day.

The news comes as Southampton City Council continues to make progress across its Southampton Cycle Network – the cornerstone of a ten year strategy to transform cycling in the city. Since announcing the strategy in 2017, the council has already delivered significant improvements across the network including the recent launch of the SCN1 western cycle freeway from Totton to Southampton city centre and the introduction of new, ‘Copenhagen style’ cycle lanes on the Inner Avenue.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place and Transport, says:

“Promoting cycling is a key part of our vision for a cleaner, greener city. We are therefore committed to growing the cycling culture in Southampton and already provide a varied and well-established programme of activities and events to support this. The Sporterium will be an exciting addition to this, engaging people in cycling and – unlike anything we have done before – showcasing cycling on a professional level as part of a competitive sporting event. This will prove a huge attraction for thousands of spectators, who will be able to enjoy an exciting display of high-level cycling alongside a range of family friendly activities. We look forward to the Sporterium becoming a popular fixture in our growing calendar of events, further boosting the local economy whilst encouraging more people to cycle - whether for utility, leisure or sport.”

Nikki Rees, Managing Director of ReesLeisure, added:

"We are really excited for the inaugural Cycle Southampton Sporterium on 20 June 2020. The My Journey team at Southampton City Council has delivered so much great work in the last few years to help make Southampton cycle friendly and we cannot wait to celebrate that with the first Cycle Southampton event next year. The day is going to be a fantastic spectacle which will get lots of people out on their bikes and taking part in activities for all the family in the 'Spin City'. We want to say a huge thank you to My Journey for their support in making Cycle Southampton happen in 2020!"