Cycling challenge brings the bike back to Brum

By on 25/09/2013 in Cllr McKay, News

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Birmingham's own 'cycling champion' Cllr James McKay is calling on families to welcome back scores of cyclists when the 7-in-Seven Big Bike Challenge reaches its exciting climax with a festival on Sunday 29th September.

Up to 200 people will ride into Centenary Square, where Birmingham City Council is staging a 'bringing the bike back to our city' festival in Centenary Square to celebrate their arrival.

A core of 30 riders, including famous fundraiser Blind Dave Heeley, will on Sunday complete their gruelling 700-mile journey through seven countries in seven days and be greeted by a “warm Brummie welcome”.

They will be joined by media personalities such as former Aston Villa player Steve Staunton, retired Baggies footballers Cyrille Regis and Brendan Batson, as well as news presenter Joanne Malin in completing the final 30-mile leg from the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Scores more cyclists have signed up to join them for the ride.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City at Birmingham City Council, said: “After decades of being known as a motor city, Birmingham is finally starting to realise its cycling potential through a variety of initiatives and schemes. I am thrilled that the organisers of the 7-in-Seven Bike Challenge have chosen the city to stage the grand arrival of the event, giving us a platform to showcase our cycling ambitions.

“Even more pleasing is that two charities with local links will benefit from the efforts of the fundraisers taking part. Cure Leukaemia and Help Harry Help Others both do a great deal of good in the city, and deserve as much support as possible.

“As Birmingham City Council's cycling champion, I offer my full support to everyone taking part, and hope that the route isn't too gruelling. For those with tired legs on the final stage, I hope the promise of a warm Brummie welcome inspires them to reach the finishing line.”

The aim of the Big Bike Challenge is to get West Midlands people back on their bikes by encouraging locals to collectively ride 77,777 miles, the equivalent of three times around the world, through a series of initiatives set up as part of 7-in-Seven. Participants have been recording their miles on the website -

Tim Andrews, event organiser and managing director of Hollywood Monster, said: “The people of Birmingham have really come together to make the Big Bike Challenge a success. We are really looking forward to arriving back into the city and hopefully being welcomed by everyone who supports our initiative and the charity we are fundraising for. There will be plenty of family activities going on throughout the course of the day so please come down, join in the fun and cheer on our dedicated cyclists.”

The festival will involve music and entertainment from Free Radio, mascots, bike-based activities and advice about cycling. The free event will run from 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday 29th September.

The ambitious initiative - which follows in the tyre tracks of Tour de France and Olympics cycling success for British cycling stars – is the brainchild of Tim Andrews, managing director of signs and graphics specialists Hollywood Monster, Gus Lunt, business manager at GlaxoSmithKline, and well known broadcaster Phil Upton, of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

Supporters include Hollywood Monster, South and City College, Westfield, Eze Group, Chiltern Railways, The Bottom Line, Birmingham City Council, Kukri, Pertemps, USN, Barques PR, The NEC Group, The Cube, the Ricoh Arena, Nicolites and football clubs Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City. For more information visit and


For more information please contact Paul Skipp, director of Barques PR, on 0121 233 2080, or 07957 457911, or email

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