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York's Universities Get People on Their Bikes for British Heart Foundation


3:21pm 23rd May 2014

York St John University has joined forces with York University and the British Heart Foundation to help York residents and staff and students get fit in time to take part in this year’s Heart of York bike ride which takes place on Sunday 7 September.

The Prepare to Ride project (P2R) is designed to help those who have not previously ridden in a cycle event or those who are entering with stable heart disease. It has been developed by Professor Andy Smith from York St John University and Professor Patrick Doherty from the University of York.

Professor Smith said: “The Heart of York ride has been a tremendous success and while the long course attracts high numbers of accomplished cyclists, it is noticeable that many of those riding the shorter route are new to cycling and some are people with stable heart disease.

“We want to get more people involved in sport and we are delighted to fund this project to encourage more York residents and our staff and students to get on their bikes and ride their way to feeling great.

“And 2014, with York’s role in the Tour de France, is the perfect year to be inspired to take to two wheels!”

York St John will host a P2R open day on Bank Holiday Monday (26 May) between 11.00am and 3.30pm for potential riders to drop in for a free 45-minute advice session. People will have the opportunity to discuss their exercise history, fitness goals and concerns with the team. If they wish, they can take part in a simple exercise session and cycle simulation that will help them decide if they would like to take part in the September event.

Following the open day, people will be invited to take part in the P2R project, a summer-long activity programme that will offer first time riders and those with stable heart conditions free gym membership. They will also have the opportunity to learn bike maintenance skills.

Phil McMahon, British Heart Foundation York Committee Vice Chairman said: “The Heart of York is such a unique ride, we do raise a significant amount of money but of equal importance is our desire to engage more people in physical activity. This programme provides us with an opportunity to help those that will benefit the most from increasing their activity levels and re-gaining their confidence.”

The Heart of York bike ride will be on Sunday 7 September. There are two circular routes to choose from, one is 22 miles long and the other is 40 miles, both start in York. More information is available here: www.yorksj.ac.uk/preparetoride

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