Chief Execs launch festive Charity Ride for Lord Mayors’ Appeals

Kersten England, Chief Executive, Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council yesterday launched the CityConnect Charity Reindeer Ride along the Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway, which will raise money for the Lord Mayor’s appeals for both cities.


They will be joined by 60 outriders, including invited guests, in a charity Reindeer Ride, creating a magical procession along the Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway.

Local artists Nicola Murray, from Sponge Tree and Tim Curtis, from Proper Cycling have collaborated to create bespoke and wonderfully life-like Reindeer heads, which will lead a festive procession of 60 riders, including adaptive bikes along the Cycle Superhighway. The riders will be encouraged dress up and decorate their bikes with lights and tinsel, to create a luminous, festive parade along the Cycle Superhighway.

Sports stars, former New Zealand Rugby League International Robbie Paul and former England cricketer Ryan Sidebottom will participate in the procession, with support from Bradford Bulls and Yorkshire Cricket Club. They will be joined by invited members of the cycling community, as well as other invited guests, even Santa and his elf will be coming along for the ride.

Riders will meet in Leeds City Centre at 2.30pm on 21 December 2017. At 3.30pm there will be a Festive Grand Depart waved off by Leeds’ Lord Mayor, Cllr Jane Dowson. The ride will proceed along the Cycle Superhighway (CS1) and will be greeted with a civic reception on arrival in City Park, by Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Abid Hussain

The ride will raise funds for the both Lord Mayor’s Appeals in their respective cities. In Bradford, the ride will raise money for Down Syndrome Training & Support and the Wishing Well Appeal. In Leeds, funds raised will go to support Candlelighters, the children’s cancer charity. Donations can be made to:

Kersten England, Chief Executive, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said:

“This event is a cracking way to celebrate the festive season, promote the award winning cycle superhighway that connects our great cities and raise funds for the charities of our Lord Mayors. It's also the first time I've managed to get my good friend and colleague Tom Riordan on a bike which is a result in itself!”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council, said:

“This is a great way to kick off the festive season and an opportunity to help some really deserving local charities. It’s fantastic that we have so many of our local sporting legends supporting the event and it’s great to be back on a bike again. Kersten is a much more accomplished cyclist than me so I’m lobbying for a head start!”

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Jane Dowson, said:

“We are very excited that the CityConnect Charity Reindeer Ride will be raising money for my chosen charity Candlelighters which provides invaluable support across Yorkshire to children with cancer and their families, and also for the Lord Mayor of Bradford’s charity appeal.

This is a fantastic gesture, and a big thank you to Tom and Kersten, sport stars Ryan and Robbie and all the riders who have agreed to take part in the procession and help raise money for two brilliant causes.”

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Abid Hussain, said:

“I look forward to welcoming the reindeer riders in to Bradford at the end of their ride from Leeds. This is a wonderful event bringing together people from our two great cities and I am delighted that they’ve decided to raise money for our Lord Mayors’ Appeal charities. I’m sure those taking part will have a great time.”

For more information on the respective charities for Lord Mayor’s Appeals, visit;



January Update

The ride was a great success, the charities were very happy with the funds raised and everyone had a great time!

Here's how it went..