Starley Sportive backed by Mayor of the West Midlands

A Coventry and Warwickshire charity sportive is set to give a boost to a regional cycling network with which it shares the same name.

The Starley Sportive, which will be held on Sunday, September 19, has been backed by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street – the man behind the Starley Network, a 500-mile cycling network for the region.

Andy Street joined representatives from organisers the Deeley Group and Coventry Road Club ahead of this year’s event.

Both the sportive and the cycling network are named in honour of the Starley family.

James Starley is known as the father of the bicycle industry, while John Kemp Starley widely considered the inventor of the modern bicycle. Both worked and lived in Coventry.

Organisers of the Starley Sportive are committed to encouraging more people to get on their bikes and take advantage of the Starley Network, which has seen cycle routes and cycle lanes pop up across the West Midlands.

They are also hoping to have a rider take on the route on a West Midlands Cycle Hire bicycle on September 19.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We launched the Starley Network in August 2020 and cycling has a vital role in the future of our transport plans not only in Coventry but across the West Midlands.

“Alongside the creation of nearly 500 miles worth of routes, our ambitious cycling plans rest on encouraging more people to get out on two wheels and experience our region.

“Charity cycling events, such as the Starley Sportive here in Coventry, are essential to drive more people to embrace the cycling revolution.”

The Starley Sportive will set off from Deeley Group head office on Herald Avenue and riders will be raising money for The Myton Hospices, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity.

John Eburne, president of Coventry Road Club, said: “Cycling is fantastic for physical and mental wellbeing and we applaud Andy Street’s impact in making it easier for people across our city to take up cycling.

“While our event is focused on raising funds for our chosen charities, we do also place great importance on encouraging more people into the sport as part of our Coventry Road Club activities.”

Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of the Deeley Group, added: “As a company we are committed to promoting healthier lifestyles for our staff and within the communities in which we work.

“We would like to thank Andy Street for coming down to learn more about the event and we look forward to continuing to work with him and Coventry Road Club to shout about the benefits of cycling across the region.”

To find out more about the Starley Sportive visit www.starleysportive.co.uk/

PICTURE CAPTION: John Eburne, Eleanor Deeley and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street.