6 May 2014 11:45

Olympic gold medallist and Lancaster University alumnus Jason Queally was back on home territory on Saturday morning to launch a community bike ride.

One of several specially organised events to coincide with the annual Roses battle between York and Lancaster universities, the three-level cycle ride was designed to attract local community participation.

Former Olympic track cyclist Jason spent time chatting with participants before riding out part-way with all three categories (18 miles, six miles and 1.8 miles) in the staggered start event. He then completed the 1.8 mile ride, which was led by Lancaster University students.

One participant, seven-year-old Madeline Meeks, from Lancaster, who took part in the six mile ride, was clearly delighted when Jason had a chat with her and dad James and mum Gayle.

Jason also met members of the Lancaster Youth Challenge, who are to complete a cycle marathon from the Tower of London to the Eiffel Tower.

Jason presented the group, which included representatives from the Dukes, the Lancaster YMCA and the Marsh Community Centre, with a piece of commemorative artwork to mark their efforts. The ride is part of The Make Project, a new cultural partnership with Lancaster University, which will be officially launched this summer.

Lancaster University Cycling Club were also on hand to support the challenge and the community bike ride, which attracted 150 local cyclists.

“It’s great to be back on campus again and it’s great to support a community event of this calibre,” said Jason, who hails from Caton and now lives in Chorley.

Organiser Kate Jackson, the Lancaster University Students’ Union Community Engagement Co-ordinator, said: “It was absolutely brilliant. For everyone who took part it was either leisure or family fun ride. We were really pleased to see so many people taking part and that we got so many local people onto campus which is what we set out to achieve. We would like to thank British Cycling and the CTC for all their support with this event.”

  • Jason later led a highly successful and interactive question and answer session at the Sports Centre. This heralded the start of the University’s 50th anniversary Public Lecture Series.