BritishCycling.org.uk used to have banner ads from third-party trade advertisers; it now has none, except for banners from Sky TV.
Sky TV also gets first dibs on event naming: the third running of the London Freewheel traffic-free ride through central London, launch sponsored by Hovis but picked up by Sky last year, will now be known as the Mayor of London Skyride. It will be staged on 20th September.
In August, there will also be Skyrides in Manchester, Glasgow, and Leicester.
The new-look BritishCycling.org.uk says Skyrides will be a "day for the whole family; [giving] you the chance to meet the British Elite Team, experience the live entertainment, take part in challenges and tricks and – fingers crossed – soak up the sunshine!"
The new website also has forums and lots of recreational cycling information, blurring the line between what used done by CTC and British Cycling.
British Cycling’s EverydayCycling.com – the organisation’s previous inititative to become the natural home of recreational cycling, a sore point with CTC – has now been mothballed and points, instead, to the new-look BritishCycling.org.uk.
The new site is not going down well with some roadies. On Twitter, Adrian Trenholm said:
"British Cycling’s event calendar still too clunky. Doesn’t work with browsers tabs; no integration with gcal / ical."
However, Alex Murray likes the revamp: "It’s an improvement on the old one by a mile or two."
For users who want more racing news and less recreational info – or vice versa – there’s a raft of iGoogle-style ‘module change’ options:
British Cycling says: "The new site has been designed to allow users to customize content and layout the homepage to suit their personal needs. On entering the site default content is displayed. You can add more content to the homepage by clicking the ‘Add more content button’ below the header. A drop down box will appear allowing you to select the content of interest to you."
The Skyrides build on Sky’s partnership with British Cycling, announced last summer, and follows the creation of a new professional road-cycling team which aims to take on the world in the Tour de France.
Jeremy Darroch, CEO of Sky, says: "We want to get as many people as possible to pick up their bikes again this summer; for fun, for fitness, with friends or with family. This is just the start of our five year campaign to get a million more people cycling by 2013."
Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling says:
"Our partnership with Sky is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform cycling in this country. Through Sky’s nationwide campaign of organised rides this summer, our community and school programmes, and through building on last year’s activity, we have the chance to make a real difference to people’s lives."
To help spread the message on how cycling can be simple, safe and fun; Sky will promote a range of cycling ambassadors, including supermodel Elle Macpherson and Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton.
Elle Macpherson says: "Not only is cycling fantastic for staying fit and healthy but it’s a great way to spend time with your friends and family. I cycle as much as I can, whether I’m in the centre of London or getting away from the city."