07/04/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/04/2019 04:04
Pedal power was the order of the day when cyclists from South Tyneside's twin town of Wuppertal coasted in to the Borough to mark the 21st anniversary of a cycling friendship across Europe.
Cyclists from Wuppertal, Wuppertal's twin towns of Schwerin in Germany and Legnica in Poland, along with a group of South Tyneside cyclists who met on the German-Netherlands border, all arrived in South Shields which marks the end of the route.
The group was welcomed by the Mayor, Councillor Norman Dick, at the Friendship Oak Tree outside the Littlehaven Hotel which marks the start/finish of the Green Route.
It is 22 years since a group of cyclists from South Tyneside came up with the idea of riding to their twin town in Germany. That led to the formation of a similar group in Wuppertal the following year when their 'Grune Weg' (Green Route) was started.
The Mayor said: 'It is my privilege to welcome you at the end of your 225-mile journey.
'Since the Oak Tree of Friendship was planted in 1999 hundreds of cyclists have made the journey and it stands as a symbol of strong friendship and real twin town partnership.'
During their stay in the North East, the cyclists will take part in the South Tyneside Summer Festival parade on 6 July and will also visit the Angel of the North and other attractions in Gateshead, Newcastle and South Tyneside.
The Mayor added: 'On behalf of the people of the Borough, it was my pleasure to extend the hand of friendship to these cyclists.
'Cycling is a clean, healthy form of travelling but our cycling exchanges are so much more important in allowing us to play our part in sharing and promoting a deeper understanding of different cultures across Europe.'