SLIDESHOW: Young, old – and the one wheelers!

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THOUSANDS of cyclists took to Blackpool Promenade last night to Light the way for the millions of visitors set to enjoy this year’s Illuminations.

The annual Ride the Lights event sees motorists banned from the Promenade to give cyclists the chance to preview the Illuminations.

Cyclists ride through the Illuminations and (below) one rider does it all on one wheel at last night's event.

Cyclists ride through the Illuminations and (below) one rider does it all on one wheel at last night's event.

This year’s curtain-raiser proved one of the most popular ever as the Lights prepares to celebrate their centenary.

Many riders had adorned their bikes in their own illuminations - including a dazzling mini-Tower on the back of one cycle.

Families, pensioners and groups of friends were among those taking part.

Sisters Karen Pearce, from Bispham, and Beverley Brooks, from North Shore, welcomed the chance to cycle while the Prom was closed to traffic.

One rider does it all on one wheel at last night's event.

One rider does it all on one wheel at last night's event.

Karen said: “It’s great to enjoy cycling and see the Illuminations at the same time.

“We’ll be back here on Saturday because we are also doing the Illumathon.”

Lilly Hook, six, from Thornton, was with her dad James and mum Natalie, and was determined to complete the full route.

She said: “This is the first time I have done it and the best thing is seeing the Lights. We’re going to have fish and chips when we get to the end.”

Riders had travelled from all over the country to take part.

Paul Osborne, 61, from Cambridge, was using one of the resort’s popular hire bikes.

He said: “I’ve come to Blackpool just for this event and it’s brilliant.

“And I thought, rather than put a bike in the car I would hire one. It’s better than the Boris bikes I’ve used in London.”

PICK UP A COPY OF WEDNESDAY’S GAZETTE FOR OUR PICTURE SPREAD OF THE RIDE THE LIGHTS EVENT.

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