People across Swindon are being invited to gear up for a summer of cycling, after a packed programme of two wheeled activities, events, and rides got underway on 1 June.
With a partnership between the voluntary sector and Swindon Borough Council, there are events for everyone of all ages and abilities.
The Swindon cycle challenge kicks off the festivities, where everyone can log the miles they cycle on a website to be in with a chance of winning fabulous prizes, from cinema vouchers to a yellow jersey.
The challenge runs right through to 21 July, and it’s designed to reward people for getting in the saddle, regardless of whether they pedal two miles or two hundred.
Many of the cycle clubs in Swindon are offering "try out" sessions during the summer of cycling, so whether you fancy trying mountain biking, road racing or time trialling, this is your opportunity.
There are free bike safety checks at the beginning of June to make sure your bicycle is in safe condition to take part in the activities, as well as some free commuter breakfasts in town. Cycle trains will also run from North and West Swindon to show people the cycle routes into town.
On Friday 14 June 2013 Justin Tomlinson MP will be joining the cycle train and pedalling from North Swindon into the town centre, where he will enjoy a free breakfast.
The cycle train will be leaving the fountains at Asda Walmart at 7.30am. Breakfast will be on the Western Flyer cycle path near the Sheppard Street car park in town, approx 8.15am.
A “big bike week roadshow” takes place in Wharf Green on 15 June to bring together messages of cycle safety, fun and fitness.
There are also family treasure hunts, ladies only rides, a cycling themed pub quiz, a new programme of short "discovery rides" and free "bite size" bike mechanic courses.
The summer of cycling continues into July to celebrate Le Tour de France with our own “Tours de Swindon”.
Swindon Travel Choices, which is part of Swindon Borough Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund project, has worked with volunteers from the Swindon Bike User Group (BUG) as well as Sustrans and many local bike clubs to compile the packed programme.
"There’s never been a better time to cycle in Swindon," says Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for Highways, Strategic Transport and Leisure. "With over 100km of safe traffic free paths and plenty of opportunities to get you started and keep you motivated. The voluntary groups in Swindon have worked incredibly hard with the council and private sector to put on a varied programme of free rides, activities and events. The really is something for everyone."
The full programme of activities can be downloaded from www.swindontravelchoices.org.uk or is available to pick up from all Swindon’s cycle shops and libraries.