Cycling column with Becky Cox of Swindon Cycle Campaign.
With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, British Cycling volunteers like me are preparing to restart a programme of free, guided bike rides across Swindon.
From the spring, our local team of fully qualified ride leaders will be putting on rides especially aimed at those who bought a bike, or returned to cycling, over the past 12 months.
Many of the routes will be traffic-free, exploring the ever-growing network of cycle paths in Swindon. You really don’t need to travel far to see some beautiful local countryside by bike, and there will be plenty of confidence-boosting rides on quiet roads to enjoy.
We’re expecting to be able to lead rides from 29 March and, in eager anticipation, some rides are already available to book via www.letsride.co.uk. Initially participant numbers will be limited, but as we progress into summer it is hoped that capacity will increase.
Once again I’ll be leading some of the short social rides on local cycle paths, the first of which will be a ride around the Old Town area on Thursday 1 April at 10am. As always, this will be a family friendly ride, and therefore I’ll be joined by my very own ‘assistant ride leader’ (in his child seat).
The ride will start at the Croft Mountain Bike Trail, opposite the entrance to Nationwide - a fantastic local facility, built and maintained by local volunteers. The ride itself will be a 6-mile loop via Wichelstowe and the Old Town Railway path, and it is almost 100% traffic-free.
This route, along with a catalogue of risk-assessed local rides, is avaliable to check out yourself on the ‘Let’s Ride’ website.
It’s a great place to find rides to do with the family or if you’re just looking for a nice local loop to complete on your own.
Let’s Ride is supported by Swindon Borough Council and British Cycling as an initiative to help encourage more people to get out cycling.
If you fancy joining in on one of the rides, do keep an eye out on the Let’s Ride website, as more rides will be popping up near you soon: www.letsride.co.uk