The first official Sky Ride Local bike ride got underway from Cartmel Racecourse, with intrepid TV star Helen among those who enjoyed a 13 mile loop along quiet trails and country lanes which took in the vibrant historic village of Cartmel and stunning views of the South Lakeland fells.
The event was just the first in a series of 30 free guided group bike rides led by British Cycling trained Ride Leaders planned for the Lake District this summer. Perfect for all ages, from beginners to experienced cyclists, the Sky Ride Local rides are aimed at encouraging people out of their cars and enabling them to experience this stunning landscape in a healthier, greener way.
It is the first time Sky Ride Local has come to a National Park, and the GoLakes Travel programme* has teamed up with British Cycling to bring the initiative to the region.
Between now and the end of September, Sky Ride Local rides will also take place around scenic spots such as Hawkshead, Coniston Bowness, Elterwater and Ambleside. Starting points for the routes will also make the most of traffic-free cycle routes being enhanced through the GoLakes Travel programme, with many getting underway close to bike hire points.
For some routes, there is even the option of hiring an electric bike.
Helen Skelton says, “I’m delighted to be one of the first to experience this new cycling initiative in what is probably one of the most perfect locations in the country to cycle. I love to leave the car at home and get out on my bike. Cycling is such an important sport for all ages to get involved in and this ride will bring cycling fans together from all different backgrounds and abilities to enjoy riding in such a stunning landscape”.
Claire Maclaine, GoLakes Travel Programme Manager says, “Sky Ride Local rides are a really exciting, way for people of all ages and abilities to explore experience and enjoy cycling in a unique natural setting. Go Lakes Travel is proud to be part of a fantastic year for cycling in Cumbria, with the county hosting the longest leg of the Tour of Britain in September. As part of this, we want to show that cycling is for everyone and what’s great about Sky Ride Local is that it’s free, accessible and genuinely aimed at building people’s confidence whether they’re a regular cyclist or not”.
To see the full list of Sky Ride Local rides in the Lake District, or to book a free place, visit: www.goskyride.com/lakes or www.golakestravel.co.uk/bybike
*The GoLakes Travel programme is a £6.9 million initiative being delivered in partnership by Cumbria County Council, the Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria Tourism to influence people to make fewer car journeys while visiting the Lake District. It aims to reduce the area’s CO2 emissions by to 11,000 tonnes by 2015.
For more information on sustainable travel options in the Lake District visit www.golakestravel.co.uk