Category Archives: Bike Bus

New cycling initiative launched in the Lake District

TV presenter Helen Skelton, of Blue Peter fame, has become one of the first people to experience an innovative new cycling initiative in the the Lake District.

Skyride cycling initiative
The initiative aims to encourage people to experience the Lake District in a healthier, greener way

The event was 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.

Aimed at all age groups and experience levels, the Sky Ride Local rides encourage people to experience the Lake District 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 said: “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 added: “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

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Tour of Britain 2013: Organisers reveal Stage Two Lake District route

HONISTER Pass was today chosen as the iconic setting to unveil the Tour of Britain’s first visit to the heart of the Lake District.

Organisers gathered on the 356m-high route to reveal the path which 100 of the world’s top cyclists will tackle during stage two of the race.

The pass, which features gradients of up to 25 per cent, will provide competitors with their sternest test yet as they head from Carlisle to Kendal on Monday, September 16.

Setting off from the city centre at 11am, racers will snake down the county via Wigton, followed by a Yodel Sprint starting from outside St Kentigerns Church in Aspatria.

Moving next onto Cockermouth, another Yodel Sprint will follow at Dearham, near Maryport, before a third starting outside Whitehaven School.

They will then take on SKODA King of the Mountains climbs at Mockerkin, near Cockermouth, and Chestnut Hill, Keswick, in what is billed as one of the toughest stages of the entire 2013 tour.

After passing through Grasmere, Ambleside, Windermere and Crook, riders on the 186.6km route will have to summon the strength to climb Beast Banks, Kendal, which featured in the 2007 race.

Competitors face more than 3,000 metres of climbing during the stage with the first racers expected to cross the line at around 3.13pm.

North West professionals Matt Cronshaw, of Team IG Sigma Sport, and British Hill Climb Champion Jack Pullar, of Madison Genesis, joined Tour of Britain organisers and officials from across Cumbria to reveal details of the route.

The tour is returning to Cumbria after last year’s stage start in Carlisle, which attracted thousands of spectators.

It is estimated the event will generate up to £4 million for Cumbria’s economy.

David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “The Cumbrian stage will be a high point – in all senses – of this year’s tour.

“The excitement is building and Cumbrian schools and communities are already showing a great deal of interest.

“As the event gathers momentum, the benefits for the economy, the environment and people’s health all snowball as people show an interest in cycling.”

Lake District National Park Authority chief executive Richard Leafe said: “Hosting the most challenging mountain stage of the Tour of Britain in one of the UK’s most dramatic landscapes will provide a fantastic opportunity to position the Lake District as an exciting and awe inspiring place.

“It is also an excellent opportunity to encourage more people to take up cycling as a greener form of transport, whether they are a visitor or local, while enjoying the beauty and splendour that the Lake District National Park has to offer.”

And Richard Greenwood, Cumbria Tourism’s head of policy and research, added: “Hosting a full leg of the Tour Of Britain in Cumbria provides us with an excellent opportunity to showcase our beautiful county – the UK’s Adventure Capital – both within the UK and internationally.

“As a cycling destination Cumbria has so much to offer, with country lanes, quiet back roads and lots of National Cycle Network routes to explore, as well as more challenging off road routes over high fells and mountains.

“To have international cycling stars in our county for a full stage is a massive coup and will benefit the area in so many ways as well as showing the world what a beautiful place Cumbria is to explore on two wheels.”

Stage Two of the race is being organised in partnership with the Lake District National Park Authority, Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria Tourism.

The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and largest free-to-watch sporting event, starts in Peebles in the Scottish Borders on September 15.

Attracting Olympic, World Champion and Tour de France stage winners, it runs until September 22.