If you've been inspired by the likes of Mark Cavendish and his fellow pro riders at yesterday's Tour of Britain event but not sure where to start, Worcestershire County Council has a range of information on its website to get you started and find a route to download for free.
www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cycling is packed full of useful information for anyone looking to hop on a bike and take advantage of the enjoyment and benefits of taking to two wheels. Getting on a bike isn't just for top athletes; there are lots of reasons to get cycling, from it being an economic, green mode of transport to a sociable, healthy activity.
Those logging on to www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cycling can find information on the health benefits of cycles; tips and advice on safety, including night cycling and bike maintenance; together with details of local cycling groups, clubs and shops. Also included are route maps for cycling around the county, which are available to print out or download, together with GPX files for satnavs.
The cycle routes in Worcestershire vary from 6 to 20 miles and cover a mixture of quiet lanes, bridleways, residential streets and parts of the national cycle network, including.
· Broadheath Hallow loop (6 or 14 miles)
· Northwick Ladywood loop (6.5 or 11.5 miles)
· Bredon and around the hill loop (18 miles)
· Worcester to Evesham via Pershore (20 miles)
E-maps are also available for a number of leisure routes including a Worcester City Circular Route (10 miles).
Cycling offers a great way to keep active and benefit from a healthy lifestyle as well as being a social way to enjoy the countryside.
Cllr John Smith OBE, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member for Health and wellbeing, said: "The Tour of Britain event is a great way for people to get excited about cycling and we hope more will discover the benefits of taking to two wheels. It's a great way to keep fit and healthy with friends and fellow riders. The routes on our website offer a range of rides for varying abilities making it a good activity for families as well as those looking for something more challenging."
Frances Howie, Director of Public Health added: "It's great to welcome professional teams to Worcestershire and we need to remember that every professional rider started somewhere. We can all make a start by getting a bit more active and starting on a journey to getting fitter. As well as being an enjoyable activity, there are lots of health benefits to taking up regular cycling - reducing the risk of heart attacks and lowering risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and strokes."
Log on to www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cycling to discover how cycling can benefit you and find a route suitable for riders of all abilities.