A brand new Bristol-to-the-coast bike ride is taking place in the West Country this summer and the inhabitants of Britain's first Cycling City are being encouraged to take part as the event looks to establish itself as Bristol's answer to London-Brighton.
The Great Weston Ride will start in Bristol and end on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare, but only after it has covered 56 miles of a stunning route through the Mendips and across the Somerset Levels.
The ride is taking place on Sunday 18th July and participants are promised a day to remember, thanks to the spectacular route and the prospect of a day out by the sea with family and friends at the end of it all.
Andy Cook, a lifelong cyclist and driving force behind British Cycling in the West Country is the Ride Director and said, "The Great Weston Ride has something for everyone and, while it's most definitely a decent challenge, it has been designed to appeal to the vast majority of people living in and around Britain's first Cycling City".
"It's first and foremost a challenge event aimed at getting people out on their bikes, but it's something that most people should be able to tackle with a bit of determination - whether experienced riders or novices."
"People can do it at their own pace, it's very much intended as a social and community occasion, and riders who take the challenge will feel a huge sense of achievement when they cross the finish line," according to Cook.
"It's about time that the West Country had an iconic mass-participation challenge bike ride to sit alongside all its other major events, and the Great Weston Ride promises to fill that role".
The ride has already attracted support from a number of Bristol-based organisations, including Sustrans and NCP, and Greater Bristol's Cycling City project, Better By Bike, is supporting the event in a variety of ways in this inaugural year.
"The Great Weston Ride is exactly the sort of event that we want to see in the area", Darren Little, Cycling City Officer, commented. "It will help to demonstrate what a great experience it can be getting out on a bike, and hopefully we'll see people cycling more regularly as a result".
There are already links with several local charities, including Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal and Shine Together, the umbrella charity for Bristol's Frenchay and Southmead hospitals, as options for any riders who would like to fundraise while taking on the challenge.
The event is registered with British Cycling, the sport's governing body, and riders are provided with insurance cover on entry as well as a host of support services, including route signage, marshalling, medical cover, and mechanical support throughout the route.
Of course, there are numerous opportunities en route to stop and sample the spectacular scenery and the famous West Country hospitality!
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