Soreen aiming to boost grass roots cycling, with the Soreen Cycling Project

Promotional feature with Soreen

If there’s one person who can testify to the life-changing effects of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, it’s multiple world and Olympic champion Laura Kenny. Born with serious health problems, and suffering from debilitating childhood asthma, she’s in no doubt as to who set her on the right road for her glittering career.

“I’ve been brought up to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, thanks to my Mum, who has always been my inspiration. She completely changed her lifestyle when I was younger and helped shape the way I thought about food and exercise. It goes to show that everyone can do it.”

She’s keen to see today’s kids get a similar chance, especially as she now has one of her own. “I would love to get Albie on a bike when he’s ready. I just want him to get outdoors and get active – it’s such a healthy lifestyle. I learnt to ride when I was about six, and would encourage any child, as well as families, to cycle. After all fresh air is free.”

The air may be free, but bikes and other cycling kit need to be paid for, which is where Soreen comes in. Malt loaf’s always been a perfect cycling food – it’s tasty, travels well in a back pocket, is a great source of natural energy, and Soreen’s been the cyclist’s favourite for nearly 80 years. Laura loves the stuff when she’s training: “Preferably in chunks…”.

Soreen are heavily involved in the sport, sponsoring the Tour of Britain for the past decade as well as supplying the Tour de Yorkshire. Now they’re aiming to boost grass roots cycling too, with the Soreen Cycling Project.

As part of that project they’re giving away £250 worth of Halfords vouchers every single day. All you have to do for a chance to win is pick up promotional packs of Soreen – whether traditional malt loaves or the new Malt Loaf bars and Lunchbox Loaves – from your local shop and enter the batch code details at www.soreencycleproject.com – it couldn’t be easier.

Equipment is one part of the puzzle, but a big part of getting people out of their houses and onto their bikes is having somewhere safe to ride, especially with young children, and that’s another big part of the Soreen Cycling Project. As well as working with British Cycling and the Forestry Commission to identify and promote access to safe cycling areas (just pop your postcode into the Cycle Route Finder on the website to find routes near you), Soreen are also helping to resurrect some of Britain’s forgotten historic cycleways.

You might think that dedicated cycle paths are a relatively recent invention. Not a bit of it. Way back in the 1930s, the British government funded a series of purpose-built bike paths – more than 300 miles of them – alongside the new bypasses and trunk roads which were being built all over the country. Then came the war, and the project was mothballed, then dropped, and eventually quietly forgotten. Until now.

Author and cycling activist Carlton Reid has been researching the routes, and campaigning to get as many as possible restored to full use – he’s already identified 90 separate cycleway schemes, and believes there are more to come. You can get involved via the website, where you’ll find information and links to Carlton’s project, as well as Soreen’s own online petition asking the Department for Transport to support the project.