Saddle up for summer as Norwich cycle tour scheme is launched

The launch of the Sky Ride Local programme, which will mean people can take free guided cycle rides

The launch of the Sky Ride Local programme, which will mean people can take free guided cycle rides around the city. - Credit: Submitted

People across Norwich will be urged to saddle up this summer as part of a £75,000 scheme to get people back on their bicycles.

The Sky Ride Local programme will offer cyclists of all ages and abilities the chance to head out with experts on rides from one mile to 20 miles.

Trained specialists from British Cycling will lead cyclists on dozens of different guided cycle rides, taking in Norwich's parks and scenic routes.

The first ride of the summer-long programme starts soon and features 35 different rides – all of which are free and led by a fully-trained ride leader.

Many are suitable for parents and toddlers and the less active as well as those who already enjoy cycling as part of a lifestyle choice.

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The shortest rides will be as little as one to three miles and will be traffic-free in places such as Eaton Park and Sloughbottom Park.

There will be several six to 10-mile rides, which will take in Lakenham Way, Whitlingham and Waterloo and Earlham parks, among other familiar parks and places.

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Longer routes will be up to 20 miles and include sections of the Marriotts Way, as well as scenic routes out of the city.

All the routes aim to start/finish at a café, or take in one en route so people can get a drink and add a social element to the experience.

Sunday mornings will be the choice for the majority of the rides, when the roads will be as free from traffic as possible.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'We're very much aiming this at getting people onto a bike, rather than egging them on to get in their lycra and go racing!

'We want to get more people cycling in Norwich, improve their health and provide them with the skills and confidence to enjoy riding their bike – and all with the added benefit of reducing congestion, noise and pollution.'

The initiative comes as work continues on the city council's £5.7m Push the Pedalways programme, which could see a string of road closures and 20mph zones introduced to make it easier for cyclists to get around the city.

The Sky Ride Local scheme is part of a three-year partnership between Norwich City Council, British Cycling, Norfolk County Council Public Health, Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group and Active Norfolk.

Participants have to register online at to take part in a ride of their choice. Details of the rides will also be revealed at that site.

• Do you think the Sky Ride Local scheme is a good idea? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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