Dust off your cycling gear and embark on free Portsmouth rides

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CITY leaders are launching a summer programme of free guided cycle rides in partnership with British Cycling.

Portsmouth City Council will start offering Sky Ride local rides from Sunday, June 12.

It will see trained British Cycling leaders guide groups across various distances, starting with an easy-going three mile ride from Mountbatten to Cosham Park.

Councillor Donna Jones, Tory council leader, said: ‘We want to get more people interested in cycling in 2016 – whether it is watching the professionals in action at the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Guildhall Square on Thursday, June 9, coming to the Pedal Portsmouth Family Festival of Cycling on Sunday, July 3, or by signing up to take part in our summer programme of free British Cycling rides.

‘The guided rides are a perfect opportunity for families and individuals of all abilities to cycle varying distances, you can choose a ride to suit your comfort factor. I’m looking forward to seeing many more residents enjoying the city and beyond by bike.’

This year, the council are challenging residents to sign up for the final ride, which is a 29-mile Portsmouth to Fishbourne loop on Sunday, September 25.

A bit like a couch to 10k running programme, participants are encouraged to sign up for a number of Sky Ride Local rides throughout the summer and gradually increase the distance before taking on the final challenge, which starts and finishes at Portsmouth Watersports Centre.

The council will also once again be running Pedal Portsmouth Family Festival of Cycling on Sunday, July, 3. There will be a host of activities to enjoy including a 3km traffic-free cycle course.