Try Tour de Lancs or a leisure ride

Blackpool Zoo's family of orang-utans

Blackpool Zoo's family of orang-utans

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Once again it’s been an inspiring fortnight, with the Tour de France coming to a close and lots of success on the track for our home nations’ riders.

If you haven’t been on a Sky Ride Local bike ride yet this summer, why not come along to one this month?

Aerial pictures of Brockholes Nature Reserve near Preston. Picture coutesy of Bristish Aerospace

Aerial pictures of Brockholes Nature Reserve near Preston. Picture coutesy of Bristish Aerospace

They’re a great way to explore scenic, planned routes guided by British Cycling Ride Leaders.

Tomorrow there’s something for everyone, with a choice of three rides starting in either Preston, Chorley or Darwen.

The Brockholes Discovery Ride starts at 10am at Brockholes Nature Reserve.

It’s a quiet, mainly flat route of seven miles on Tarmac cycle paths, see picture.

From Brockholes you’ll pedal along the the banks of the River Ribble following the Guild Wheel to Frenchwood, before retracing your route back to the Nature Reserve and perhaps a well-earned cuppa!

If you want to keep your pace leisurely but go a little bit further, try Chorley’s Historic Villages & Woods Tour, starting at 10am in Cuerden Valley Park at the Berkeley Drive Car Park.

At 13 miles, this is a fantastic circular route taking in varied scenery along the way, including four different woods, pretty villages and the canal where we’ll stop for refreshments.

If you’re up for a real challenge, there’s a treat in store with the Tour de Lancs ride starting at Darwen’s Whitehall Park tomorrow at 10am. This is a 24-mile loop that will reward you with fabulous views of the towers and follies of Lancashire, from Darwen Tower to Holcombe.

Put your hill climbing to the test and enjoy the relaxed descents through beautiful villages and superb countryside with great café stops, too.

There are some busier roads, so if you’re looking for tips on riding on the roads you’re in great hands with experienced and friendly Ride Leaders.

Ladies, if you’re looking for other women to go on a leisurely bike ride with, join Charlotte and Alison, your local Breeze Champions, on a Monday Evening Breeze Ride of around eight miles starting in Preston.

These rides are for you if you’re looking to build your fitness and your confidence on a bike, as well as being a great way to keep hold of that weekend feeling all the way into Monday evening!

(Monday, August 4; Monday, August 11).

Next Sunday, August 10, there’s a choice of two rides, starting in Chorley and Leyland. Perfect for children, families and adults looking to build confidence on a bike, the three-mile Astley Park Potter is completely traffic free.

Starting at 10am at Chorley’s Astley Park you’ll take a gentle ride around the park, a great place to explore on two wheels.

Then, once you’ve finished the ride, why not make a day of it in the park?

For more confident cyclists, the Leyland Figure of Eight offers a superb 29-mile challenge.

Starting at 10am at South Ribble Council Offices in Leyland, the ride heads out to nearby villages and within just a few miles you’ll be out of town taking in views of the Lancashire coast.

To book your free place on a Sky Ride Local ride visit www.goskyride.com.

Until next time, happy cycling.