The season of bike rides is upon us. The air is cool, the sun is shining and the evenings are getting longer. Spring through to summer is the perfect time to enjoy long cycle rides, and whether you’re a solo rider or thrive in groups, there are a number of great cycling events taking place this summer that are not to be missed.
We all love a few cold pints in the beer garden and BBQs and ice-creams so why not take on a cycle challenge to counteract all the indulging? Then you can enjoy the beer and ice-cream guilt free! If you are a cycling newbie and want to lose weight then challenge yourself to a 50 mile route, just make sure that you have enough time to train properly first. If you are a more experienced rider then you will need to challenge yourself a little more in order to lose weight. A lot of these events also have longer routes that you can enter.
For those who love group energy and company in their cycles, organised bike rides are the best. Participation can largely depend upon location but with cycling now such a popular sport in the UK, particularly since the 2012 Olympics, there are now many events taking place nation wide. If you’re looking for your perfect 50 mile bike ride then here are some of the best events and routes the UK has to offer this year.
London to Southend, 20th July – This road based bike ride that starts in Victoria Park in East London before continuing your journey eastwards until you reach sunny Southend-on-Sea. The route quickly takes you away from the busy London lifestyle and soon you will be riding your way through picturesque Essex villages such as Stapleford Abbotts, Mountnessing and East Hanningfield. Before heading towards the finish line in Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea. There is also an extended 65 mile route that goes around Shoeburyness for those of you who want to challenge yourself! Starting between 07:00 and 09:10 you can make this 50 mile bike ride a race or a casual way to spend the day outdoors with friends. It is entirely up to you.
Essex Castle, 26th July – Starting and ending in Colchester this 50 mile bike ride will take you around the North East of Essex cycling along Country lanes through Bures, the outskirts of Sudbury, Sible Hedingham, Pebmarsh and Wakes Colne before heading back to where you started. There are also 25 and 75 cycle routes, so you can involve all your friends and family whatever their cycling abilities.
London Bikeathon, 31st August – What could be better than riding through our capital, taking in all the beautiful city sights? My favourite part about this route is that it has a long stretch through picturesque Richmond Park, while still letting you take in so many other sights along the way including; Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Tower Bridge, St Pauls, Big Ben and Canary Wharf. Whether you love the city or want a cycling tour this is the event for you. There are also mileage options available for this bikeathon including; 26, 52 or 100 miles. So if you can’t tackle the 52 miles you can opt for 26, or if you’re experienced and really want to push yourself, you can go for the whole 100 miles.
Pedal For Paul, 31st August – This 47 mile (let’s not quibble over 3 miles!) bike ride in Musselburgh, East Lothian takes you on a loop through the stunning East Lothian Scottish Countryside. There are 3 routes available, a family 3km route so you can get the kids cycling, the 47 mile route and a challenging 73 mile route. Whether you are from Scotland or are there on holiday this would be a great way to experience East Lothian and good exercise too!
Birmingham Bikeathon, 21st September – This is the first year the Birmingham Bikeathon is taking place so it’s an exciting ride to be a part of. Birmingham as a city grown so much over the recent years and there are some wonderful sites to see which is what makes this route so interesting. The course takes you right into the city where you get to pass some iconic sights and then through the rolling country side with beautiful scenery between Redditch and Solihull. This event also has a 26, 52 and 100 mile route options so, if you think you can push yourself to the 100 mile mark, then go for it!
Whatever bike ride you decide to take part in, just remember most will have entry deadlines and charge a small entrants fee, so try not to leave it to last minute to sign up. It’s also important that you prepare your body and your bike before the event. Training is important if you are not a regular, or confident, cyclist however, there is plenty of advice online to help you make sure you complete your bike ride and ensure you have fun along the way.