Guided Rides offer fun, friendly, supportive bike rides for individual and family cyclists. The programme has been growing in Scotland over the past few years, helping more people to build their cycling experience and explore their local area by bike.
In the past month volunteer ride leaders have led rides in the Scottish Borders, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, South Lanarkshire and Glasgow and in this series of articles we meet some of the volunteers supporting more people to cycle in their local communities.
We spoke to Neil Smith, the Scottish programme co-ordinator and volunteer ride leader, who has clocked up more than 150 Guided Rides himself, to tell us more about his experiences.
“Guided Rides is a fantastic programme to be involved in both as a ride leader and supporting the other leaders across Scotland as coordinator,” said Neil. “As the programme has grown we now have 50 leaders organising rides from Beauly to Biggar, and from Thurso to Thornliebank!
“Every ride offers something different - many people who come on my rides are blown away by the beautiful countryside on their doorstep around East Kilbride, Eaglesham and Strathaven, that they didn’t know was there! Other leaders visit many points of interest to them too, riding through Glasgow Green along the Clyde to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, or out to see Paisley Abbey and mills or along the banks of the River Forth in Perth.
“Through my rides in the Glasgow, South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire areas, I have met hundreds of new people, many of whom have developed into firm friends. I always try to provide a range of rides of different lengths and speeds, and see it as a sign of success that there are always new faces taking part and getting out on their bikes and enjoying their local areas.”
If you want to cycle more, then British and Scottish Cycling Guided Rides are for you. All you have to do is bring your bike and pedal. Guided Ride Leaders do the rest. It's easy. It's free.
All kinds of cyclists are welcomed on Guided Rides, with rides classifications offering easy-going, steady and challenging rides, and opportunities of adult and family rides.
You can join Neil on his next Guided Ride, find a ride near you or more about Guided Rides at the Let’s Ride website: www.letsride.co.uk/guided-rides
For more information about becoming a Guided Ride leader visit: www.letsride.co.uk/volunteers