Cycling Column: Get your family summer fit!

A feature by Swindon’s Becky Cox.

Looking for free activities to keep the family fit this summer? You can enjoy the great outdoors for free, right from your doorstep, by exploring your local area bike.  Swindon has a growing network of traffic-free cycle paths to explore. Why not do a ‘park- crawl’? There are so many play parks to discover off the beaten track!

The ‘Cycling’ section of the Swindon Travel Choices website is a great place to start. Here you can download the latest Swindon Cycle Map or request for one to be sent to you for free.

Need further inspiration? Then take a look at the interactive maps of the ‘Swindon Rounds’, which are short, circular, traffic-free routes to cycle, walk or jog around. Most routes are already sign-posted, but volunteers of the Swindon Cycle Campaign will be making further updates over the summer. www.swindontravelchoices.co.uk/interactive-maps

There’s a free cycle orienteering challenge to download too, which is a great way to explore your local area: www.swindontravelchoices.co.uk/getting-around/cycling/cycleorienteering . I guarantee you’ll be surprised by the hidden green spaces and parks that lie just off the beaten track.

If you fancy joining a guided ride then there will be a programme, suitable for all ages and abilities, throughout the summer. Along with other volunteer ride leaders, I’ll be putting on lots of short, family-friendly rides on traffic-free cycle paths. Follow Let’s Ride Swindon on Facebook or keep an eye on the website for rides in your local area: www.letsride.co.uk. 

Don’t forget, you can also follow one of our pre-planned, risk-assessed routes in your own time; just click ‘Find a route’ and search for Swindon.

Finally, if you fancy a bit of a fun challenge, then why not sign up for the popular Castles Bike Ride on Sunday 15th August 2021, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The ride starts at Barbury Castle and there are three offroad routes to choose from:

- Short (11 Miles)

- Medium (20 Miles)

- Long (25 miles - including a few tough hills and tricky sections)

If you’d like to take part in this fun annual event then check out: www.castlesbikeride.co.uk