On Your Bike – Family Friendly Rides

On Your Bike – Family Friendly Rides.

One positive from Coronavirus restrictions has been the surge in people rediscovering a love of cycling and bikes have been dragged from the back of the shed like never before.

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Cycling proved a lifeline through the pandemic, offering a way of getting out of the house for exercise and exploring – or as a means of avoiding public transport.

As people gain confidence, it’s natural they’ll want to explore further afield and we have four easy-going routes that mostly follow lightly trafficked roads and cycleways.  They will be enjoyable for all abilities, including families (with children who have completed Bikeability training at school: aged 10+).

If you fancy joining a free guided ride visit www.letsride.co.uk who offer excursions led by British Cycling-trained leaders with a maximum group size of six. Some cater specifically for women and most are at an easy-going pace and distance.

Discovering the Eden from Carlisle

A 15-mile circular ride from Carlisle that starts at the Sands car park and follows Hadrian’s Cycleway route 72 across Rickerby Park to Crosby on Eden and beyond. The return crosses over the Eden on Wetheral viaduct (please walk here) and returns via Scotby and Melbourne Park.

Along the Caldew Cycleway

An almost entirely traffic-free 12-mile route beginning at Devonshire Walk car park by Carlisle Castle.  It follows Sustrans NCN Route 7 to Dalston which is signposted from Tullie House Museum and heads along the beautiful Caldew via Holme Head and Cummersdale. There is a cycle bridge link from Currock, too. The ride is ideal for a riverside picnic on the green at Dalston before retracing your outward route – downhill all the way!

Port to Port

West Cumbria is blessed with some of the finest traffic-free cycle routes in the country and this relatively easy 9-mile ride from Whitehaven to Workington is along part of Hadrian’s Cycleway. Head North from the C2C sculpture on the slipway in Whitehaven Marina following the blue

National Cycle Network signs. Turn left just after Tesco and follow the old Waggonway, take the road through Parton village towards Lowca. Turn left again and look out for the blue signposts directing you to the traffic-free cycle path on the right. (Inexperienced cyclists or anyone with young children may want to push their bikes along this section).

The next 5 miles are traffic-free on the disused railway lines known as the  “Track of the Ironmasters”.  Look out for the commissioned works of art, sculptured seats, wildflowers and wildlife.

You can return to Whitehaven by retracing the route or follow the signs to the town centre along quiet roads and another section of the cycleway.

The Lorton Loop

This gently rolling route begins at the car park on Sullart Street in Cockermouth and passes the War Memorial before following the Greenway to the outskirts of town.  The views improve and following quiet roads with low levels of traffic there are lots of opportunities to take in the scenery.

The Lorton Village Shop is a great place to pick up a coffee or an ice cream as you pass through and the route crosses the river Cocker twice, both bridge crossings are worthy of a few minutes to soak in the atmosphere.  Re-join the Greenway on the long downhill into town and return to the start point.

This information was provided by members of the Bicycle Mayor of Cumbria – a cycling advocacy group.  For information contact bicyclemayorofcumbria@gmail.com

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