Get back on your bike: New initiative aims to help residents feel confident cycling around Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth

The launch event in Warwick will feature a bike ride along the cycle path from St Nicholas Park to Victoria Park

Three local organisations have joined forces to launch a new initiative to help adults in Warwickshire get back on their bike and feel confident cycling the local area. Photo supplied
Three local organisations have joined forces to launch a new initiative to help adults in Warwickshire get back on their bike and feel confident cycling the local area. Photo supplied

Three local organisations have joined forces to launch a new initiative to help adults in Warwickshire get back on their bike and feel confident cycling the local area.

Clean Air Warwickshire, Cycleways Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick, and Action 21 are the groups behind the initiative.

To get the programme up and running, they have received funding from the Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund 2021.

The free initiative launches on March 12 and will be open to anyone aged over 18.

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The idea for the initiative, called Warwickshire Cycle Buddies, came from Hazel Underwood, a member of Clean Air Warwickshire.

Hazel is passionate about the climate crisis, air pollution and sustainability, and came up with the idea after hearing about similar schemes being successfully run in London and Bristol.

Hazel, vice chair of Clean Air for Warwickshire, said: "I’ve spoken to many friends over the past few months, many of whom say that they do not feel confident cycling around our local area.

"We have very few segregated cycle lanes at present, and whilst our group is pushing hard for the council to improve cycling facilities across Warwickshire, in the meantime it makes sense to do what we can to help get more people cycling short journeys, as it improves health, and reduces carbon emissions."

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Cycleways Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick were keen to get involved in order to get as many people as possible cycling, as it benefits local business, the environment and public health.

Action 21 also became involved as this initiative aligns with their aim of reducing the environmental impact of the Leamington and Warwick communities, and raising awareness of the benefits of sustainable living.

Warwickshire Cycle Buddies is a free service that connects novice cyclists with experienced riders to help people feel more confident cycling around the local area as well as showing them the best local cycle routes.

The service will be run entirely by volunteers, and they would love to hear from experienced cyclists that would be interested in becoming a cycle buddy.

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Warwickshire Cycle Buddies is launching on Saturday (March 12) from 11am with a traffic-free ride along the cycle path from St Nicholas Park to Victoria Park.

It is welcoming both novice and experienced cyclists to participate in the ride.

There will also be information stalls set up in St Nicholas Park before the ride from 10am-11am and outside the Leamington Town Hall after the ride from 12pm-1pm.

These stalls will provide the opportunity to sign up to Warwickshire Cycle Buddies.