Cleveland and Redcar volunteers help people collect ‘Fresh Air Miles’

Families near Cleveland and Redcar are being invited to take part in a free and fun bike ride between Redcar and Saltburn, using NCN1, on Saturday 10 September, 2011.

Organised by volunteers from charity Sustrans and sponsored by leading bike retailer Specialized, the ride will take place along largely traffic-free routes on the National Cycle Network and will last around three hours, including a break for tea in the square at Saltburn, where you can also have the option of catching the train home.  Local MP Tom Blenkinsop will be joining the ride, using the route which has seen a 29% increase in usage this year.

Philip Chisholm, one of the Sustrans Volunteers organising the ride, said, “The North-East is such a beautiful part of the country, and NCN1 takes you past some fantastic scenery and into some lovely towns.  It’s a great afternoon out for all the family to enjoy.”

The ride is one of around 100 family-friendly ‘Fresh Air Miles’ bike rides and events taking place across the country between April and the end of September, and will celebrate the work achieved by Sustrans volunteer rangers on the route between Marske and Saltburn.

Each event will be designed so that everyone, regardless of age, ability or cycling experience, will be able to take part and discover how easy and enjoyable it can be to travel by bike.  Children taking part will also have the chance to win one of two brand new ‘Hotrock’ girls and boys bikes donated by Specialized.

Anyone wishing to take part should meet at the Zetland Lifeboat House on Esplanade Redcar at 2pm on Saturday 10 September.  Or, to find out more contact Philip Chisholm on Sustrans@redcarrangers.co.uk or 07802 936 414.

Sustrans volunteer rangers have been working hard over the last six months to help clear up the route, cutting back vegetation and regularly clearing litter and dog mess from the path.  Alongside a publicity campaign, the path is now significantly cleaner and in much better condition for everyday use.

Richard Mann, a Sustrans volunteer aged 80, looks after a section of the route.  He said, “In the first few weeks we were removing 20 bags of fly tipping a week and three bags of rubbish off the track, it’s now less than half a sack a week in total.  It’s great to see even more people using the route now that the path is in a much better condition.”

As part of the activities on the day, the Marske Brass Band will be performing, and raising money for Sustrans, in Redcar High Street between 10.30 and noon on Saturday 10, and local rangers will have a stall at Sunday’s Guisborough Forest Festival.

 All are welcome to take part in Fresh Air Miles rides.  Most will be completely free of charge with participants encouraged to make donations on the day towards Sustrans, supporting the charity’s work to make it possible for people in the UK to walk and cycle for more everyday journeys.  To find a local event visit www.freshairmiles.org.uk

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