Wiltshire residents are being encouraged to get on their bike this spring and take part in a national cycling programme coming to the county.

Wiltshire Council, in partnership with British Cycling, will be offering cycling opportunities in the county from April 2013 with riders being able to go on traffic-free family routes ranging between 20 and 30 miles. 

The scheme, called Skyride, is supported by public health funding to promote an active lifestyle.

Wiltshire Councillor Stuart Wheeler, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Wiltshire Council is committed to building on the momentum from 2012 so we create a real legacy for the future.

"As part of this legacy programme we want to encourage people to take some exercise and these cycle rides will be a great way to get fit and enjoy your local countryside at the same time. This is also a chance for confident cyclists to have some free training and have the opportunity to lead one of these rides.”

The rides are open to cyclists of all abilities and ages.

Maggie Rae, director for public health and wellbeing, said “It’s really important we continue to promote the benefits of healthy and active lifestyles here in Wiltshire.

"We are keen to give people access to a range of activities which will benefit their health, so we’re pleased to be able to support this programme coming to Wiltshire.”

British Cycling and the council are also on the lookout for confident cyclists to be trained as ride leaders and route planners in Wiltshire.

Those selected, will receive free training, payment and a British Cycling Ride membership.

Ride Leaders will need to be flexible with their weekend availability over the year and commit to leading on no less than four weekends throughout the year.

Training for ride leaders will be taking place in March.

Anyone interested can email skyride@britishcycling.org.uk for more information.