Tour of Britain: Ride Sir Bradley's route in Wiltshire Big Wheel
Updated 8:52am Friday 5th September 2014 in By Bruno Clements, Social media and web editor
Cyclists get the chance to ride part of the route of the Tour of Britain in Wiltshire, just days before Sir Bradley Wiggins and other stars of world cycling race through the county.
Wiltshire Council, in partnership with Bike Events, is organising a cycling celebration, the Wiltshire 100/Big Wheel, as the county prepares to host one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar.
On Friday, September 12, the riders enter Wiltshire at about 10.20am and the route weaves around the county, through Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Devizes and Pewsey, before heading for West Berkshire.
Hundreds of people have already signed up to tackle one of three routes on Sunday, September 7, from a 12-mile family-friendly circuit, a 45-mile route or a 100-mile challenge, on the day the Friends Life Tour of Britain begins.
Last year more than 500 people took part in the Wiltshire Big Wheel event and entries are already up on a year ago.
The fourth Wiltshire 100/Big Wheel starts and finishes at The Small Green, in Devizes, and includes part of the route Sir Bradley - a former winner and Britain's first Tour de France victor - and the other competitors will tackle on September 12.
The event is fully marshalled and supported, including a mechanic’s van on the routes.
There are also feed stations and rest stops with cyclists encouraged to use the event to raise money for their favourite charity.
Places for the Wiltshire Big Wheel are still available. To enter go to www.bike-events.co.uk/Ride.aspx?id=421
Riders on both routes set off east through the Vale of Pewsey, the scenic 45-mile event taking in Savernake Forest and Marlborough, finishing off with a climb over the ridgeway and back into the Vale of Pewsey to the finish.
The 12-mile family route stays within the Vale of Pewsey with a lunch stop at All Cannings.
Details of the Wiltshire 100 event, which is aimed at experienced riders, are at www.bike-events.co.uk/Ride.aspx?id=420
As well as these rides, Wiltshire Council is also promoting a series of free guided bike rides in the county in partnership with British Cycling.
Weekly Sky Rides feature a trained ride leader taking guided rides on planned routes to appeal to cyclists of all abilities and all the family and offer routes from ‘easy to challenging’.
The next easygoing Sky Ride is the Devizes Caen Lock Crawl on Sunday with the East Ride from the Olympiad in Chippenham at 2pm on Sunday classed as steady.
And next month the steady Sky Rides are the Old Sarum Circular in Salisbury at 10am on September 7, Le Tour de Trowbridge at 2pm on Sunday, September 14, and Devizes to All Cannings Loop at 10am on Sunday, September 21.
Further details at www.goskyride.com
Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “These events are the perfect opportunity for the people of Wiltshire to get out on their bikes to enjoy a wonderful event.
"The Wiltshire 100/Big Wheel has gone from strength to strength as Wiltshire Council builds on the legacy of Great Britain’s cycling success at the London 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France.
"As part of the council’s 2012 Legacy programme, we are developing cycling to boost health and wellbeing and benefit the local economy.”