A NEW brochure designed to help people get into cycling in York ahead of the city's Tour de France visit this summer has been launched today.

The "York: Experience the Race" booklet sets out a programme of cycling and fitness activities over the coming months, and is part of the city's plans to get more people into cycling after the Grand Depart.

The council's cabinet member for for leisure Cllr Sonja Crisp said: "Part of the Tour de France legacy is to have more people cycling more often and this programme builds on the city’s existing commitment to cycling.

"It outlines some wonderful events and activities for all residents to take part in, including opportunities for novices and nervous cyclists, so that cycling can become an even more important leisure, social and fitness activity in York."

The programme details local family rides and guided cycle rides for novices, older people and those living with a disability or medical condition, as well as the one-day York Sky Ride event in September.

It has a calendar of cycling activities and free events including established and popular events like the annual York Festival of Cycling, the Heart of York charity bike ride and cycling taster events.

It also includes introductions to cycling groups such as the Breeze network and Bike Belles groups for women cyclists, Clifton Cycling Club and the Wednesday Wheelers Cycling Group, and facilities like York Sport Village's closed circuit cycle track and Rawcliffe off road cycle pump track.

York has signed up to, and is the lead partner on, the regional Tour de France Grand Départ Legacy for cycling, Cycle Yorkshire. A 10 year strategy to get more people cycling in Yorkshire includes plans to make choosing cycling easier, planning more cycling events, increasing awareness of cycling and cyclists, and establishing a network of cycling businesses and social enterprises.

Copies of the brochure have been distributed through schools and can be picked up from leisure centres and libraries. Further information and a copy of the brochure to download is available from the council website at www.york.gov.uk.