A COMPETITION is being held ahead of the Grand Depart to get York people on their bikes.

Aviva and Natural England are two of 65 businesses taking part in the York Cycle Challenge, which will see more than 1,800 people take part between June 16 and July 6.

Councillor Sonja Crisp said: "We’re getting into gear ahead of the Tour de France and this is another way we are inviting everyone - residents and commuters to join in.

"The York Cycle Challenge was a great success in 2013 and three months after the event 40 per cent of the non-cyclists who took part were cycling regularly cycling each week, which is fantastic news.

"Given the great response from businesses across the city last year, which saw hundreds of cyclists taking part and clocking up over 126,800 miles in the York Cycle Challenge, equivalent to cycling over five times around the world."

Participants can win prizes by taking part, from a new bike to cycling holidays and cinema tickets, and the organisation that encourages the most staff to ride for ten minutes or more will win prizes.

Registration is free and open now lovetoride.net/york or by following @L2RYork on Twitter.