VALE families are being encouraged to swap four wheels for two in time for Bike Week 2009.

Worcestershire County Council is using the national event, which begins this Saturday (June 13) and runs until June 21, to tell residents to 'get on their bikes' and explore new places in their local communities.

On Sunday, June 21, the South Worcestershire Cycle Group are organising three group rides suitable for beginners to experienced cyclists, starting from the Countryside Centre, Worcester Woods at 10:30am.

The rides range from eight to 25 miles, taking in the Kempsey and Croome Park areas.

All rides are free of charge, and for more details call Derek Skinner 01299 896 820 or e-mail

Alternatively, on the following Sunday (June 28) The Waterways Trust is inviting families to take part in a 15-mile circular, starting and finishing at Droitwich Spa Leisure Centre.

Following quiet lanes and canal tow paths, the ride is in aid of the Droitwich Canals Restoration Appeal.

Riders can set off anytime between 9am and 11am, and for more details call the Waterways Trust on 08450 700 710.

A wealth of information about the many advantages that cycling offers and advice about getting into the saddle, including maps available to download to help plan bike journeys, can be found at

Information is also available by calling 01905 765 765.

For those who don't own a bicycle the Worcestershire Cycle Loan Scheme offers residents over the age of 18 the opportunity to borrow a bike for up to six months free of charge.

A range of high quality hybrid bicycles are available for commuting and leisure trips.

To book a bike call Motov8 on 01905 619 068. More information is available at