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Guided rides coincide with Go Green Week and aim to give people confidence riding to and from place of study

Students at two universities in Greater Manchester will this week get the chance to take part in 'Bike Trains' to take them to locations such as halls of residence to their place of study. The guided rides are aimed at helping students - and staff, for that matter - gain confidence in riding on city streets, as well as showing them sage routes.

The free initiative, which is being co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), coincides with today's start of Go Green Week, an initiative of student campaign group People & Planet.

People taking part need to have at least some previous cycling experience, and will be given a safety briefing ahead of the rides. People can also borrow a bike and cycle helmet should they need to.

Councillor Chris Paul, TfGM Committee’s Cycling Champion, commented: “Bicycles are a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and easy way for students to travel to and from campus, reach local services and link up with the wider public transport network.

“By running these Bike Train sessions, we will hopefully demonstrate the numerous benefits of cycling, boost people’s confidence and encourage a take up in two-wheeled transport.

“While these sessions  do require some previous cycling experience, TfGM offers free cycle refresher courses for adults who might lack confidence cycling on road, or who haven’t ridden a bike for a while.”

In all, there will be six Bike Train sessions this week:

Two take place tomorrow, Tuesday 11 February, starting at Dalton Ellis Hall in Victoria Park at 8.30am and 9.15am and ending at Manchester University.

There will be two more on  Wednesday 12 February, beginning at Owens Park Campus at 8.15am and 9.15am and finishing at Manchester University.

Finally, Thursday 13 February sees two rides that start at Castle Irwell Student Village at Salford University at 8.30am and 9.15am and finish at Salford University.

Those wishing to take part are asked to register here, and more information abvout the cycle training TfGM provides throughout the year to both existing cyclists and those looking to get riding can be found here.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.