It may sound like some form of wild cheese exploit, but The Cheddar Adventure is in fact one of the rides organised by Sustrans to mark the 15th anniversary of the National Cycle Network.
On 11 September, more than 100 cyclists will join the ride, which starts and finishes in Bristol – and marks the start of this weekend’s Bristol Cycle Festival.
Sustrans says the ride makes use of some of the best cycle routes in the South West. Starting from the CREATE centre in Bristol city centre, there are two different routes. There’s a 56-mile challenge from Bristol to Cheddar and back, taking in the Ashton to Pill path and the Strawberry Line, climbing Cheddar Gorge and across the Mendips.
Those wanting a slightly shorter route can join the Nailsea loop, a less challenging but equally enjoyable 29 miles. Both routes take in a combination of traffic-free paths, quiet roads and off-road sections.
The rides will be followed by a party for the riders from 5-7pm at the Tobacco Factory, where poet David Johnston will put his own inimitable mark on the day.
If you fancy joining the ride you can book your place online for £20.
The National Cycle Network has been a flagship project for Sustrans since 1995 when a £43.5m funding from the Millennium Commission enabled the charity to create a national network that people could use for everyday journeys as well as for leisure.
Today it extends over 12,600 miles and carries over 1 million walking and cycling journeys every day. It passes within a mile of over 55% of the population and Sustrans works with many other partners to ensure the Network continues to grow and delivers new useful routes for communities across the UK. Almost 3000 volunteers help Sustrans maintain and promote the Network.
The Cheddar Adventure is part of a series of ‘Fresh Air Miles’ rides supported by Globe bikes that are being run throughout the year across the UK.
Other Bristol Cycle Festival activities at the CREATE Centre this weekend include tandem rides, a Bug Bike Treasure Hunt, and costuming bikes for the Carnival.
To find out more about the Bristol Cycle Festival go to http://bristolcyclefestival.com/.