Bath’s Royal Victoria Park is set to provide the base for a new cycling festival next June that will include two 100-mile sportive rides, possibly incorporating the Two Tunnels cycleway, assuming it opens on time in April.
Bike Bath 2012 will be held from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 June, with rides of 30, 60 and 100 miles featuring on both days, with organisers encouraging entrants to bring their families and make a weekend of in the historic city.
Respective entry fees for those events are £20, £25 and £25 per day, and discounts are on offer for those participating in both days.
The 30-mile ride is being sponsored by Bath-based Cyclescheme, and is billed as the Cyclescheme Commuter Challenge.
The event is being organised by Aquaterra Leisure and outdoor events business Breathingspace Live, with the support of Bath & North East Somerset Council.
To help riders prepare, Aquaterrs, which operates Bath Sports and Leisure Centre, will be running a Get Fit for Bike Bath 2012 initiative starting in January.
Other features of the weekend include a talk and book signing on the Friday evening, as well as racing in the park itself, which earlier this year saw the return of the Evening Criterium series.
Quoted on the website This is Somerset, Brian Johnston, regional recreation manager for British Cycling, said: "Bath has great potential for creating an iconic cycling event, given the spectacular setting and local countryside.
"The popularity of cycling continues to grow and all eyes will be on the Olympics, Tour de France and Tour of Britain next year so this is a great way to get involved in the sport."
Richard Best from Breathingspace Live added: “In Europe these events are hugely popular and have a great economic benefit to their host venues and we will be looking to involve the wider community as our plans develop.
"The popularity of marked rides continues to grow and this is a fantastic opportunity for individuals and groups to come and ride some spectacular routes.
"We anticipate riders will use the opportunity to raise money for their own favourite charities and that, with our 200-mile ride in two days, we will see some of Britain's top riders involved.
"We also hope the regional business community sees this as an opportunity to enter company teams with members taking part across all the distances thereby involving all, not just the superfit."
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.