WELSH Cycling have unveiled their plan to get – or rather keep – Gwent’s youngsters on two wheels this summer.

A variety of fun activities have been scheduled to coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions over the summer break. Activities are offered at key facilities in North, West and South Wales – including the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales in Newport.

Sessions focus on enjoyment and skills development and are safely delivered in line with Government guidance for organised activities in respect of Covid-19.

With more and more people having taken up cycling during lockdown, Cycling Wales are hoping that as many as possible will continue to choose two wheels as opposed to four as the lockdown measures are further relaxed.

Data from the Department for Transport has shown cycling levels rose by up to 300 per cent on some days during lockdown.

Despite fewer people travelling overall during the crisis, there has been around a 100 per cent increase in weekday cycling. At weekends, that increase has been up to around 200 per cent, compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Ian Jenkins, pathway manager at Cycling Wales, said: “It’s been a difficult time but it’s also a wonderful opportunity with so many getting out and buying bikes.

“It’s a great chance to embrace that new market.

“We’ve got a variety of activities planned for kids aged under 16. From come and try events through to events for regular cyclists keen to get back into the saddle.

“It’s all about skills development and having fun. Riding bikes is fun and we want to give the kids the chance to do that.”

Mr Jenkins said that one of the big challenges faced by Cycling Wales as the lockdown measures eased across the country, had been managing to maintain social distance.

“We’ve been through a raft of protocols such as hand-washing, sanitiser stations and things like that before we could come back,” he said.

“We look forward to when we can get back to normal.

“It’s encouraging to work in a sport where we can get back to some form of regular activity.

“We’re very lucky in this sport.”

Sessions available at the velodrome are as follows:

Welsh Cycling Go-Ride Skills & Thrills - A skills based session where youngsters enjoy a variety of confidence building games and activities to improve their ability on a bike. Participants should be confident riding a bike (i.e. able to start / stop unaided). Session open to any bike in safe, working condition.

Welsh Cycling Go Ride Skills (MTB – Mountain Bike) - An off-road session where youngsters can practice riding on a variety of surfaces, building confidence in a more challenging environment. Venues vary from Mountain Bike facilities to BMX ‘pump’ tracks.

Welsh Cycling Go-Ride Skills (Road) - A session on tarmac where youngsters can practice a variety of fun skill sand games.

Welsh Cycling Go-Ride Skills (Fixed) - A session for youngsters confident riding a ‘fixed gear’ track bike. Sessions are on an outdoor Velodrome, and participants will need to use their own bike.

A calendar of the activities offered can be found at britishcycling.org.uk/events

You will need to register on the British Cycling website to enter.