ENTHUSIASTS are needed to help make everyday cycling a part of everyday life in mid Cheshire.

Cyclist Stewart Walsh is launching a bike co-operative, which is a not-for-profit social enterprise aiming to create a cycling culture and improve health and wellbeing throughout the county.

He is currently a Sustrans project officer working in Hartford's schools and colleges to encourage staff and pupils to walk and cycle but this project comes to an end in March and Stewart hopes the bike co-op will provide a lasting legacy.

At the heart of the co-op, called Pedal Power Experience, is the desire to inspire people through fun festival activities like a pedal powered cinema, mobile phone charger and bubble machine, a mountain bike pump track and a cycle roadshow to give people chance to try different kinds of bicycles.

"It's about getting people involved and interested but in a fun way," Stewart said. "It's about creating the hook to get people in and about trying to do something worthwhile for the community."

He is organising a cycling festival at Mid Cheshire College on March 13, which will showcase what the co-op is trying to achieve."

The festival will demonstrate the value of the idea, demonstrate what we can do and that there's a need out there – people enjoy it and want to be involved," he said.

"There's a bit of a void for utility cycling around here.

"There's some great road clubs but not an everyday cycling presence and we want to fill that void."

As well as festival attractions the co-op will also recycle second-hand bikes at its headquarters at Cloughwood School, teach bike mechanics and train ride leaders.

Stewart said: "It's about giving people a greater sense of independence and confidence on the roads, which is one of the reasons people don't cycle."

He is now appealing for volunteers to help man the attractions at the festival and is also looking for people to help the Pedal Power Experience longer term.

"I'm appealing for volunteers around cycling, admin, book keeping, anything that would assist in a normal business really," he said.

"We need people who want to learn and people with experience."

He is also appealing for funds to kick start the co-op, which will eventually bring in an income to support itself.

Stewart said: "The big thing about a co-op is creating employment, volunteering and training opportunities." For more information ring Stewart on 07501 017689.