RECREATIONAL cycling is on the up in west Cheshire after a team effort and national triumph.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) has been presented with a framed GB Cycling Team jersey to mark another successful year in partnership with Active Cheshire, British Cycling and Sky.

After a summer that saw the Tour de France hit British roads and hills, the Tour of Britain blast through mid Cheshire and more cycling competition gold at the Commonwealth Games, CWAC’s cycling programmes have resulted in hundreds of people getting out on bikes across the area.

To recognise the success of the partnership, Jackie Brennan, British Cycling recreation manager for the area, presented the framed jersey to council leader Cllr Mike Jones and Fiona Reynolds, director of public health.

Councillor Jones said: “Encouraging residents of Cheshire West and Chester to get on their bikes and make use of the many cycle paths and routes available is very important and it has been fantastic to see recreational cycling go from strength to strength over the last two years as a result of our partnership with Active Cheshire and British Cycling.”

Fiona Reynolds said: “I cycle when I can myself and it is a great way to be more active.

“You don’t have to intend to train for the Tour de France.

"I use my bike for popping to the shops or meeting friends. It’s quick and convenient.

“As the weather improves I think that cycling is a fantastic way to spend a nice, sunny day.”

Jackie Brennan from British Cycling said: “We enjoyed a summer like no other in Britain, from the Tour de France to the Tour of Britain, as well as supporting our heroes at the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a great time to be inspired by cycling and we’ve really enjoyed working with Cheshire West and Chester Council to get more people on more bikes than ever before.”

In the past two years more than 50 led-rides have taken place on many of the cycling routes throughout west Cheshire and a strong network of Breeze rides has been established, offering social bike rides for women.

Anne Boyd, chief executive of Active Cheshire, said: “Our investment in British Cycling to develop and support cycling in the borough over the past two years demonstrates Active Cheshire’s and Cheshire West and Chester Council’s commitment to getting more people, more active, more often.”