Follow our healthy lead for fun ride

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HEALTH workers are practising what they preach by taking on a cycling challenge.

Staff from Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust are getting into gear for the Sunderland in 2012 Big Bike Ride.

Choosing from a quartet of different rides, the team have decided to sign up for the 14-mile route which will complete a loop of the River Wear between St Peter’s and Washington.

Team leader Jody Nichols, who is a senior health improvement practitioner, based at Loftus House, Colima Avenue, said that although certain members of the team have not cycled much in the past, they are determined to give the event their all and hope others will follow their example.

Jody said: “Some of us aren’t experienced cyclists and a couple of us are more at home at spinning classes, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Three other routes are also available. A five-mile ride at Herrington Country Park is best suited for those just starting out cycling or those families with young children.

The 20-mile ride will journey into Washington through Fatfield, before returning to Sunderland city centre.

The 35-mile Tour de Sunderland Ride will travel all over the city, taking in Fence Houses, Rainton Meadows, Hetton and Seaton. All routes finish where they start.

The Sunderland in 2012 Big Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, costing £2 per person to enter.

The deadline for registration is 5pm on Friday.

Organisers say that all routes are suitable for mountain and hybrid bikes, but road and cyclo-x bikes are not recommended.

To sign up, go to www.sunderlandin2012.co.uk, email sunderlandin2012@sunderland.gov.uk, or call 561 4659.

Twitter: @davidallison88