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Sep 26, 2020 #cycling

People from across Teesside are being helped to get on their bikes thanks to funding from Thirteen housing.

Thornaby Funriders Group has received £1,500 from Thirteen’s community fund to buy some new bikes and equipment that people can borrow to try cycling before they commit to buying a bike themselves.

Thornaby Funriders has almost 150 people setting off on regular bike rides in and around the town, even heading as far as Dalton Park near Peterlee. The emphasis is on fun while staying safe, with marshals taking groups of people out on rides of between 15 and 30 miles.

Michael Russell helps to organise the group and works alongside Dean Porter, one of Thornaby Funriders’ founders, to plan and manage the activities. Michael said he hoped the funding will help to get even more people on their bikes.

Michael said: “We started to meet about two years ago and now we go out five times a week, mainly on cycle tracks and quiet roads.

“We want people who might feel a bit nervous about getting on a bike to just give it a try. We help people to enjoy a nice bike ride, get out for some exercise and make friends along the way.

“It’s mainly about fun cycling for all abilities, riding at a manageable pace, helping to get fit and lose weight – and no-one needs to wear lycra to get involved!”

Thirteen’s community fund supports groups which make a positive contribution in their neighbourhoods. Applications for funding are welcome from a range of organisations including community groups, charities, voluntary organisations and residents’ associations.

Thirteen’s funding for Thornaby Funriders will help to buy two new bikes that people can borrow, bike storage, tools, a first aid kit and gazebos for the club’s social events.

Jane Hobbs, senior compliance business partner at Thirteen, said: “It’s great to see so many people getting involved in cycling and I hope that the community funding will help even more people to hit the road.

“A group of Thirteen’s customers decides on which projects to support so I’m really pleased that they decided to help people to get on their bikes.

“One of the criteria we have is that the project supports health and wellbeing in our neighbourhoods, and the Funriders definitely help to do just that in a safe and supportive environment.”

Michael continued: “We’re really grateful to Thirteen for the funding and it will help attract new members to borrow a bike for a ride and try before they buy. I’d urge anyone to just come along and give it a go.”

Anyone wanting to get involved in the bike rides can visit the Thornaby Funriders Group on Facebook.

Organisations can get details about Thirteen’s community fund at www.thirteengroup.co.uk/getinvolved

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