THE Liverpool Chester Liverpool Bike Ride returns Sunday 3rd July for cyclists of all abilities to get on their bikes – and the countdown is now on to the big event. The cycle takes in six routes over four distances with a route to suit every age and ability and this year it is on track to see a record number of entrants take part. The Liverpool Chester Liverpool five-mile family tunnel ride is the perfect choice to get the little ones active and to introduce them to the atmosphere of a sporting event. The route takes cyclists through the Birkenhead tunnel and allows families to cycle traffic-free on a loop through the tunnel. The car- free course means less experienced cyclists can enjoy the route without the worry of traffic. Cyclists can select a 25 mile route either starting from Chester cycling to Liverpool or starting from Liverpool and concluding in Chester. The fourth option available to cyclists is the 50 mile Chester Challenge, which starts and finishes at the Countess of Chester Health Park. This scenic route explores Cheshire Lanes and Delamere Forest before returning to the park. Cyclists that select this route should be prepared for some hills. The fifth route is the popular 50-mile Liverpool – Chester – Liverpool ride which starts at the Birkenhead tunnel and loops through North Cheshire. The mid-way point allows you to enjoy the festival atmosphere at the Countess of Chester Health Park before returning to Liverpool. The most challenging route on offer is the 100 mile Liverpool Challenge which starts at the Birkenhead tunnel before heading through Delamere Forest. Expect climbs with this route and prepare with lots of training. With just under a month to go until the bike ride what can people do to ensure they’re prepared for the big day? Mark Sandamas, managing director of Pennine Events, the company behind the bike ride, has some top tips for riders. He said: “With any of the routes, it is very important that people keep hydrated, especially if it is a hot day, which we are hoping it will be! There are water stands along each of the routes so keep an eye out to ensure you drink plenty of water. “Preparation is key. No matter which route you are participating in and the goal that you are working towards it is important to be prepared. “Ensure your bike’s tyres are pumped up, your chain is oiled and the saddle is at the correct level for your height in the weeks leading up to the cycle. Check your brakes and your gears. If you are unsure, you can always pop into your local bike shop for advice. “When it comes to clothing, we recommend layers – this way it is easy to adjust to the temperatures. “There are plenty of food stops throughout the course but it is advisable to bring some snacks for the longer routes. The most important thing is to enjoy the day and take pride in completing the course!” The Liverpool – Chester – Liverpool bike ride’s official Charity beneficiary for 2016 is North West charity Claire House Children’s Charity for the 6th consecutive year. There is still time left to book your place on the Liverpool Chester Liverpool Bike Ride, visit www.liverpoolchesterliverpool.com for more information.