Pedalling propaganda: What's on for cyclists in Europe

Seven out of 10 of Britain's 20 million cycles are kept permanently in the shed. National Bike Week, which begins this year on 15 June, is designed to increase use of bicycles. Cycle-related events such as Pedalling Picnics will take place all over Britain. A list of events will be available from 1 April. Call 01243 543 888 or visit <a href="http://www.bikeweek.org.uk" target="_blank">www.bikeweek.org.uk</a> for details.
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The Independent Travel

Seven out of 10 of Britain's 20 million cycles are kept permanently in the shed. National Bike Week, which begins this year on 15 June, is designed to increase use of bicycles. Cycle-related events such as Pedalling Picnics will take place all over Britain. A list of events will be available from 1 April. Call 01243 543 888 or visit www.bikeweek.org.uk for details.

¿ Springtime in Umbria is the title of a 10-day cycling holiday on offer from Bike Tours (01225 310 859, www.biketours.co.uk). It departs from London on 4 May and takes in Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto and Lake Bracciano. On average, about 40 miles are covered each day. The price of £860 includes rail travel from London (though you may save by flying to Italy instead), half-board accommodation and even having your luggage transported. The single-room supplement is £105. Book before Easter Sunday, 31 March, and you get a £25 discount.

¿ The composer Edward Elgar took his first tentative bike ride 101 years ago this week, from his home in the Malvern Hills of Worcestershire. Over the next few years, he regularly cycled for inspiration. Suggestions for following in his tyre-tracks are available at the excellent website www.malverntrail.co.uk.

¿ The Tour de France begins this year in Luxembourg, on 6 July, and spends the first 10 days going west across to Lorient on the Brittany coast. Trains and planes take the competitors south for the next stretch, from Bordeaux across to Macon in Burgundy – the hard way. Another train ride north sets the stage for the final day, 28 July, from Melun to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. For more information visit the website www.letour.fr, which has an English version.

¿ Twenty rides, 20 atlases – the new series of Cycle Tours from Philip's has a total of 400 routes, in a range of UK locations from Birmingham to the North York Moors. The spiral-bound guides cost £8.99 or £9.99 each, from bookstores, bike shops or direct from the publisher (020-7531 8400, www.philips-maps.co.uk).

¿ The Mazurian Lakes of north-east Poland have made it on to the cyclist's map of Europe; Brian Goode is running three trips through this little-known area during the summer. Call 00 48 600 896 922 or visit www.gbt.net.pl for more information.

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