CYCLISTS have clocked up over 6,000 miles this summer - the equivalent of pedalling from Lunderston Bay in Gourock to Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

More people are getting back in the saddle thanks to local group Clyde Activity Bikes (CAB).

Since launching three years ago, the voluntary organisation has helped almost 400 keen cyclists, aged between eight and 83, get back on track.

This summer alone, those who attend the regular free group cycling sessions have collectively pedalled in excess of 6,000 miles - enough to get them to the sun-kissed beaches of Brazil.

Stevie McGrath, who runs CAB, said: "This is year three and we have had between 350-400 people who would have otherwise not got on a bike.

"Some have come along once and some come back again and again and love it.

"It's been fantastic."

For those who do not have a bicycle of their own, CAB can provide one for use on the off-road instructor-led group outings along the area's coastal paths.

The organisation also offers free cycling tuition and bike safety checks.

Electric bikes in particular have sparked a cycling revival locally, particularly among older people to help them tackle tricky terrain.

Gourock cyclist Ian Samuel said: "They are extremely popular because they assist you going up any hill in the whole of Inverclyde, including the likes of Bank Street and Larkfield Road.

"Inverclyde is quite hilly and people stay in areas with lovely views but they also have hills.

"No matter what way you have ridden you end up with a hill and these take that right out of the equation."

Keen cyclists were given the chance to try a power-assisted bike, courtesy of Community Tracks, during a recent week-long Cycling UK Big Bike Revival event held at the CAB base at the Royalle Club in Gourock.

Participant John McDougall said: "There are people who would've never cycled before but can now because electric bikes are in place."

For more information about Clyde Activity Bikes and to get involved in cycling call 07867797757, email or visit