ELLESMERE Port residents are being urged to sign up to the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride, taking place on Sunday, July 3.

Organisers and cycling experts are keen to offer preparation tips for all riders.

Simon Wallis, Sustrans Bike it officer for Merseyside, offers the following advice:

Get your bike serviced a week or two before the event and get any faulty parts repaired.

Try to build up your stamina by getting out on your bike and doing a little distance and often in the run-up to the event. Even if you've not started training yet, every little helps and you’ll find it's easy to get fit on your bike.

Set your seat at a sensible height where your toes are just touching on the floor. A low seat makes for really hard work on the thighs.

Make sure you use a bike that you’re comfortable with riding to avoid aches and sores. If possible try to give it a few test runs before the ride. Additionally, you could use a gel seat and wear cycling gloves.

Get used to the gears on your bike before starting the race and make hills easy for yourself.

Taking part with friends and family can help you maintain a relaxed pace.

Warm up before the ride and cool down afterwards. This is particularly important to first-time riders using muscles that they may not normally use.

Be prepared for the weather – be sure to take a rain jacket and eye protection so you don’t get caught out halfway round the route.

Carry a few high-energy trail snacks and drink sips of water about every 20 minutes throughout your journey.

The annual event will start at Old Haymarket, just outside the Birkenhead Tunnel entrance, and feature four routes: a challenge ride (54 miles), community ride (30 miles), family ride (25 miles) and sportive route (90 miles).

The sponsors of this year’s ride are Liverpool PCT and Merseytravel.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, chairman of Liverpool PCT, said: “We’d like as many people as possible to embrace the Decade of Health and Wellbeing, and our support for the Liverpool-Chester Bike Ride is part of our commitment to promoting events which encourage a healthier way of life.

“The Bike Ride is a great way for people to have fun and get active.”

This year’s official charity is Claire House Children’s Hospice.

If you would like to take part in the event, visit www.liverpoolchesterliverpool.com.