A CHARITY is urging people to Cycle for Life, following research showing that almost 70 per cent of adults in the region have not ridden a bicycle over the past year.

A report on behalf of Cancer Research UK also found that, while 40 per cent of households owned at least one bicycle, almost half of those questioned had not cycled for at least five years.

And one in seven could not remember the last time they rode a bike.

Only people from Wales, the east of England and the North-West cycled less.

Now, Cancer Research is urging people to take advantage of its Durham Cycle for Life event, on Sunday, August 11, to rediscover their cycling skills.

The event is part of the charity's national series of 12, 30km bike rides, which aim to raise £500,000 to fund vital research into cancers affecting men.

Each participant is asked to contribute by raising at least £50 in sponsorship, and is invited to join in a complimentary breakfast and warm-up before setting off.

The Durham event, which is being supported by The Northern Echo and Magic radio, sets off from Meadowfield Leisure Centre, at 10am, and follows a scenic route suitable for cyclists of all abilities.

Gordon McVie, joint director general at Cancer Research UK, said: "Events like Cycle for Life are enormously important to Cancer Research UK.

"Together with the men, women and children supporting it, we can meet our challenge and cure cancer faster."

Individuals, families and teams can register to take part in the Durham cycle at www. cancerresearchuk.org/cycle or by calling 0870 161 1010.