Derbyshire Dales cyclists who take part in group rides on some of the district's trails every week are being mentored by a British champion.
The District Council's cycling participation coordinator Ruth Taylor was victorious in the British National Masters Road Race Championship (35-39 age category) – a 65 mile event staged in Buckinghamshire last weekend.
Modest Ruth, who didn't even tell her work colleagues that she had entered the prestigious race, said:
"Probably the most exciting bit is I now automatically qualify for the World Championships which will be held in Denmark in September."
In the meantime she will be focusing on developing the Derbyshire Dales' growing reputation as one of the best cycling areas in the UK.
Appointed at the end of last year, Ruth's job, which is externally funded, involves expanding cycling opportunities as well as supporting the Wider Peak District Cycling Strategy to further improve the local trails network.
Ruth worked previously in the world of rock climbing and mountaineering, including a stint at the National Mountain Centre, having become heavily involved in cycling as a very keen rider and bike racer on both road and track.
"A cycling boom is happening across the country and here in the Derbyshire Dales the District Council runs excellent cycling schemes weekly on some of our stunning trails. My aim is to build on this while also working closely with children and young people to develop cycling as a fundamental life skill.
"In this beautiful part of the world, it's a delight to promote family cycling activities, cycling for adults, improving pathways into local cycling clubs and supporting cycling for tourism benefit."
Ruth works two days every week with the District Council and a further day with the Rural Derbyshire School Sports Partnership and is contactable by email at email@example.com or call 01629 761387.
More information about the our cycling activities is available here.