ILKLEY based cycle wear brand Fat Lad at the Back (FLAB) wants to kickstart a cycling revolution in every part of the country - starting in Ilkley.

The brand has announced the first 25 locations of its new so-called FLambassador network of social bike rides.

Ilkley cyclists Annabelle Duckworth and Emma Booth have been recruited as FLambassadors to lead the Ilkley social ride, which will take place weekly on Monday nights from The Commute, Coffeehouse and Cycle Workshop on Leeds Road.

Annabelle and Emma will be charged with ensuring riders of a varying abilities are placed together to enable every rider in the group to enjoy the shared riding experience.

Emma said: “It’s always a privilege to be in a position to help people enjoy cycling. I come across a lot of people who find it daunting joining clubs and so on, but FLAB is a great brand and the cycling around North Yorkshire can be simply breathtaking.”

Annabelle added: “It seems only right to help others. Cycling should be a passion, not a chore. I see it as a chance to meet people and share my love of what is a wonderful social sport.”

Gavin Smith, the owner of The Commute, Coffeehouse and Cycle Workshop, said: “The Commute, Coffeehouse and Cycle Workshop have run a more advanced, yet still social, ride from the shop for a while. When FLAB approached us about teaming to provide a greater range of paced rides, it was a perfect opportunity for more riders to be welcomed into our shared ‘social’ riding ethos – a different and often more enjoyable ride than typical club or training rides.”

Fat Lad At The Back has 31,000 following on social media known as ‘The Bulge’ which has helped the brand to recruit volunteers and social rides are now being organised from from Teesside to Portsmouth, Norwich to west Wales.

Community project manager and guardian of The Bulge, Adrienne Horne, said: “Fat Lad At The Back wants to offer people a supportive and inclusive group in their local area, focused on the fun and social aspects of cycling.

“Club cycling can be daunting or just not of interest to many. But I am a cycling addict – I just love getting out and I’ve made so many new friends since embracing the sport, as well as supporting dozens of others to ride on two wheels.

“I’m thrilled to be co-ordinating the brand new FLambassador scheme right across the UK. Fat Lad At The Back is passionate about encouraging everyone onto their bikes, no matter what age, size or gender.”

FLAB Creative Director Lynn Bye said: “FLAB social rides are an opportunity for all types of cyclist to ride together with our ‘no-one gets dropped’ approach. It’s just a nice spin out on the bike with banter and a beer at the pub afterwards.

“For months people have been asking us whether Fat Lad At The Back is doing anything in their local area. It quickly became obvious that we needed experienced and passionate riders to help in our mission to get as many people as possible on the saddle and out on their bikes.

“The thing every member of The Bulge has in common is an enthusiasm for road cycling and a passion to support others to get involved. That’s what FLAB is all about.”