A cycle surgery that aims to get bike riders rolling safely and securely in time for summer is proving just the medicine.
The Dr Bike initiative, which allows riders in South Tyneide the chance to get their wheels checked over before they hit the road, is now in full swing and going places.
Experts will be on hand every other Saturday to help with basic maintenance and fixes, route planning, and even advise people on how to choose the right bike.
They also help to instil road confidence, advise on safely carrying shopping or children on two wheels, and offer support around other concerns that prevent people from cycling.
Dr Bike is only part of a wider cycling scheme that has been run for three years - jointly run by South Tyneside Council and cycling awareness charity Sustrans.
Short guided social rides around what are described as some of the borough’s ‘secret cycleways’, are also held.
Scheme co-ordinator Gary Dawes said: “This programme is one of five that started across Tyne and Wear, some of which have now stopped.
“Now the warmer weather is on the way and the light nights are here, we want more people to know about it, so they can benefit it and enjoy it.
“We run all year round, but the weather had not been that good for cycling lately.
“Thankfully, it’s a lot better now.”
He added: “South Tyneside has a lot of cycle routes, but many are not that well known and are a little bit secret.
“All the routes we use try to be traffic free wherever possible with the occasional use of minor roads.
“We follow various routes, generally taking around an hour or so – a little longer if we stop for coffee, cake, or ice creams.
“We always go at a speed suitable for all, and we will always make sure we keep the group together with plenty of stops.”
Mr Dawes said the rides were suitable for beginners, those wanting a leisurely spin, and for families where children can ride confidently without stabilisers.
Dr Bike sessions run at noon on the first and third Saturdays of each month, at Temple Park Centre, South Shields.
Rides take place on the second and fourth Saturdays, starting at 10.30am at the same venue.
More information is available at thebikepark.wordpress.com