Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell MBE made her mark in Hebden Bridge when she cycled along the Rochdale Canal for a charity challenge.
The London 2012 star was joined by National Lottery presenter OJ Borg for the scenic trans-Pennine route from Rochdale to Hebden Bridge, which marked the start of a series of bike rides organised by the Sustrans charity.
Olympic gold medallist Joanna, 24, said she frequented the area on her bike regularly, but this route saw her come along the canal for the first time.
She said: “I’ve never been down the canal. It’s an absolutely beautiful ride. You see everything from a different perspective.”
Joanna said she was excited that a stage of the 2014 Tour de France was coming through the Calder Valley.
She said: “I think it will be fantastic.
“Hopefully it will inspire more people to get on their bikes. I think it will be fantastic for the area.
“Hopefully it will inspire everyone to get on their bikes. It’s beautiful around here and getting on your bikes is the best way to see it.”
Joanna added that she’s seen a great response following last year’s Olympic Games.
“Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. The response from the public during the Olympics last summer was so exciting to be part of and see,”she said.
“I’m on my bike every day for training but also because it’s the quickest and cheapest way to get around – and it keeps me fit too.
“It would be great to see more people up and down the country doing the same, to show people that cycling is not just a great sport but a mode of transport too.”
Joining the athlete on the journey was the less-experienced OJ Borg, who said: “The toughest part was trying to keep up with Jo, making sure I didn’t fall off in front of a gold medal winner.”
The pair were joined by more than a dozen other riders along the route as part of the Pedal on UK scheme – a series of bike rides and free community celebrations organised by Sustrans and backed by the Big Lottery Fund’s Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign.