A PROJECT aimed at wooing women onto the saddle is returning for a second year.

Following the success of last year's initial Easy Riders project, which encourages women to enjoy cycling, it has returned with a fresh series of rides.

Each of the sessions, which are taking place this year around Peebles, Galashiels and Selkirk, is restricted to eight riders.

The programme is aimed at improving cycling-confidence, skills and fitness - and is completely free.

Peebles based Hillside Outside Ltd, organisers of Tour of The Borders and TweedLove’s Transcend Bike Festival, are leading the project, alongside award winning cycling tuition providers Ridelines.

Director of Hillside outside Ltd Neil Dalgleish said: "We were delighted to get nearly 200 women across the Borders on their bikes last year, the feedback and the continued progress after the course has just been phenomenal.

“A total of 90 percent of participants now opt for the bike over the car for shorter journeys and over 50 percent said both their physical and mental health had improved.

"We are proud to be involved again for 2019 and provide this for even more women across the Borders.”

The project is once again being funded by ‘paths for all’ and transport Scotland’s “smarter choices, smarter places” through the Scottish Borders Council.

Courses begin this weekend in Galashiels (May 25) and Selkirk (May 26).

The first courses pull into Peebles on June 4.