A newly group formed to help cyclists explore Sunbury’s many bike paths and advocate for life-saving upgrades is encouraging people to join a family ride this Sunday.

Members of the Sunbury Bicycle Users Group (BUG) will lead cyclists down paths near Blind Creek, Spavin Drive, Salesian College, Reservoir Road and Emu Bottom homestead, after meeting at Lions Park on Riddell Road at 1pm.

Member Hector Bugeja said the recently-formed group would push for improvements to the local bike network, including links to Goonawarra.

‘‘Sunbury has a good established pathway network which is a very well-kept secret,’’ he said.

‘‘However, there are key gaps, which push riders onto the road.’’

Mr Bugeja said cyclists want a path, which stops at the Spavin Drive lake, extended. The group is also involved in a campaign for a relatively simple upgrade on a dangerous section of Vineyard Road, near the Calder Freeway overpass.

As reported by Star Weekly, the shared pathway currently ends at Moore Road, about 200 metres short of the overpass, forcing cyclists and pedestrians heading for Diggers Rest to cross onto the road.

With vehicles trying to enter the freeway or continue to the overpass, Mr Bugeja said it was a nasty mix. He said there had been many near-misses involving cars, pedestrians or cyclists at the busy site.

Mr Bugeja and Sunbury BUG convenor Robert Irvine have written to Roads Minister Luke Donnellan and Sunbury MP Josh Bull.