Get on yer bike!
When the sun peaked out between showers the other day I did a little inventory of the garden. There were five bikes mouldering away in or around the shed. The last time any of them saw any meaningful action? This time last year at the earliest. I can’t remember the girls being small enough to ride the two tucked away beside the shed and they have to have been there long enough ago for the jasmine that has wound its way round its wheels to grow four feet tall…
According to Andre Curtis of Bike Week there are seven million bicycles, just like ours, gathering dust and rust in Britain’s gardens sheds and garages, and he’s on a mission to get them back on the road. Many people, like us, haven’t touched them for years, which is a waste of money as well as space.
Apart from anything else, Andre feels we owe it to last summer’s cycling heroes to fall back in love with cycling. Remember how it felt when Bradley Wiggins streamed through the gates of Hampton Court Palace last August to win Britain’s first gold medal of the London Olympics? (BTW have you noticed how many men are sporting sideburns this summer?)
What would Wiggo think if he caught us ditching our bikes behind the shed for years on end? Well park your excuses and clip on your cycling helmets as tomorrow (Sat 15 June) is the start of Britain’s biggest mass cycling event – Bike Week. Cycling experts will be on hand all over the country to help tempt us fair-weather cyclists to get back on our bikes. Many of them will have a Dr Bike mechanic on hand to either fix our bikes up on the spot or recommend some professional or DIY TLC. According to Andre Curtis, manager of Bike Week, “Many people haven’t touched their bike for years and have no idea how to get it back in working order. Bike Week can help. It’s the perfect opportunity to talk to experts, get free advice or be inspired by taking part in a led ride. Our Dr Bike experts can help with problems that are easy to mend and will provide guidance when to spend with a professional fix. We urge everyone interested in cycling to find their local Bike Week event at bikeweek.org.uk and take part in the nation’s exciting love affair.”
So what are we waiting for? A nudge from Norman Tebbit? (this is a vintage reference – here’s a clue for younger readers.
I have already taken one of our trusty rusty heaps off to the bike shop for a mini overhaul – I shall report back once it’s back on the road. I’ll be the one without the sideburns – or the Lycra!
Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn