Let’s hope that this passion for cycling remains

Honour Tomkinson

Honour Tomkinson

First published in News by

I was happy to read over the weekend that a poll by Sustrans has found that more than a quarter of Britons have been inspired by Le Tour De France to try cycling or to cycle more often. It is either a milestone in cycling history for the UK or the cynical part of me suspects it may be the influence of the media but, thank goodness it is not the influence of drugs which has so severely overshadowed this spectacular race. I say that in jest because we can all look back and laugh now can’t we?

I love Le Tour despite the hiccups in its history. It’s my dad’s fault. Like all of you I find my later life influenced by the people that brought me up. I love the band Queen and I love Supertramp (have you noticed they read The Oxford Times in one of their album covers?). Music taste is thanks to my mother, but when it comes to thanking my father for his input I can credit him with my love for watching Le Tour and alas my lasting profession, working in the bike trade.

He was not a professional bike mechanic. He is skilled in that arena but officially a DIY’er. I was always sent to the garage to see my father when I was naughty, not such a punishment when you like fixing things. Instead of any reprimand, I was met with all manner of spanners, tools and cars or bikes to mess around with.

I seriously think he wanted boys but the poor man ended up with two girls. At least I took note. I was brought up respecting my bicycle and cars were only seen as occasional vehicles that could take the whole family 40 miles or more to see the in-laws.

Which brings me to my point. I am not sure if the masses inspired by Le Tour will swap their cars for bicycles. They would probably invest some money into their weekend hobby but not take it the whole way and see the bike as the principle form of transport. I hope I am proved wrong.

But it really is the best transport and I hope the UK will realise that very soon. The bike trade doesn’t have as much money to pour into fancy advertising like the car trade. Has anyone else noticed how the majority of our adverts on TV are dedicated to new cars and the modern ones use leisure sports such as cycling to boost the appeal? Bikes may look like a sitting duck against such aggressive advertising but I always feel if you need to advertise your product so heavily it may not be wanted in this day and age.

The poll by Sustrans has been commented upon by its chief executive who said: “What a show cycling has seen since the Tour de France hit Yorkshire just a few weeks ago. If the Government’s ‘cycling revolution’ is to go ahead they must be quick to capitalise on this public passion to reap the benefits in health, congestion and the economy to be had with higher levels of public cycling.”

Well, I say, hear hear. Let’s just hope the government people watch real people’s day to day cycling and not just sporting activities. I have got to admit it, it was a good race though. Farewell Le Tour for another year.



 

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Mum says Oxford Health let down son who escaped mental hospital

Oxford Mail: Ian McLean

9:00am Friday 30th January 2015

THE family of man who escaped a mental hospital, fled abroad then hanged himself in a prison cell have said he was let down by Oxford Health.

UPDATE: Further warning of ice and snow for end of weekend in Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail: Ice warning for Sussex after more snow falls

12:06pm Thursday 29th January 2015

SNOW has been forecast for Oxfordshire on Sunday and Monday and a yellow weather warning is still in place for today.

Oxfordshire County Council chief executive Joanna Simons to stand down in June - and will not be replaced

Oxford Mail: Joanna Simons

1:10pm Friday 30th January 2015

OXFORDSHIRE'S biggest local authority will scrap its top unelected position as part of a radical shake-up to save costs, it was revealed today.

Andrew Main appears in court charged with South Oxfordshire arsons

Oxford Mail:

1:13pm Friday 30th January 2015

A MAN has today appeared in court accused of three arson attacks in South Oxfordshire, including those that destroyed district council offices and a funeral parlour.

Two arrested after police raid house in Barton

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

10:34am Friday 30th January 2015

TWO people were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and possession of class A drugs following a police raid.

UPDATE: Car gone off road on A420 near Botley interchange

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 30th January 2015

Traffic has returned to normal after an earlier accident on the A420.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree