Popular children’s TV presenter, artist and very keen cyclist Timmy Mallett will be whizzing on his bike into Oxford to kick off bike week.

The star is cycling the Varsity cycle route ‘the wrong way’ from Cambridge to Oxford this week and today he will be arriving in the city.

Mr Mallett is saddling up to support bike week which is starting on May 30.

The focus of Bike Week 2021 is on wellbeing – mental, emotional, physical, and environmental. Lockdown has seen a huge increase in the number of people cycling – either as an alternative to using public transport or as a permitted leisure activity.

Mr Mallett explained he will be mixing up the Varsity route by finishing in Oxford. He said: “The downside is that I will be cycling into the wind, but the upside of course is that I will be finishing in the glorious city of Oxford.”

The TV star will reach the Oxford finish line on Friday afternoon after cycling more than a whopping 100 miles with an overnight break in Milton Keynes.

Mr Mallett said: “I love cycling, you are always going to meet people. For me it is not how far you go, or how fast, it is how much fun you have along the way.”

The keen cyclist has pedalled further than the Varsity route before. In spring 2018 he set out on a 3,500-kilometre cycle ride from his home in Cookham to Santiago de Compostela and back, battling the blustery ‘Beast from the East’ along the way in memory of his brother Martin, whose funeral was just two days before he started his journey.

Martin, who was born with Down's Syndrome and was not originally expected to live beyond his teenage years, died at the age of 64.

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Along the pilgrimage route Mr Mallett marked the journey with Martin Mallett name tags and he will be doing exactly the same as he cycles between Cambridge and Oxford this week.

Once the TV star has completed his cycling journey he will continue to pedal through South Oxfordshire to his home in Berkshire.

Looking forward to the long cycle Mr Mallett said: “I have very fond memories of working in Oxford, I have good friends in the city, and I am a fan of Oxford United. It will be great to end up in Oxford on this Varsity route if I am not completely blown away.”

Not put off by the bad weather Mr Mallett confessed to enjoying riding his bike in the rain. He said: “We have had the coldest wettest spring for ever and yet it is lovely to be out peddling in it.”

In the TV presenter's latest book ‘Utterly Brilliant!’ he tells the story of his career and life to date, from cycling to Spain, having a number one hit song and his days at BBC Radio Oxford.

He said: “I have been very lucky with my career and cycling is something that is a little bit more modest and personal.

“This is what drives me, just being involved in the great outdoors.”

Mr Mallett will be joined by his old friend Gary, who he says will be keeping him going and stopping him from cycling on the wrong side of the road.