My View, Dr David Crichton: Let the tour help you get on your bike
Bikes are appearing in all kinds of places across Doncaster and it's a great sight.
It’s amazing how creative people can be, with some mounted on fences and walls, there’s one hanging from the roof at the Dome, and even one appearing to come through a garden wall at Sprotbrough.
Yes, people are starting to get gripped by cycling mania as the Tour de Yorkshire prepares to make its maiden route through Doncaster on Saturday, as part of the May Day bank holiday weekend.
The Tour is really putting the borough on the map as we welcome the spectacle of elite cyclists from around the world covering 37 miles of our roads for the finish of the women’s race and the climax of stage two of the men’s race. The route starts in the west of the borough and ends in the town centre, with the cream of the cycling world being watched by thousands of along the way, in what promises to be carnival day.
It’s not every day you get to see Sir Bradley Wiggins and Yorkshire lass Lizzie Armitstead – the current women’s world road race champion - pass through your home town. ‘Wiggo’ is a headline act, a Tour de France winner and multiple Olympic champion, and a great role model for encouraging young people to take up the sport.
But how many aspiring young Wiggins or Armitsteads are there in Doncaster? I hope the legacy of hosting a stage of the Tour will be to encourage them to get on their bikes and fulfil their potential.
As a doctor, I know the value of exercise and cycling is a great way of building it into a regular routine that’s not only good for you but also enjoyable. It’s a popular pastime because everyone can cycle, young and old. As Spring hopefully heralds better weather, it’s a great opportunity to dust down your bike and start pedalling.
I remember my first bike and the freedom it gave me, in fact it was my main form of transport well into my 20s. I also enjoy cycling as a sport; I’ve undertaken the challenge of cycling the 150 miles from Whitehaven on the west coast to Tynemouth on the east coast over three days.
We also regularly cycle together as a family and frequently see lots of others doing the same, enjoying time together in the fresh air.
There are a lot of local cycle routes you can find near where you live in Doncaster at Map My Ride Skyride and Go-ride are also good British cycling schemes that encourage people to get out and about. Always remember to be safe when you’re on the road, and that means see and be seen. Wear a safety helmet and bright clothing and use your lights at night.
Go on, get out there.
n There will be road closures on Saturday, so check your route first if you have an NHS appointment.