Get in the saddle and hit the roads

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CYCLISTS from Hartlepool are encouraging people to join them and “get out on to the open road”.

The town is being gripped by cycle fever following Bradley Wiggins’s success in the Tour de France and the gold-winning exploits of Sir Chris Hoy and his colleagues in the Olympics.

Kevin Harrington, from Hartlepool Cycling Club, said there are some great beginners’ routes around the town for any novices wanting to saddle up.

He added: “A lot of people might see it as daunting but it really isn’t.

“If you head out towards Trimdon there are some nice and quiet back roads, and a 20-mile hour-and- a-half ride can really get your body moving.”

The sport has had a massive rise in profile and Kevin and his clubmates are hoping the Olympic spirit will encourage younger members to sign up.

He added: “We have about 60 members, but the youngest are in their 30s. It would be great to get some younger members in.”

For those who just want to take up cycling for leisure, Kevin recommends joining British Cycling.

He said: “They offer a Ride membership for £24 that gives you road insurance and some discounts.

The insurance and accident helplines are very worthwhile.”

And for those who’ve got a little more interest in a faster pace, Kevin said: “We’re always very happy to take new members out on to the roads to get them used to it.

“We try to help with general advice, gear selection and anything else you might need.”

The club is running a time trial event from Sedgefield to Wynyard on Saturday, August 18.

Kevin said: “Time trials are a brilliant way to give competitive cycling a go.”

The club meets at 9am every Sunday at Sappers Corner, near Greatham.

For more information, call Kevin on 07969133032.