Active 2014

'Pedalling' the idea cycling is about fun

IT takes seven pairs of legs and at least one person with a sense of direction to power the conference bike.

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Evie Hargreaves, 12, and mum Catherine Hargreaves race round the track which is at Glasgow Green
Evie Hargreaves, 12, and mum Catherine Hargreaves race round the track which is at Glasgow Green

With saddles perched on tentacles of metal that form a circle, the riders are balanced on top of a giant tricycle.

What's the point of this mode of transport that looks like something from television's Scrapheap Challenge?

The squeals of excitement and roars of laughter that come from the cyclists speeding around the track at Glasgow Green say it all. It's all about having fun.

Free Wheel North at Glasgow Green Cycling Centre is just one of the venues taking part in Glasgow Cycle Festival.

From June 13 to 29, cyclists of all ages and abilities get together to celebrate pedal power.

Norman Armstrong set up the charity three years ago aiming to make Glasgow a healthier and more active city by encouraging people to get on their bikes and get involved in inclusive cycling. That means everything from bikes for people with special needs to climbing aboard unusual cycles for more than one person - just like the conference bike.

"Free Wheel North is open to anybody," says Norman.

"We have an emphasis on special needs and disability cycling so more than 200 groups come here, from Sense Scotland and Deaf Blind Scotland to Scottish Autism, mental health groups and disability organisations. We are open to everyone, not just kids.

"Cycling gives them freedom, fresh air, confidence and a chance to socialise.

"The smiles on the faces of the people who come here make it all worthwhile.

"It's the same with the kids from estates nearby. Rather than watching the telly, they come here and get fresh air, exercise and have fun."

Visit www.facebook.com/GlasCycleFestival.

angela.mcmanus@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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Tips to help you keep active from the Glasgow Club

  • Be realistic about what you want to achieve
  • Build up the intensity and frequency of your activity sessions gradually
  • Find an activity which you enjoy
  • Exercise with a friend
  • Use the stairs as often as possible
  • Make active choices as part of your daily routine
  • Get out at Lunchtime! Why not go to the shops or park at lunchtime instead of staying at work? The walk will also make you feel more awake in the afternoon