Get on your bike in support of the British Heart FoundationOn what other mode of practical transport can you double park, avoid road tax, MoT and fuel costs, beat the queues, cut emissions, travel from door to door, get fitter, feel healthier, enjoy the sunshine, and all while you experience freedom and independence on whatever route you please?

It might be stating the obvious, but the fact is; cycling is good for you. With over 10,000 miles of walking and cycle routes on traffic-free paths, quiet lanes, and traffic-calmed roads in the UK, over 75% of the population now live within two miles of a cycle route.

Bike Week is (www.bikeweek.org.uk) is the UK’s annual celebration of cycling and is wheeling into Wales from 16-24 June, recruiting more people to their bikes. Forming more than 1,500 events that are expected to attract some 250,000 participants, it’s a great opportunity to discover or revive your pedal power.

And with just over a month to go until the klaxon sounds the start of the British Heart Foundation’s Heart’s First Gower Bike Ride on the 1st July 2007, it’s a great chance to prepare.

The Sports Council for Wales is urging people to capitalise on the opportunity to join in the battle to fight heart disease and to help transform the population into a fitter, more active nation.

A superhuman level of fitness is by no means a pre-requisite for taking part. The Swansea ride is set to draw people from all across the region to demonstrate that you don’t have to be a medal winner, or even a seasoned cyclist, to have a fantastic day out on your bike.

The Sports Council explain why it really is the best time to appreciate how far our two-wheeled wonders have advanced since their penny farthing days:


Cycling is one of the most cost-effective ways to travel after walking. According to Sustrans – the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity – the energy equivalent of a single litre of petrol will allow you to travel 650 miles on a bike.

Repairing and maintaining your bike is fairly reasonable and even cheaper if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty from time to time. On average, cyclists using their bikes up to 2-3 times a week spend around £75-80 a year on bicycle maintenance, much cheaper than the added cost of vehicle insurance, MOT and road tax, and more money to spend on you.