16 June 2011

In a bid to promote the many benefits of pedal power - Northamptonshire County Council has teamed up with cycle shops in the county to offer people free bike safety checks.

The initiative called Britain’s Biggest Bike Fix is part of this year’s National Bike Week and aims at getting people who may own a bike and, who may not have used it for some time, back in the saddle.

Research carried out nationally shows that about 77 per cent of people own a bike but only 14 per cent use them regularly.

The safety checks will ensure that items such as brakes, tyres, handlebars and gears are all in good-working order. Any minor adjustments such as tightening brakes or pumping up tyres will be undertaken free of charge.

If bikes require more major work or parts, many of the participating shops are also offering small discounts for bikes booked in for repair during Bike Week.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection said: “There are many advantages to cycling, the most notable of course being the health benefits, both physical and mental.

“Then of course there are the cost benefits of it being a remarkably cheap form of transport and can often be much faster than driving through rush-hour traffic.

“There are also environmental benefits in that people electing to cycle to work obviously reduces the amount of traffic and associated pollutants.

“The county council is doing a great deal of work to encourage and facilitate cycling and it’s great to be part of this national initiative.”

In April the county council launched the Norbital cycle route – a track which completely circumnavigates Northampton.

Norbital is a major part of a wider scheme which will see the enhancement of existing cycle routes and introduction of new routes in Northampton to encourage commuting by bike.

Bike Week runs from Saturday, June 18 to Sunday, June 26. Bike shops taking part are:

  • Cycle King – Kettering Road, Northampton
  • C&D Cycles – Montagu Street, Kettering
  • Cyclelife Wellingborough – Farm Road, Wellingborough
  • Bike Shed – Park Square, Northampton
  • Leisure Lakes – Station Close, Daventry
  • Baines Racing, Silverstone Circuit
  • McGanns Cycle centre – Harborough Road, Northampton
  • Pedal Power Cycles – Boothville Green, Northampton

For more details of events taking place and when free checks are available at participating cycle shops please visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/bikeweek