Plymouth man Bob Summers gets on track with Sir Chris Hoy
TWO wheels and Lycra were the order of the day for council worker Bob Summers when he cycled alongside Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy.
Bob, public buildings manager at Plymouth City Council, had no idea he was going to be the winner of the once-in-a-lifetime cycling experience when he registered for Sky Ride Plymouth.
But he got in the saddle with famed multi-gold medallist Sir Chris after being invited to the Manchester Velodrome for a spin.
The track day marked the end of a huge summer of two-wheeled sport and Sky Ride 2012 – a national campaign to get a million more people cycling regularly by 2013.
It was aimed at encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get back on their bikes and rediscover the fun they can have on two wheels.
Arriving at the Velodrome at midday, Bob was fitted out in the right gear ready for an hour cycling with Sir Chris, trained cycle leaders and other Sky Ride winners.
"There was a real buzz on the day," he said. "We were given the opportunity to do one lap as fast as we could around the Velodrome on our own with Chris riding alongside us. I did my lap in 23 seconds, but when you consider the GB Team do laps in less than 18 seconds it puts it into perspective.
"It was a really hard day but so much fun, with Chris giving us tips on how to race.
"I had an amazing day – I would encourage everyone to have a go at the Sky Rides; you never know, it might be your chance next."
Sir Chris added: "The track session was fantastic, it was great to spend some time having fun on the track with a group of enthusiastic people, really enjoying themselves.
"From those who were nervous to those who have ridden a track before, everyone was having a good time.
"It's been a fantastic summer for British Cycling and it's great to see that initiatives like Sky Ride are giving people an opportunity to get on their bikes and be inspired to cycle more regularly."
Hundreds of people took on a waterside route as part of the first Plymouth Sky Ride earlier this summer.
For full details on Sky Ride Local events in the area or to set up your own social cycling group visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/skyridelocal or www.goskyride.com.