Sir Chris Hoy has hailed the importance of using his Olympic success to encourage wider use of cycling around Great Britain.
Hoy, who has been an avid supporter of HSBC’s ‘City Ride’ campaign, believes the associated health benefits stand to revolutionize lives as well as easing congestion problems and improving the strain on the NHS.
The campaign, which sees city roads closed to traffic to encourage cycling, spans nationwide at 14 events between 11th June and 24th September. Southampton will host the scheme this coming Sunday [25th June].
The six-time Olympian is keen to use his own success and that of the Great British Cycling Team to motivate people to back the incentive.
The partnership with HSBC aims to inspire two million people to take up cycling by 2020, as well as make cycling the most popular activity and sport of choice in the UK.
“Winning a medal at the Olympics is great but it’s even more great if you can hopefully inspire others to take up your sport and enjoy your sport in the way that you do. It’s not just about funding cyclists to win medals. It’s about funding cyclists to win medals to inspire others,” he said.
“I’ve met so many people whose lives have been transformed by cycling in recent years. They’ve literally turned their lives around. They’ve taken up cycling, they’ve changed their lifestyle, they’ve changed their eating habits and you see the before and after pictures and you can’t believe it.”
Hoy also alluded to the benefits of investing in cycling infrastructure as a means of reducing pollution and improving general health.
“The fact it (cycling) can reduce congestion, it can reduce the pollution and improve the health of the people, it’s just so important,” he explained.
“It seems obvious and it seems like the key way to take the strain off the NHS and from every perspective more people on bikes has got to be a good thing. It’s just about keeping the pressure on the people that make the decisions.”