As the passion for pedalling hits fever pitch this month with the return to Northamptonshire of the highly successful Women’s Tour, one lady rider is delighted to be back in the saddle thanks to support of a local bike shop.
Pat Wilkinson, aged 65 and from Nether Heyford, split her helmet after tumbling off her bike while taking part in last September’s annual charity bike ride, Cycle 4 Cynthia, but after hearing her plight, Leisure Lakes Bikes in Daventry has stepped forward to replace it.
Pat, who clipped the kerb and damaged her ribs in the fall, says the helmet almost certainly protected her skull from serious injury and is thrilled to be pedalling again after taking a break from riding to recuperate.
She said: “My husband John and I have always enjoyed cycling and I found it a great way to distract me when I was trying to give up a 50 year smoking habit last summer and keep the weight off!
“I was thoroughly enjoying being among the 1300 riders who made Cycle 4 Cynthia such a wonderful event and of course my fall was just an unfortunate accident, but it goes to show that it can happen to anyone and I’m just so glad that I was wearing a helmet as it could have been a lot worse!”
‘Safety first’ is certainly the abiding principle of Leisure Lakes Bikes which has been riding the crest of the wave of the recent cycling craze and director Iain Noy says he’s reassured that more and more riders are investing in the appropriate equipment. He said: “We’ve seen sales of bikes increase over the last few years as people have been inspired by our successful Olympians, Paralympians and the likes of Bradley
“And where once we might have had to politely encourage customers to buy a helmet as well, these days riders thankfully recognise it is as vital a part of their purchase as the two wheels themselves.”
Having made a full recovery, and proudly sporting her new protective headgear, Pat is now clocking up the miles around the county but sadly won’t be at this year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia – albeit for the best of reasons. Pat said: “John and I have booked a cycling holiday in Europe and are really sorry that it clashes with this year’s event but it’s such a super day that I’d urge everyone to sign up and take part – wearing a helmet of course!”
Cycle 4 Cynthia 2015, offering riders 5, 25 or 50 mile routes, returns to its former home of Althorp on Sunday September 13 and will again be raising much-needed funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice. More details, including downloadable entry and sponsorship forms, are now available at www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk while you can also follow the latest news on the ride on Facebook.
Meanwhile, with prizes offered for the best fancy dress and the largest corporate team to take part, any businesses wishing to enter or sponsor the event are invited to call Sue Bownass at the Hospice on 01604 678088.