Double Olympic cycling medallist Bryan Steel was in Lincoln city centre on Friday to encourage people to sign up to a new cycle challenge.
He promoted the Lincoln Cycle Challenge, a free competition between businesses and individuals to see who can do the most cycling between April 22 and May 12.
The challenge was set up by Lincolnshire County Council as part of the Access LN6 project, which aims to improve sustainable transport infrastructure in the area.
Steel, who has won a silver and bronze medal in the Olympics, was in Cornhill as part of “Challenge Bryan”, where individuals could take part in a virtual bike race.
There were also bike maintenance sessions and a display from Arrows Cycles, and people could sign up for the challenge.
Bryan Steel said: “It’s a great campaign for getting friends in companies involved in cycling, sharing the benefits of cycling and showing how great cycling is.
“There are some great routes from the city out to the LN6 area, and it’s good to get people knowing about those routes and seeing the benefits cycling can do — not only in fitness, but commuting and cutting costs.
“When they developed the LN6 area, they really focused on cycle routes and there are good routes and footpaths. There are some really good surfaces that are made quite wide, so you can ride together and have a chat on the way to work.”
“[Cycling is] very sociable. Hopefully, we’ll get groups riding out to work and back every day. It adds a great social element as well.”
He added: “Today, people can challenge me to 400 metres, we’re side by side connected to some rollers, which attach to the screen, and we’ll see who can go round the fastest. I’ve set a time today of 24 seconds, so let’s see who can beat me! Maybe we’ll find some budding Olympic cyclists.”
So far, 37 organisations have signed up for the challenge, with 500 people pledging to cycle for at least 10 minutes over the challenge.
The business with the most most employees cycling will win team prizes, but there are also prizes for individuals taking part, like a new bike, cinema tickets and restaurant vouchers.
Sarah Hubery from the Access LN6 team said: “The Lincoln Cycle Challenge is all about getting your bike out of the shed, cycling to the local shops, going for a weekend bike ride or commuting to and from work, but most importantly, having fun!
“We’re confident that after the Challenge, more people will think about getting their bike out, more often.”
Sign up to the Lincoln Cycle Challenge for free at Love to Ride or call Sarah on 01522 555217.