'Cycling superhero' awarded for getting Bromley residents on their bikes
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:00 25 September 2013
A "cycling superhero" awarded for encouraging people to saddle up says getting on your bike is a "life skill".
Keen cyclist Spencer Harradine, of Court Road, Orpington, has been singled out for praise – receiving the London Cycling Hero Award.
The 53-year-old is one of eight heroes – chosen from almost 100 nominated – to receive the award from British Cycling for inspiring their communities to get involved in bike riding.
It is part of the organisation’s commitment to get more people on their bikes.
Spencer said: “The award is absolutely fantastic. At first I was quite embarrassed, but once I overcame that I got very excited.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to promote cycling and be able to speak to people about cycling who wouldn’t normally consider it.
“Cycling is for everybody – both the young and the old. It’s a no impact way to exercise and a free and carbon friendly method of transport.”
The father-of-four is passionate about encouraging young people from Bromley to get into cycling.
He said “It is a life skill. It provides children with a freedom that they wouldn’t normally get. My son Jack is 10 and is able to ride to school on his own, giving him a sense of freedom and responsibility.
“Cycling keeps children fit, gets them out and about and builds their confidence. A child that might not be that athletic or into football or rugby is given a different option of sport.
“After the Olympics, children want to emulate cyclists like Bradley Wiggins as they do other sports stars.”
When he’s not running the family DIY store, Spencer acts as co-ordinator of Bromley Cyclists, which is part of the London Cycling Campaign.
The role sees him organise and lead cycle rides and training sessions, campaign for safer cycling conditions and work closely with the council on initiatives.
As part of British Cycling’s campaign to get more people saddled up, and in partnership with the London Borough of Bromley, Sky Ride Local rides are already taking place in the area.
These free bike rides are guided by friendly British Cycling-trained Ride Leaders who are happy to provide advice, encouragement and support along the way.
Spencer is also a founder member, chairman and coach of Bigfoot Go-Ride Cycle Club, which aims to encourage youngsters to try riding bikes for fun and competition.
Club member Adam Shepherd said: “He does so much for cycling, for so many, in such a wonderful way. To us he’s not so much a cycling hero, as a cycling superhero.”
To get involved in cycling visit bromleycyclists.org.