I WAS delighted to read about the launch of a new festival of cycling in Eastbourne in May.
As a keen cyclist, I very much welcome any initiative which raises the profile of this multi-faceted activity which can variously be a demanding, high-energy sport, a gently-paced outdoor family recreation, or quite simply a mode of transport which is carbon-neutral and therefore environmentally friendly.
In whatever form, cycling is a weight-bearing, aerobic exercise which cannot fail to deliver health benefits to all ages, and with correct training many of the dangers associated with it can be significantly reduced.
We are informed the festival will include time trials and long-distance events, but I hope organisers will bear in mind cycling is not the sole domain of the lycra-clad, super fit adult athlete, and they will put on more relaxed, possibly off-road events, especially to cater for younger cyclists.
Understandable road safety concerns by parents have discouraged or prevented many children over the years from cycling to venues such as schools, or indeed from cycling at all.
The festival organisers have a golden opportunity to enthuse younger people by presenting them and perhaps their parents with a far more positive view of cycling which, in my view, is one of the very best ways to explore the beautiful area in which we live. I hope they will not let this opportunity pass.