Cycling towards salvation

Congratulations to the CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, which set a new membership record of 60,776 this week. It’s further proof of the current boom in road cycling and comes in the same week that specialist bike shops are boasting sales are up at least 20 per cent.

While our politicians busy themselves fiddling their expenses, amidst the economic gloom, the nation turns to two wheels for salvation. In fact, bike demand is so high that there are shortages of key models from the top brands. Fortunately for us, the first supplies of 2010 bikes should be with us before the end of summer.

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The CTC says that its membership has always been a barometer of cycling in the UK. “Last year we predicted that the credit crunch and the high costs of fuel would get more people out of their cars and onto cycles,” it says. “Now our membership is up to a new high and, according to figures from Transport for London, cycling levels in the capital have increased by 16 per cent in a year.

“Cycling is a solution to obesity, to climate change and to congestion. The changes we need to make in our society must include cycling in order to succeed.”