Today saw the launch of the UK’s first ever cycling club dedicated to support emergency service workers and armed forces personnel. Members of the emergency services and armed forces were outside New Scotland Yard this morning to officially launch this club along with the additional support from a fire engine and ambulance.
In 2019 Colin Nye and two colleagues from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) originally arranged a charity cycle ride from London2Paris for June 2020 in aid of COPS (Care of Police Survivors.) Partner businesses supported this venture by providing support and discounts to the original riders. This included Endurance Zone, WKG Sports, iPro hydration and Grand Tour Coffee. This event was sadly cancelled along with the subsequent ride in 2021 due to travel restrictions imposed in response to the COVID19 pandemic.
But that was not the end, interest in emergency services cycling grew on Twitter and various other platforms leading to a variety of emergency workers from different agencies meeting virtually on Zoom in March 2021 and the vision of the Bluelight Cycling Club was realised.
The club, which is a nonprofit community interest company, will support five charities, each one linked to the relevant emergency services.
Police representative for the event was Chief Superintendent Roy Smith who told the Havering Daily: “The work undertaken by the emergency services and partners like the armed forces is unlike other vocations and sometimes see’s our colleagues subjected to repeated trauma. Having a community built around a shared interest like cycling is an excellent way to decompress in a safe space. I am delighted to be able to support this initiative in a small way and wish all those involved the very best of luck.”
Honorary President of the Bluelight Cycling Club Colin Nye said: “The club has been created to support all bluelight workers, partner agencies and the armed forces to attain the physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved through cycling.
The club Ambassadors who will be joining in on rides throughout the year include the following: Austin Healey, Martin Johnson, Matt Stephens, Brian Smith, Philippa York, Chris Pritchard, Andy Goode, Sam Ward, Ron Keeble, Tom Gaymor and Sharron Davies MBE.
The club will evolve and is fully inclusive for all abilities. From cycling 500 yards for coffee and cake to riding all day you will be able to find like-minded friends. This decentralised approach will allow members to find their best fit, in a safe environment.
There are huge benefits in regular cycling. It is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK with nearly 4 million people riding a bike each month. It’s an easy way to exercise. You could even use it to get to work. Money saved and exercise combined – what could be better!?
So whether you are a yellow jersey contender with a state of the art carbon-frame bike, or have just dusted off your old bike from the garage we encourage you all to take the chance to cycle just once a week and join the UK’s most inclusive cycling club.