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Alun Pugh, Former Welsh Minister For Sport, writes on cycling and RHYL CYCLING CLUB

Like many of my constituents I spend a lot of my time sitting at a desk or working with a computer. With my 50th birthday a memory from last year, it's all too easy to lose fitness or pile on unhealthy pounds.

I try to maintain a basic level of fitness by walking the mountains of North Wales and riding my bike around the lanes near my home. Sometimes it's a 6 mile trip to the butcher's or fishmonger's. But if the weather's good, a forty mile trip with friends around the country lanes to somewhere like Betws-y-Coed or the Vale of Clwyd is a brilliant way of unwinding after a stressful week at work..

I felt numb when I heard that four members of Rhyl Cycling Club had been killed whilst out for a club run in my constituency. A fun and friendly social occasion had been turned into a scene of carnage when a car skidded on black ice, broad-siding the group.

The deaths of four much loved people and the injuries sustained by others might have finished many organisations, but the club pressed ahead with their normal club ride on the following Sunday. They were right to do so.

Well over 100 cyclists from all over North Wales and further afield met in Rhuddlan to pay tribute to the dead and their club. The Rhos-on-Sea Cycling Club was particularly well represented.

As Wales Sports Minister I had met two of the club members in the past and I was keen to pay my personal respects. The route selected took us south to the market town of Ruthin.

Cycling is a minority sport in both Wales and the rest of the UK. Although most of us can ride a bike most of the nation's bikes sit at the back of the garage with flat tyres, quietly rusting away.

One of the biggest reasons why people don't cycle more, despite all the health and environmental benefits it brings, is having to share congested road space with fast moving traffic.

While the law gives cyclists a perfect right to be on the public highway, I think we need to develop far more cycleways to give adults and children more options to get to school or work, to go shopping or to visit friends.

Maurice Broadbent, Chairman Rhyl Cycling Club,  as friends will remember him

 

Alun Pugh AM, Welsh Minister for Sport and Culture, speaks volumes.

 

Patricia Broadbent courageously rides in this tribute to her father and their club.

 

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