Cycling is a great way to get and stay fit. First, choose the right bike.
Cycling is one of the fastest growing activities in the country and Suffolk is a great place to get on your bike and get fit
IT’S coming again – the OVO Energy Tour of Britain will bring hundreds of professional cyclists to Suffolk on September 8 for stage six of Britain’s premier road cycling race.
And in a first for the county, the 183-kilometre stage, sponsored by Adnams, will take place entirely within Suffolk, heading east from Newmarket to the finish in Aldeburgh, via Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds, Eye, Framlingham and Woodbridge. Full details will be published in the build up to the race so check the website to find out where you can cheer them on www.tourofbritain.co.uk.
The Tour and Britain’s road and track success – especially Bradley Wiggins’ performance at the London 2012 Olympics – have done more than anything in recent years to encourage millions of Brits to get on their bikes. It’s a great way to get some exercise, something the whole family can do together, you can enjoy it at any level, and for those who like a challenge there are organised rides and competitions. Membership of local cycling clubs has really taken off in recent years, as cycling replaces golf as the preferred way of dealing with the male midlife crisis. For women, cycling is an excellent way to exercise – a refreshing alternative to the gym – especially as manufacturers now put a lot of effort into designing bikes and cycling gear for the female body.
So, if you’ve already dusted off your old bike, covered a few miles of Suffolk’s stunning countryside and want to get a bit more serious, where do you start? Well, a reputable local bike shop run by people who are as passionate about cycling as you are is a good place.
Rob Bate has turned his love of cycling into a business. He started The Pedal House, in Hadleigh, in 2014 with the aim of earning his living from his hobby, but also to be a resource to Suffolk cyclists, selling top quality bikes and clothing, full workshop support and training equipment. Rob really knows his stuff, and is only too willing to pass on his knowledge and experience to customers. The shop is the main East Anglian stockist of world renowned Pinarello bikes, which produces some of the most cutting edge bikes and frames on the market and has multiple Tour de France titles to its name. Both Team Sky and Team Wiggins ride them.
Rob swapped a 17-year career in sales and marketing with a major company to set up The Pedal House. He loves the buzz of the shop, talking to customers and sharing his enthusiasm for the sport. The workshop is run by fellow local cyclist Adam Chamberlin who handles everything from kids’ bikes, shoppers, mountain bikes and road bikes. This year they started up The Pedal House cycling team, which is already achieving success. As well as adult riders, TPH Racing has an under-16 junior team of three, mentored by the seniors. Encouraging young riders is very much part of the TPH philosophy. In spring and summer they organise social rides, about 30 miles through beautiful mid and south Suffolk countryside, and they sponsor local events such as the Gayford Flyer, a Hadleigh Cycling Club sportive in September, and the East Bergholt Bomb-along charity ride each May.
The Pedal House, Hadleigh
Adam Chamberlin and Rob Bate