On this Thursday’s Blue Peter, presenter Barney Harwood pays a surprise visit to a cycling club in Blackpool.
The children’s TV presenter went to Blackpool Youth Cycling Association – part of British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme – to watch the kids in action and help out as a volunteer.
The youth cycling session took place at Palatine Leisure Centre, where Barney helped Go-Ride Coaches, Tom Leivers and Dylan Clayton, to deliver a session that aimed to develop cornering skills.
"The children had a fantastic time, they were all so excited to have such a special volunteer helping out at the session."
British Cycling Go-Ride Coach for the North West, Tom Leivers
British Cycling Go-Ride Coach for the North West, Tom Leivers, said: “The children had a fantastic time, they were all so excited to have such a special volunteer helping out at the session. Barney has thrown himself into his cycling challenge and he is a great role model for the kids.”
It’s all part of a wider project, where the team at British Cycling trained up the presenter for one of the biggest challenges of his life… joining a leg of the tour of Britain.
On Monday 16 September, Barney set off from Carlisle, with the aim of making it across the finish line in Kendal before the elite riders. The elite riders, led by Sir Bradley Wiggins, followed the 120 mile route, while Barney rode a direct route of 60 miles.
In addition to support from British Cycling coach, Charlie Evans, Barney was also paired up with six young riders from British Cycling’s youth development programme, Go-Ride. The cyclists, aged between 14 and 20, trained alongside Barney and rode with him on the day of the challenge as Team Blue Peter.
This week features the third of a four-part series on Blue Peter, which shows Barney’s story from training to challenge. In addition to helping out at the Go-Ride session, Barney also gets some top tips from Olympic medal winner, Ed Clancy, who progressed from a Go-Ride club up through the ranks. This week’s programme also shows Barney experiencing a training set-back with an injury to his knee.
Barney said: “I think every single kid in the UK should have a go at cycling. It’s a sport where everybody gets involved and you feel part of a team, which is a great thing to feel. When you’ve got support from friends and a club that you belong to, it gives you a real purpose and drive and ambition to do something well.”
The next two parts of the Blue Peter Big Bike challenge will air on CBBC on 17 October and 24 October. Tune in at 5.30pm to find out if Team Blue Peter made it to the finish line in Kendal.
British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme is a network of cycling clubs, which provide a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport. For more information, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride.
For more information about British Cycling’s coaching department, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/coaching