Olympian Wants Free Bikes for Everyone on the NHS

By Matt Hill on at

London's Boris Bikes may have made cycling accessible, if comparatively laborious, to even the most Lycra averse, yet it's not quite enough for Olympic gold medalist turned bike maker/endorser Chris Boardman, who has called for bicycles to be available free on the National Health Service.

"The Department of Health should be screaming at the top of its voice and banging on doors," the former Tour de France yellow jersey-wearer told The Sun, quite animatedly it would seem, "saying, 'For God's sake, if people want to ride bikes, get everything out of their way and we’re all going to benefit.'

"Health, transport, pollution – all of those issues are solved with this simple machine. If cycling isn't made the easiest possible option for people, then they will choose the easiest option because that's what they do."

Indeed. But while the second part is fairly hard to argue with, a vision of everyone downing their car keys the instant there's a second-hand bike available, gratis, seems a tad fanciful.

Of course, the details of who would provide said bikes and at what cost doesn't seem to have made it into the discussion, but in principle do you think this is a goer? Or is the thought of being issued with an NHS two-wheeler too frightening to contemplate?

We're putting in an early request to the Doc for a Boardman Team Carbon. Well, if he really wants to get this show on the road…

[The Sun (paywall) via Road.cc]

Image Credits: Pile of scrap bike from Shutterstock, Boardman