THE cycle-loving Melrose family has pledged to take on one of Swindon’s summer Sky Rides every week and have even rid the house of their TV in preparation for the challenge.
Dad William, 32, of Penhill, his wife Claire, 31, their daughter Ellie, nine, and four-year-old son Corey, who rides in a trailer, will tackle a dozen of the 35 cycles staged until the end of August by Swindon Council .
Keen to ensure their children enjoy the fresh air and make the most of their summer, William and Claire cancelled the TV licence and ditched the small screen altogether as an incentive to get on their bikes.
“The plan is working so far,” William said. “We’ve all been out on two Sky Rides and they were brilliant fun.
“The TV licence was cancelled weeks ago and we’re not missing it at all really.
“There’s not much worth watching anyway! And we would much rather be out in the fresh air on our bikes – even the kids aren’t complaining.”
William is no stranger to cycling, as he used to take part in competitive downhill mountain biking and now works as a professional cycle instructor, teaching children across the borough how to be safe on the roads.
The former chef returned to his true passion and made a career of cycling after Corey was born.
Claire, who works as a neighbourhood warden, is equally enthusiastic.
“Ditching our TV may sound a bit drastic, but we really don’t care or hardly even think about it,” she said.
“We’re getting on much better as a family, enjoying more meals together and of course going out for practice bike rides.
“We’re probably all fitter for it too, which is fantastic considering we’re having such a good time.”
The Sky Rides, funded by Sport England, will take place every Sunday until September.
They are organised by British Cycling and Sky in partnership with Swindon Council and they are free to enter.
To book go to www.goskyride.com/ swindon