One in five people in the UK have not cycled in more than a decade, with many admitting it has been so long they have forgotten what to do, a survey has suggested
Despite this, more than half of those asked said they would consider getting back on the saddle by taking up a cycling challenge this year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said.
The charity is encouraging people to sign up for its London to Brighton Bike Ride as a way to get fit while supporting research into heart disease.
Elizabeth Tack, from the charity, said: “It’s surprising to learn that whilst there is a clear appetite for cycling in the UK, there is still a vast amount of us who are not getting on our bikes often enough, or even at all.
“Cycling is a fantastic way of keeping your heart healthy, which is why we’re encouraging everyone to dust off their bikes this year and challenge themselves to take on our London to Brighton Bike Ride to help support our vital research into heart disease.
“We can provide all the support you need to get you back in the saddle this year, with free training guides and advice available for all registered cyclists in the run up to the big day.
One in five people said they had not been on a bike in more than 10 years, while almost one in 10 admitted so much time had passed since they last rode one that they had forgotten what to do, the BHF said.
“It’s a fantastic day out for all the family and every pound you raise will help make a difference to millions.”
The event, which the BHF said is for all abilities, takes place on June 18.
:: Censuswide surveyed 2,047 UK adults between December 28 and January 3.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We want to encourage many more people to cycle which will benefit the whole of society by boosting the economy, improving health, cutting congestion and improving air quality.
“We are training the next generation with 1.8 million children having received Bikeability training since 2007 and with another £50 million committed to this scheme over this parliament.”
He added: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world.
“On top of a THINK! campaign to improve cycle safety, we are spending £300 million on cycling in this Parliament and are also providing more than £7 billion to improve the condition of our road surfaces to make them safer for all road users.”