Upton Park cyclist honoured for inspiring people to get on their bike

Tony Harvey has been shortlisted for the Local Cycling Hero awards.

Tony Harvey has been shortlisted for the Local Cycling Hero awards. - Credit: Archant

A cyclist who has brought the joy of cycling to hundreds of disabled and able-bodied people has been shortlisted for a top award.

Tony Harvey on his bike

Tony Harvey on his bike - Credit: Archant

Tony Harvey, of Lawrence Road, Upton Park, is one of 24 people chosen as Local Cycling Heroes for giving up their time to help and inspire others to get the most out of riding.

The public must now vote for their favourite through Twitter and Facebook and the one with the most votes will be crowned the winner by the competition’s organisers Sky Ride.

Tony runs Cycle 4 All, a club which meets at Mayesbrook Park’s athletic arena in Dagenham and offers people with physical and mental disabilities as well as able-bodied riders a chance to try out a range of bikes, from the traditional to the three-wheeled trike. Tony has also led and mapped out Sky Rides, organised cycle events encouraging people to get on their bikes, and took part in the Olympic ceremony as a cycling dove.

The 56-year-old said Cycle 4 All was set up last summer as Olympic fever swept through the capital.

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“The Olympics really boosted the interest in cycling so we got a lot of members,” he explained. “We have around 300 people on our books now, with many of them coming on a regular basis.”

“We didn’t want people to be segregated - it’s important that both disabled and able bodied ride together. What’s great is that a lot of people with no disabilities really enjoy riding the bikes that traditionally used by disabled people, like the carts.”

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Asked what he thinks draws people to cycling, Tony replied: “You just get such a buzz from it. Also it covers so many things - you can use a bike to go to work, ride with your family or get fit. Plus its environmentally friendly.”

n To vote for Tony go to go goskyride.com.

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