Employees get on their bikes in time for national Bike Week

To celebrate national bike week, a Shrewsbury insurance firm is encouraging its employees to get on their bikes, get fit and explore the beautiful Shropshire countryside.

A keen cyclist himself, Ben Lawrence, managing director of independent commercial broker Beaumont Lawrence & Co Ltd. has created his own cycle-to-work scheme for his employees to share his passion for the sport.

Bike Week takes place from June 15 to 23 and aims to promote cycling and show how it can be a part of every day life.

This year’s theme is calling for the nation to dig out their bikes, get back on the saddle and fall in love with cycling all over again.

“Cycling is now even more popular thanks to events such as the Olympics and Tour De France,” said Mr Lawrence, who is also the racing team manager for Shropshire’s Paramount Performance Cycling Racing Team.

“I encourage my employees to keep as fit as possible and I’m a keen cyclist myself.

“Bike Week is a great chance for people to join in cycling events or just get on their bike and enjoy the freedom, fun and exercise it gives you.”

Sue Hyne, claims manager at Beaumont Lawrence, took advantage of the scheme, buying a Trek Lexa road bike through Stan’s Cycles in Shrewsbury.

“It’s brilliant for me as it means I could buy a better bike than I would be able to afford otherwise,” she said.

“It’s the first road bike I’ve had. I’ve had a mountain bike, which is fine off road but if you are wanting to do long distance, it’s hard work because the tyres are fatter and stick on the road.”

Mrs Hyne, of Longden Common, said she has already enjoyed getting out on her bike.

“Shropshire is just beautiful. We were cycling around little villages and stopped at a pub. It was quintessentially English.”

Mrs Hyne, 44, said she plans to cycle the six miles to work about once a week and to go on longer rides at weekends.

“I think it’s fantastic for Beaumont Lawrence to help us. Ben is obviously a keen cyclist himself so it’s nice he wants to encourage us, even if it’s for leisure rather than competing.

“The staff at Stan’s Cycles were very helpful when I chose my bike. They took me out on a couple of test rides on different bikes so you can get a feel of what’s good and what suits you.”

Bev Harris, 45, account handler at Beaumont Lawrence, has also signed up for the scheme and bought the same bike as her colleague.

“I used to run but have been having problems with my knee but I wanted to keep fit so I thought it would be nice to cycle.

“I’ve been out on it a couple of times so far. I really like it. It’s taken some getting used to rather than a mountain bike but I love being outside.”

Mrs Harris, who lives in Shrewsbury, said she is hoping to cycle to work a couple of times a week, especially when she does not need to take her children to school in the holidays.

“I mentioned to Ben that I could not run as much as I wanted too and he volunteered for the bike straight away.  He’s obviously a keen cyclist and likes to encourage people and it’s very good of him.”

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Pete White Pete White

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