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UK PM rides made-in-India Hero bike at launch of cycling drive

By Aditi Khanna
July 30, 2020 09:09 IST
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United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson rode a made-in-India Hero Cycles bike designed in the UK as he launched a new £2-billion cycling and walking drive which is part of the government's anti-obesity strategy to combat COVID-19.

Johnson, 56, a known cycling enthusiast, was seen riding on a Hero Viking Pro bike to Canalside Heritage Centre at Beeston in Nottingham, central England, on Tuesday when he unveiled plans for thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription as part of a new fitness strategy.


"From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face," said Johnson, a COVID-19 survivor.

"But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels. That's why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel -- so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling," he said.

The Viking Pro bike used by the prime mister is part of India's Hero Motors Company owned Insync brand, designed in Manchester and made in India by parent company Hero Cycles.

Hero Cycles took over the brands Viking, Riddick and Ryedale and redesigned the range under the brand name Insync.

The company said its Insync range consists of 75 bikes and is the first to be designed at Hero Cycles Global Design Centre in Manchester.

"Insync is delighted that the prime minister rode one of our Viking bikes after announcing what will be a landmark moment for cycling in the UK," said Pankaj M Munjal, chairman and managing director of Hero Motors Company, which includes Hero Cycles, Insync, the Viking and Lectro brands.

"We strongly back all the measures announced in the strategy, a move we hope will see many more thousands of people taking to the roads on two wheels. Providing safer cycle routes, funding towards e-bikes and a bike repairs scheme will encourage even more riders to return to cycling or take it up for the first time, building on the stand-out success the industry has seen during the pandemic," he said.

Johnson's new cycling plan is designed as a 'comprehensive, long-term vision' to increase active travel, including cycle training for every child and adult who wants it, accessible through schools, local authorities or direct from cycle training schemes.

It comes alongside a new 'Better Health' campaign, led by Public Health England, which calls on people to embrace a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight to cut down the risk from the disease, including the deadly coronavirus.

To encourage cycling as part of daily commute or routine, more cycle racks are set to be installed at transport hubs, town and city centres and public buildings, and funding will go towards new bike hangars and on street storage for people who do not have space to keep a bike at home.

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Aditi Khanna
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