Stunt riders hope to inspire young cyclists

A British mountain bike champion wowed pupils throughout the district with a stunning display of two-wheeled acrobatics.

Trial biker Danny Butler brought his Extreme Mountain Bike Show to schools in our towns last week, along with biker Sam Oliver.

RIDING HIGH Sam Oliver attempts a jump.

RIDING HIGH Sam Oliver attempts a jump.

The visits were organised as part of Bike Week 2013, aimed at promoting the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling.

The duo visited Headlands Junior, Infant and Nursery in Liversedge, Staincliffe Junior and Purlwell Infant and Nursery in Batley, and St John Fisher High, Ravensthorpe Junior, and Thornhill Junior and Infant schools in Dewsbury.

Mountain bike trials is a discipline of mountain biking in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without setting foot to ground. At Thornhill Junior’s the bikers performed a series of daring stunts using various obstacles, including their van, a tightrope and even each other.

Danny warned children not to try the tricks at home, but said he hoped he would inspire more children to get on their bikes and ride to school.

In the UK only four per cent of school children travel to school by bike or scooter, but research by cycling charity Sustrans suggests nearly half of all children want to be able to cycle to school.

Sustrans chief executive Malcolm Shepherd said: “The average primary school journey is just 1.5 miles – the perfect distance to walk or cycle.

“We want to help families rediscover the fun and freedom of cycling to school get fit and save money at the same time.

He added: “Evidence shows how children that cycle to school regularly are more active and better learners – so it’s time for us all to get on our bikes!”