Bikes are better than cars to give a real taste of freedom - John McNally

When you own a bicycle you are always one journey away from a good mood.
Cycling was a means of escape for many people during the Covid lockdowns (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Cycling was a means of escape for many people during the Covid lockdowns (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Cycling was a means of escape for many people during the Covid lockdowns (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

I found this to be especially true during lockdown when my bike offered a chance to escape the confines of the house and clear my mind. The wonderful absence of traffic in those grim covid days meant I could easily navigate quiet streets, hearing only birds singing and the trees rustling as I scooted past on my trusty two wheels. A bike gives a feeling of physical freedom that a car can’t offer. The benefits to mental wellbeing are felt immediately.

A few years ago I even bought a fold up bike to take to London with me. It wasn’t the most reliable transport, as it had a tendency to collapse with me still on it, but it was a great way to get around.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Increasingly, young and older members of our community can take advantage of the scenic cycling network across the Falkirk area, joining up with other cycling paths around Scotland.

And e-bikes have liberated many people who suffer from disabilities including asthma and arthritis.

Before she passed, my mum Rosa, who was in her nineties, was the first elderly passenger in the marvellous Cycling Without Age’s Denny Trishaw. The organisation provides senior citizens with an opportunity to meet others and remain active by taking them out on the unique bike rides. My mum loved feeling the breeze in her hair that day. She couldn’t stop smiling.

As I’m a huge fan of bikes and all they offer, I’m delighted that a major cycling event is coming to our towns in the Falkirk area

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The UCI World Cycling Championship is powering through the constituency this Sunday in the shape of the men’s elite event.

I wish the best of luck to the top international cyclists taking part.

It can only be a positive move for our area and will be televised to the world. It will also be a boost for local businesses thanks to an influx of spectators.

The 52km route through the Falkirk Council area will be part of the 271km event which begins in Edinburgh and ends in the championship’s host city of Glasgow. It is thought the competitors will be on our roads for around 40 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Local attractions including the Kelpies, Callendar House and the Falkirk Wheel will be highlighted on the televised route as the cyclists race through.

It's an ideal way to illustrate what an incredible sport and mode of transport cycling is while promoting this fabulous area as a tourist destination.

To find out more details on the day look at and Go along and cheer them on.

I’d like to add my thanks this week to everyone who offered their kind messages following news that I plan to retire after the next general election. Your thoughtful words and support are greatly appreciated by myself and my family. It took a bit of soul searching but it’s time for me to get on my bike.