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Olympian dreams of riding to school with his son

Britain's most successful Olympian, Chris Hoy has called on political parties to come up with "realistic and ambitious" plans to provide better facilities for cycling, reports The Times.

Hoy told the paper's Kaya Burgess that provision for cycling should be “at the front of the queue” when designing new roads and junctions, and that he dreams of being able to ride to school with his son when he's old enough.

And he pointed out that building cycling facilities doesn't just benefit people who ride bikes. Reducing congestion "will benefit everybody" he said.

Hoy said cycling plans and budgets should be included in party manifestos

He said: "It’s easy to say ‘we’ll do it’, but how are they going to do it? We need a clear picture of how the different parties see cycling as part of their transport policies.

“I would certainly welcome that - if a party did come up with something that was both realistic and ambitious, they would get the support of the cycling community.”

Cycling infrastructure benefits everyone, Hoy said, and should be welcomed even by those who don't expect to use it.

He said: "It would be short-sighted for people to bemoan any investment in cycling, even if they never intend to cycle themselves. It’s logical that if there are more people cycling, there are fewer people in their cars and more space for them to drive.

"Hopefully politicians will realise that and will sell their support for cycling in that way - that they’re spending this amount of money on cycling, but it’s not just for people who ride bikes: it will benefit everybody.”

Hoy's son Callum is five months old. Not quite old enough to be following in his famous father's wheel tracks yet, but when he is, Hoy plans to teach him to ride away from traffic where there won't be “buses coming straight past you”.

Hoy wants to be able to ride to school with his son.

“That would be the dream scenario. We harp on about Holland and Denmark and Germany, but that’s what they do over there. Not everyone rides around on £10,000 carbon road bikes in luminous Lyrca - they just ride their bikes as part of their lives.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.