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Chris Boardman opens Liverpool's 100th hire bike station

People need a safe reliable place to ride, says Olympic champion

Chris Boardman has opened Liverpool's 100th bike hire station, and called for more cycling infrastructure in the city and beyond.

Christopher Brennan of the Liverpool Echo reports that Boardman was present  yesterday morning when Councillor Malcolm Kennedy opened the new station at Liverpool Innovation Park in Wavertree.

Liverpool's citybike system is the UK's largest hire bike programme outside London, with 600 bikes now and a planned increase to 1,000 bikes in 2015. It was launched on May 7 with 100 bikes.

Merseyside's most famous cyclist, Boardman hails from Wirral and was also present at the launch of Citybike. Her said that there is still work to be done to create a culture change around perceptions of cycling in the UK and that additional infrastructure for bikes was needed.

He said: “You need to give people a reliable, safe place to bike.”

Boardman gave the example of Bristol, where he said 20 percent of commutes are now made by bike. Bristol started a programme of building segregated cycle lanes earlier this year.

Progress was slowly being made towards acceptance and promotion of normal people using bikes everyday, he said.

Boardman said: “As is always the case when things are successful, it’s the guy at the top who’s had the courage to say ‘I believe in this’.”

He added that he would like to see Mayor Joe Anderson become more involved with the city’s bike initiatives.

Cllr Kennedy said that he saw bikes as part of the solution to finding “a better way around the city centre.” Cycling was “part of the zeitgeist,” he said, and could contribute to a healthy modern lifestyle.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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