Prior to taking part in Channel 5’s Tour de Celeb in 2016, radio and television presenter Angellica Bell couldn’t ride a bike. She has since become a huge advocate for cycling, launching Sustrans’ Big Pedal earlier this week and also being named as one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women of Cycling for her role in encouraging more women to cycle.
The ‘100 Women in Cycling’ annual list celebrates inspirational women in the UK’s cycling scene, and forms part of Cycling UK’s Women’s Festival of Cycling.
Bell was nominated by former MTB champion, and founder of women’s cycle clothing company Anna’s Legs, Anna Glowinski.
Nominations remain open and the final list is due to be published when the Women’s Festival of Cycling begins on July 1.
“Cycling is something that everyone should be able to enjoy,” said Bell. “I don’t want other people to miss out on the opportunity to have fun riding a bike. That’s why I got involved with Cycling UK.
“I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until a few years ago, so I’ve only just discovered in my adulthood so many things I now love about cycling.
“I’m so thrilled to have been nominated as one of the ‘100 Women in Cycling’. That’s something I never would have expected to happen.”
Cycling UK’s recent supporter survey of 1,823 women showed that 75 per cent were encouraged to start riding by a partner, a friend or a colleague and over half had successfully encouraged someone else to start cycling.
“If you’re already a cyclist, encourage someone else to try it,” said Bell. “Show people that no matter who you are, where you are or how old you are, everyone can enjoy cycling.”
Bell also launched the Big Pedal earlier this week.
Organised by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, the Big Pedal 2019 runs from March 25 to April 5 and encourages young people to travel by bike, foot or scooter for their journey to and from school.
This year dozens of schools are closing access roads to motor vehicles in an effort to reduce air pollution while creating an environment in which cycling and walking are ‘safe, convenient and enjoyable’
Bell said: “I know first-hand the joys and benefits of riding a bike and how important it is for children to be active from an early age and that’s why I support the call for creating a safer and calmer environment around schools for children to cycle and walk.
“Events like the Big Pedal are fantastic because they demonstrate to children, parents and teachers just how beneficial it can be to travel actively to and from school for a few more journeys a week.”
Was such a fun morning yesterday launching the #BigPedal
with 900 children at St Richard Reynolds School in #Twickenham. Good luck to all the 740,000 children who are taking part in this fantastic #cycling, #scooting and #walking competition for schools! @sustrans pic.twitter.com/5zl1vhdCco
— Angellica Bell (@angellicabell) March 26, 2019