'Get on your bike', demands track star and BBC pundit Colin Jackson

'Get on your bike', demands track star and BBC pundit Colin Jackson, former runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing

Colin Jackson: swapping hurdles for pedals

Friday, June 10, 2016

Britons are being encouraged to 'get on their bikes' by international athlete-turned TV presenter Colin Jackson. 

The Welsh hurdler is an ambassador for Bike Week, which runs until 19 June and aims to promote cycling in everyday life with events right across the country.

The campaign's main focus this year is to encourage people to ride to work, with figures from Cycling UK showing only three per cent of the British public use a bike daily to get to work.

Jackson, a double world champion and 110m hurdles world record holder for almost 13 years, told Paul Ross that riding a bike has helped improve his fitness levels.  

"I was just listening to how [former Olympic heptathlon champion and fellow BBC athletics pundit Denise Lewis] uses her bike, nipping to and from the gym, nipping down to the shops," he said. 

"It's just the ease of it. You can grab your bike in a split moment and be ready to go.

"My fitness levels have risen, because I was not very good endurance-wise."

Figures have shown that 35 per cent of adults said that feeling safer on the roads would encourage them to cycle more, but Jackson says such fears could be misplaced. 

"One hour of gardening is more likely to injure you than spending one hour on a bike riding somewhere," said Jackson, who will be part of the BBC's reporting team at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio. 

The commentator, who won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, admits that he has more than one way of staying fit since retiring from the track in 2003. 

Two years later he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, and he told Paul that 11 years on he still dances with his show partner Erin Boag.

"I dance a lot still with Erin, any time there's little exhibitions she wants to do she gives me a call.

"Just after Christmas was the last time I did a little bit of a foxtrot and a quickstep with her, so I've still got those dancing skills." 

My fitness levels have risen, because I was not very good endurance-wise
Olympic athlete Colin Jackson