Last night’s Blue Peter was wall-to-wall cycling. It featured stars on bikes, and last weekend’s Blue Peter Bikeathon. You couldn’t pay for this kind of extremely positive coverage…

Cycling got 25 mins of brill telly PR for free

The programme ended with a medley piece where the soundtrack was Freddie Mercury belting out Queen’s ‘I want to ride my bicycle (I want to ride it where I like).’

It had started with a split screen splicing of positive quotes from the four Blue Peter presenters and the Bikeathon’s patron, Gary Lineker.

“So why is the nation so mad for wheels?” asked Lineker.

“It keeps you fit,” said Konnie Haq.

“A great way to explore,” croaked Liz Barker.

“It’s totally cool,” enthused Simon Thomas.

“Very sociable,” claimed Matt Baker.

17 000 children took part in 57 Bikeathons around the UK, with all monies raised going to Leukaemia Research.

Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes cheered off 783 cyclists at Hampton Court. 602 took part in Manchester and 534 in Belfast.

There were to be 70 events but FMD saw many of the locations either having to cancel or relocate. The oddest venue was the deck of an aircraft carrier in Portsmouth.

The programme also plugged the 5000-mile National Cycle Network and focussed specifically on the Time Trail kids could do via the mile-post sculptures dotted around the network.

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