Rich Johnson encourages Thurrock youngsters to don helmets while learning cycle skills

MTB stunt rider heads back to school

Mountain bike stunt rider Rich Johnson has set out to prove that wearing a helmet is a sensible choice for children still developing their cycle capabilities – and disprove Simon Cowell’s assertion that helmet wearers look stupid.

Johnson blasted high-trouser-wearing Cowell following his comments on popular TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. The stunt rider said that wearing a helmet has saved him from injury countless times while learning stunts.

The MTB rider will visit Chafford Hundred Primary School this Friday (October 23rd). The school is one of 10 in Thurrock taking part in Bike It – the Sustrans managed scheme encouraging children to cycle to school.

Johnson said: “Cycling is super-safe but accidents do happen so when children are developing their skills it’s particularly important they wear a helmet. The stunt show is a way of grabbing these youngsters’ attention to get this message across.

“It is much more rewarding to perform these skills for a purpose rather than purely as entertainment, especially when you get idiotic comments from the likes of Simon Cowell.

“Hopefully it will encourage youngsters to use their bike as an everyday form of transport, and perhaps even lead to cycling as a favourite sport or hobby.”

Thurrock Bike It officer Katie van Dop added: “In the Netherlands where I grew up cycling is as much a part of everyone’s day as brushing your teeth in the morning; I’m aiming to encourage a similar pro-cycling culture in Thurrock that will last long after this Bike It project.

“I’m sure this event will inspire the children to take lots of pleasure from riding their bikes safely during the half-term holidays and again when school re-starts.”

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