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Rawdon cyclist becomes a star to promote bikes

43-year-old senior architectural technician Matthew Naylor’s passion for cycling began with the 1986 Tour de France.

“I watched it on television and just fell in love with it. From that moment on, I was hooked”, says Matthew, who lives in Rawdon.

“I started cycling soon after and discovered all the tranquillity and freedom that a bike gives you, as well as improving your fitness.”

Cycling has not only given Matthew a new hobby, but also changed his entire outlook on life.

“My bike is now my main mode of transport. I ride it to the office in Leeds city centre on most days and I also cycle to see friends and go on holiday.”

In fact, Matthew actually chose to apply for his job, at NORR in Victoria Wharf, in part because of its accessibility on two wheels – and is even factoring in the same consideration while looking for a new house.

“I use the Leeds to Liverpool canal towpath for my daily commute and it only takes about 35 minutes door to door, which is quicker than taking the bus or car”, Matthew says.

“Cycling is the best part of my day, so it’s started to inform a lot of my decisions.”

Even an unfortunate incident involving a dip in a canal was not enough to deter Matthew from his love of pedal power.

“I was cycling along the Leeds to Liverpool towpath on a charity ride with a friend back in 2008 when he slammed the brakes on to avoid hitting two ducks that had strayed onto the path.

“I was too close to react and went into the back of my friend, which sent me flying into the water headfirst. He took a photo and my response at the time was unprintable, but looking back it was a funny moment – albeit a wet one!”

Matthew is now hoping that the Rediscover That Cycling Feeling campaign will encourage others to take up cycling, too.

“I’ve never done anything like it before but hopefully it will help show people why cycling works for me – and why it can for them, too”, Matthew says.

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