Blades football stars boost Pedal Peak District

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 28 July 2010

28 July 2010

Blades football stars boost Pedal Peak District

Johnny Ertl, Steve Simonsen, Kevin Blackwell & Matt Lowton cycling in the Peak District
Championship footballers from Sheffield United have backed a Peak District National Park Authority project to get more people cycling, more often.  

Pedal Peak District aims to encourage people to get on their bikes for fitness, fun and health.

The “Blades” stars, who cycled in the Peak District as part of their pre-season training, are urging fans to register with  and take to two wheels this summer.

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell and players hired bikes from the Fairholmes cycle hire centre to pedal around the Derwent, Howden and Ladybower reservoirs in the Derwent Valley.

Kevin said: “Anyone can go cycling. The Pedal Peak District project is encouraging people who haven’t ridden before to give it a go and they are putting on some brilliant cycling events this summer.

”I like to give the lads a change of scene to keep their training interesting so cycling in the Peak District was too good an opportunity for the players to miss.”

New cyclists who sign up to  and complete a short survey are entered into a free monthly draw to win a bike worth £300.

Participants also get information about events to help new or improving cyclists, as well as free cycling maps and guidance on how to get started and where to go.

Utility player Johnny Ertl, who has just joined the club from Crystal Palace, said: “If you’ve not cycled before then you’re missing out. It’s an easy way to get some exercise and fresh air even if you’ve got a busy life. I really enjoy it. There are plenty of traffic free trails in the Peak District and you can find out about them on the Pedal Peak District website.”

Blades defender Matthew Lowton said: “I like cycling, it makes a change from being in the gym. It’s great to do with a bunch of mates and you don’t have to be super-fit.  You don’t even have to own a bike as you can hire them.”

And goalkeeper Steve Simonsen added: “Cycling is really good exercise and helps build up stamina.”

Family-friendly national park cycle hire centres at Derwent, Parsley and Ashbourne have a range of cycles to hire to suit all abilities including baby seats and trailers for young children and wheelchair bikes, handcranked cycles and tricycles.  

People can learn the basics of balance and brakes on a Family Cycle Skills Picnic Ride on Wednesday August 11 from 10.30am - 1.30pm at the Parsley Hay cycle hire centre, off the A515 Ashbourne to Buxton road.

The event is free but participants need to bring a picnic and their own bike or hire one from the cycle hire centre. Children must be with an adult.  For more details call Carol Parsons on 01629 816297 or e-mail

This is an archived press release

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