Love To Ride Suffolk, supported by Suffolk County Council Highways and the Most Active County Partnership, are encouraging Suffolk residents to join Norman and get out on their bikes as well.
World War II veteran Norman Gregory and his good friend Norman Kelly, better known as the “Cockfield Normans” are avid cyclists doing at least 10 miles most days and will be leading the way with Ride it Out.
In Norman Gregory’s own words “If you don't make yourself get up and go out when the weather is ok, you will get worse so you have to keep at it. If you don't exercise you rust!”
99 year old World War II veteran Norman Gregory still cycles 10 miles every day and rode an incredible 5,000 miles in the last year. He has some inspirational stories to tell, such as his ride from Suffolk to John O Groats and back (1750 miles) in 1939 when he was just 17.
“I was delighted to be asked to be an ambassador for the Love to Ride Suffolk initiative. I have cycled all my life so appreciate the benefits it can provide and hope that I can help inspire more Suffolk residents to get out on their bikes."
His cycling companion, 70 year old Norman Kelly, took up cycling in 2006 after returning to Suffolk from Africa where he had worked for 8 years as a tea planter. He said:
“I've never met a doctor who disapproves of cycling and regular exercise and I’m looking forward to supporting the Love to Ride Suffolk programme along with my good friend Norman Gregory.”
Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, said:
“It’s been tough for many to stay active during the recent restrictions, particularly over the colder months, so ‘Ride It Out’ is a fantastic opportunity for people to really kick start their fitness goals in the spring. Physical activity also gives our wellbeing a boost, as well as being a sustainable way to travel or commute. Whether you ride a little or a lot, ‘Ride it Out’ has something for everyone.
“I have to admit since the colder weather my bike has rarely been out of the garage. The last time it came back very muddy! This brighter weather has got me thinking I must clean it down and get back in the saddle.
“With our two Normans leading by example it’s certainly encouraged me to get on and do it! Their stories are a real inspiration for anyone contemplating getting on their bike.”
We’ll be trying to keep up with the Cockfield Normans throughout Ride it Out and you can too by following Keep Moving Suffolk.