Council biking is keeping Ron fit

Councillor Ron Conway
Councillor Ron Conway

HE’S become a familiar sight enthusiastically pedal-pushing around his patch.

But what started out as an attempt to keep fit has turned into a charity challenge for Coun Ron Conway.

His bike was a gift from his daughter Jessica in a bid to improve his fitness by taking leisurely rides around Haigh Hall.

But, despite not have slung a leg over a crossbar for at least four decades, retired funeral director Ron took to life on two wheels in such a big way he has now taken to doing most of his constituency calls from the saddle.

He believes that being freed from the confines of a car helps to make him more accessible and approachable for voters.

But now he faces his biggest challenge after deciding to take part in next weekend’s annual 60 mile Manchester to Blackpool charity cycle ride.

Ron, 58, who was elected in May, is now hoping to “press-gang” his colleagues at the town hall into sponsoring him to boost a cause very close to his heart, Wigan and Leigh Hospice, and the Mayor’s 2012/ 13 charity, Wigan and Leigh Pensioner’s Link.

He says that leaving the car in the garage for all but necessary journeys for life on the cycle has helped him lose half a stone in weight, as well as doing his personal bit to slow greenhouse gas emissions.

Starting from Manchester United Football Ground at Old Trafford, the “invigorating” charity ride will take cyclists along country lanes to finish on Blackpool’s South Promenade where they can enjoy a barbecue and a well-earned massage.

Coun Conway said: “I hadn’t done any cycling for 40 years or more.

“Then my daughter got a bike for me to help keep in shape, so she is the one responsible for any blisters I get next weekend!

“I decided to do the charity ride for the hospice because, whoever you are, whatever you do or however rich you become, we are all affected by cancer in one way or another and if it doesn’t touch your own immediate family we all know somebody where it has.

“I know it is 60 miles which will be the biggest distance I have ever done, but I don’t do too badly on the bike these days and I went on a ride over Belmont and Rivington, which was 23 miles, so I am getting there.

“When people call me up with their problems I have also I have also started using it to get around the constituency and you would be surprise how many miles that has meant clocking up.

“It means you get around area that you wouldn’t see in a car and wouldn’t get to walking and I think it is a brilliant way to get around and I will certainly be carrying on with it afterwards.

“And I am accessible to people to stop for a chat if they see me, which wouldn’t be the case if I was in the car all the time.”

• TO SPONSOR Coun Conway contact him on 01942 486853 or by email him at r.conway@wigan.gov.uk