Unborn baby is riding so high

Ryder Purcell

Jennifer Purcell

First published in News
Last updated
The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

THEY might be kicking mummy’s tummy instead of pushing pedals, but Jennifer Purcell’s unborn second child is set to become the youngest-ever Sky Rider in the country.

Jennifer, 34, of Wroughton, will be putting her cycling experience to use when she leads out several of the Sky Rides organised for this June in Swindon.

Thirty-five rides of varying distances will take place on Sundays from June to September, but Jennifer will restrict herself to the first month only, with the child due later this summer.

“The Sky Rides will be fine – I chose June dates, so there’s still plenty of time before my due date,” she said.

“But we are going to watch the Tour de France in Yorkshire with all the family at the start of July.

“I just hope all the excitement with Bradley Wiggins being back in action doesn’t make the baby come early. Either way, we’ve already got a few names in mind.”

Jennifer’s first child, the aptly named Ryder, two, has taken on his mother’s obsession for cycling, and he too will take to the trails in June as a Sky Rider.

“Cycling already runs in the family because Ryder loves it as much as us and he will be coming along for the rides,” said Jennifer, who is a publicity officer at Bradon Forest School.

“We thought we’d get our next one into it early, so they know what to expect.

“We don’t know whether it’s a boy or a girl, but we’re going with Sprocket for now – after their brother who we nickname Rocket.”

Registration is now open for the 35 rides, which are organised by British Cycling and Sky in partnership with Swindon Council.

The rides are free of charge. Go online at www.goskyride.com for information.

Every weekend, the Purcell family can be seen out on their bikes making the most of the many cycle paths in Swindon.

Jennifer said: “Having a family hasn’t stopped us biking – we all get out and do it together. There are loads of fantastic routes around Swindon, you can get almost anywhere completely on cycle paths.

“Cycling is a way of life and we wouldn’t change it for the world.”

When Jennifer fell pregnant with her second child, she didn’t want her cycling to take a back seat.

“I hope to keep cycling right up until the end as it’s great exercise and also takes the weight off your feet,” she said.

Determined to encourage more women, including mums, to give cycling a try, Jennifer is also leading a range of rides in Swindon called Back Seat Riders, part of the Breeze Network cycling initiative to encourage more women to try recreational cycling.

These rides vary in distance from four to seven miles and start from a variety of places, but always feature a tea shop.

They are ideal for beginners or mums who have baby seats or trailers for their little ones.

She said: “They are designed just for women and you can come along, even if you don’t feel very confident.

“The rides are ideal to help overcome that and we have a great time along the way.

“We have a good gossip and it’s a brilliant way to get fit – what’s not to like?”

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