All I have to do is get over my terror of busy roads

COMMENT: People need to have viable alternative to driving

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It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since we were all wondering how we’d pull off an Olympic Games to rival the extravagance of Beijing, and expecting ourselves to fail.

What we couldn’t know, of course, was just how well our athletes would do.

We had no idea how spectacular the opening ceremony would be.

And we certainly had not a clue about how exciting the atmosphere in London would be for the duration of the Olympics and then the Paralympics.

I loved the London 2012 Olympics so much I bought an official T-shirt and I happened to be wearing it this year when Sport England reported its official Olympic legacy sporting participation figures.

The Guardian would have us believe that 222,000 fewer people exercising at least once a week than six months ago makes us a nation of indolent couch potatoes.

But, while disappointing those figures are, there’s still a lot to be positive about.

Last week I ran with a friend around Staunton Country Park.

It was the first time she’d taken part in a Park Run — free, organised 5km (3.1-mile) races for all abilities, taking place in parks up and down the country.

As a beginner to running she’d been inspired by her friends, including me, who take part. She loved it.

I’ve also been inspired by my friends.

Last week I popped into a cycle shop and bought a road bike.

It’s not hard to know where my inspiration came from – it was the riders from York2Pompey wot done it.

All I have to do now is get over my terror of busy roads.

I’ve enlisted the help of my friends (and I will be calling on the expertise of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum) to do that.

But it’s been three years since the Olympics and unless enthusiasm for sport is maintained — usually when it becomes social — the habit is easy to break.

Park Runs are sociable and for Havant’s third anniversary a week ago there was cake, fancy dress and a party atmosphere.

No wonder Sport England says it’s one of the reasons why more people are running more.

Fancy it?

See parkrun.org.uk for details.