MEMBERS of the Coventry Cycle Speedway Club in Hearsall Common will gain national media coverage this weekend as part of presenter Mike Bushell’s latest sporting challenge.
Bushell, who has completed more than 450 sports, was welcomed to the club’s weekly ‘club night’ at Hearsall Common on Wednesday (April 26) to test his skills at riding a push bike at high speeds with no brakes or gears.
The BBC Breakfast presenter was talked through the basics of cycle speedway by Coventry captain Myke Grimes, who finished second in last year’s British Final hosted at Exeter.
Cycle speedway used to be one of the most popular sports in the UK.
After World War II, the sport peaked – tens of thousands of riders stripped down their push bikes and made make-shift tracks on bomb sites to imitate their speedway racing heroes.
The sport has since declined, however cycle speedway racing in Coventry is close to reaching an all-time high as a result of determined efforts from members at the Coventry club – which in the past 12 months has welcomed dozens of new members.
Bushell was partnered with Team GB racer Paul Heard while some of Coventry’s rising stars also put the popular presenter through his paces.
A series of four-lap races were held while several training exercises rounded off Bushell’s on-track debut.
Coventry skipper Myke Grimes said: “It was great to welcome Mike down to Hearsall Common and show him what cycle speedway is all about.
“Unlike other cycle sports, cycle speedway is a contact sport – and therefore using your upper body strength to beat opponents to the first turn is key.
“It’s fast, exciting, high energy and I love it.
“Many of our club members have already competed in European Championship events abroad and some are planning to spend their November in Australia competing in the World Championships.
“Hopefully Mike’s visit can inspire more keen racers to take up cycle speedway.”
The Coventry club trains every Wednesday night and welcomes new members each week, visitors are requested to turn up to training with their skin covered to prevent possibly injury.
Mike Bushell’s BBC One feature will air this Saturday (May 6) morning multiple times during the breakfast show.
Visit www.coventrycyclespeedway.co.uk for further information.