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I like July, it's a good month for me. Warmer weather, the promise of a holiday sometime over the summer, my birthday... what's not to like? But most importantly of all, July means that the Tour de France is here! Wow, I forgot how stupidly excited I get about it all. The only huge downside is that I am (once again) unable to make it to any of the actual event.

Luckily, ITV4 are amazing and have plenty of coverage so I'll be getting a good daily dose from there, as well as online and from my fantabulous ‘official programme'. It comes with cool pictures and maps and stuff! Go get yourself one.

For anyone who isn't much into bikes, watching the Tour de France is a great place to start. Take myself, for example. I got interested in the tour when I was around 14, and started to watch it with my dad. At the time I was never really into cycling, but from that first real following I've been growing steadily more addicted. The whole atmosphere surrounding the tour is fantastic, and I personally just find watching the event so inspiring. It really makes me want to go out and improve my cycling.

Of course, the Tour de France is not the only tour out there, but it is the most widely covered one; at least in the UK. Its growing accessibility means that more and more people can get that loving feeing about cycling, just in time for the (hopefully) summery weather.

This brings me to my main point today- the accessibility of cycling as an activity. This is one of the reasons I love cycling so much: it's something for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. Most people have access to a bike, and if not, you can often pick them up second hand for a reasonable price. Sure, you can spend thousands on a posh bike with all the kick-knacks to go with it, but what's the point if you're not going to put the effort into making the most of it from the very beginning?

By buying a bike (or getting on the one in your garage that you've been avoiding for years), you are opening this great world to yourself. A way to get fit, a way to get from place to place, a way to meet people and so much more. You might think that's taking it a bit far, but that's really how I feel about bikes. Once you make a good start at cycling, I think you'll be hooked the same way I am. For me, it's more of a lifestyle choice than a simple way to exercise. Once a bike lover, always a bike lover. Kind of like being a gamer, don't you think?

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Written by Tim Pestridge

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Tim Pestridge writes the Bike Gamer column.

"I like bikes and video games because they both spark my imagination and provide seemingly infinite possibilities and just generally make me smile."

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