AT the weekend, my son and I passed a little landmark: we clocked up our 2,000th mile on our bicycles since his school closed and lockdown began at the end of March.

He’s 17 with learning difficulties but cycles perfectly. He’s worn out one bike with his pedalling and two bells with his pinging, and he’s really proud of his achievement. His dad’s three-quarters of a stone lighter, but knackered.

With the Government announcing a £2bn plan to boost cycling to beat the pandemic, we're ahead of the curve – as are many people in south Durham and North Yorkshire where the lanes have been fuller than ever this summer, with a noticeable increase in single women of all ages.

I find most drivers are generally tolerant of cyclists. They try to give us the same socially distanced berth as they would a spluttering shopper in the supermarket – I reckon your car should move over a metre or more so that the inside wheels are in the track of the outside wheels.

If we’ve held up a driver for a few seconds, I try to acknowledge their inconvenience, and usually get a cheery wave in return (well, I definitely haven’t seen any two fingers).

But are our councils taking every opportunity to seize the moment and follow the Government’s lead by improving cycling infrastructure?

So many towns have seen an explosion of house-building, but I haven’t noticed the new estates in Yarm, for instance, being linked to the town centre by new cyclepaths. Hurworth has scores of new houses but new cycling residents are forced out onto a lane that has been potholed by the developers’ wagons.

The boomtown of Middleton St George has turned its back on the old railway which has been resurfaced this summer as a cyclepath but has gates across it – one of them was bolted so we had to lift our machines shoulderhigh over it.

Hundreds of homes are going up at Low Coniscliffe, and yet there are no signs that the developer has been instructed to invest a small amount in joining the village up to the Coniscliffe Road cyclepath (although it is a dangerously potholed cyclepath with cars parked on it).

And then just last week the gloriously wide A67 through Merrybent was resurfaced – perhaps the first time in two decades. Because of the width, Merrybent is plagued with speeding cars so the road has been artificially narrowed, as in times past, by a painted central reservation. Why not seize the rare resurfacing opportunity and use the width to create a cyclepath which ties in with Low Coni and then Coni Road to create something worth cycling on?

BORIS JOHNSON does introduce us to some interesting new words, the latest being “moonshot” – his daring, perhaps fanciful, bid to carry out 10m Covid tests a day by the end of the year.

Moonshot was a word coined in the 1940s when space agencies were ambitiously aiming their rockets at the moon, but it was really popularised in the US in 1959 when left-handed baseball slugger Wallace “Wally” Moon moved from the St Louis Cardinals to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Moon had to adjust his left-handed batting stance to suit his new home stadium and his new “moonshot” home run, high over the left field, fired the Dodgers to the World Series.

Will Boris’ moonshot hit the Covid ball out of the park?