York's Tour de France cycling legacy
11:26am Saturday 19th January 2013 in News
YORK’S cycling success will be rolled out across Yorkshire as a £10 million legacy to the Tour de France’s visit.
Organisers behind the Yorkshire Grand Depart of the world-famous cycling race want the region to be still feeling the benefits ten years later.
Top of the list is getting as many people as possible on to bikes, particularly children, and York is ready and willing to share the secrets of how it became the third city in Britain for cyclists, behind Oxford and Cambridge.
City of York Council chief executive Kersten England, who is in charge of ensuring the legacy, said: “We will look to expand it across the whole region”
For years, York has invested in cycle routes, cycle lanes, cycle training and access to cycling.
It has also set up the Bike Rescue Scheme to put disused bikes back into service and the Bike Hub near Lendal Bridge to provide services for commuting and other cyclists.
Mrs England, a cyclist herself, said she hopes to set up a scheme to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bicycle and is setting up talks with bike shops and bike businesses across the region. She is also keen for people with bicycles they don’t use to make them available and wants to make road cycling safer to encourage more women to ride. In York, half of cyclists are women, compared to the national average of 33 per cent.
Talks are also about to start to set up a version of the “Boris bikes” covering the whole of Yorkshire where cyclists can hire a bike in one town and leave it in another and also take it by train between Yorkshire centres.
Mrs England said: “We won’t be raising council tax to pay for the Tour.”
Some of the money could come from existing sustainable living budgets held by local authorities and the Yorkshire Grand Depart organisation is hoping to attract funding from British Cycling, the national cycling federation.
Guesthouses hoping to enjoy boom time
GUESTHOUSES and bed and breakfasts that cater for cyclists could see a boom once the warmer weather returns.
Cyclists from across Britain are expected to flock to the county to try out the Tour de France 2014 route for themselves.
Guesthouses along long distance cycle routes such as the Way Of The Roses from Lancaster to Bridlington and the White Rose route from Middlesbrough to Hull, both of which pass through York, have seen bookings from cyclists increase since the routes were introduced.
Now more accommodation businesses could find themselves cashing in - if they can provide what cyclists need.
Top of the list is secure cycle accommodation away from public view, preferably under cover. Cyclists have no objection to carrying their bike through a hotel to get to a back yard if they know their bike will be safe there. They also need to be able to dry their cycling gear if they have been out riding in wet weather.
Cyclists need calories and unless they are world class professional riders don’t need specialised diets.
They tend to eat a lot of carbohydrates such as pasta and rice and like a good breakfast. They also need to keep hydrated with plenty of water, but are not against the odd glass of alcohol.
Businesses can apply to join the national cycling organisation CTC’s internet list of cycle friendly accommodation on its website ctc-maps.org.uk
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