It’s as we have been predicting – cycling is witnessing a boomtime! After a summer of cycling fabulousness at the Tour de France – with Bradley Wiggins smashing the field – and the many, many British cycling medals of the London Olympics and Paralympics, a new study has revealed that many more people are keen to take up cycling.
The Sky poll shows that more than half of UK people have been inspired to get on their bikes after the success of the British cycling team, while 70 per cent of non-cyclists believe that Team GB success will have a lasting legacy.
The research – conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE) – reveals that people are increasingly taking up cycling for fun with their family and friends.
The cycling survey figures show:
* 52% of those asked said they were motivated to cycle as a result of the achievements of Team GB’s cyclists.
* This figure represents three times as many people when asked prior to the Olympic Games.
* On top of this, 87% are also encouraging their children to cycle
What is even more interesting is that people are now thinking about cycling in a different way. So, more people see cycling not only as a mode of transport but also as a leisure pursuit, including activities such as cycle sportive events and cycle tour holidays.
Researchers reveals that almost 50 per cent of cyclists asked in the poll have taken part in mass cycle rides as a result of the Olympic effect.
And a quarter of all respondents said that they were more likely to take a UK cycling holiday as a result of the London 2012 Games. This figure rises to 45% for frequent cyclists.
Another great piece of news, especially for the UK economy, is that more people are splashing out on bikes and kit.
Some 28% of all respondents felt inspired to buy bikes and cycle accessories in the lead-up to the Games. And many retailers reported a surge in demand following the Olympic Games:
* Cycle Surgery reports that the second week of the Games coincided with a “record turnover week” for road bikes.
* On-line cycle store, Wiggle, reported that UK traffic to its site went up by 71% during the Olympic Games.
* Web store Very.co.uk saw a 73% jump in sales of bikes to women as a result of the Olympic effect.
Tricia Thompson, Director of Cycling, Sky, is thrilled by the grassroots interest in cycling. She said: “Right from the beginning of our partnership with British Cycling in 2008 we have been working hard to bring the grassroots and elite sides of cycling closer together. This research shows the first tangible evidence of the connection between the two.”
And Ian Drake, CEO, British Cycling, said: “The partnership between British Cycling and Sky, unique in sport in this country, has been the key to using Olympic and Paralympic success to encourage huge numbers of people to get on their bikes. Our success in driving participation is no fluke but the product of years of detailed planning and preparation.”
We’re really excited by all these extra fun-loving cyclists taking to the roads and trails. Do tell us if you have taken up cycling since the summer – or if you’ve witnessed a growth in cycling in your area.