Olympic success inspires Brits to cycle

LSE reports surge of interest at all levels of the sport

The unparalleled success of Britain's Olympic and Paralympic cyclists has driven a surge in interest at all levels of the sport, according to research from the London School of Economics.

Commissioned by Sky in association with British Cycling, the report found that over half of those questioned had been motivated to cycle because of the gold rush this summer, with 87 percent of those encouraging their kids to do the same. Almost everyone agreed that the Games would have a lasting positive effect on cycling participation in the UK.

Cycling as recreation has also had a shot in the arm. Over 8,000 have joined British Cycling since the start of London 2012 with over half of cyclists questioned taking part in a mass ride this summer. A quarter said they were more likely to take part in a UK cycling holiday with 40 percent inspired to visit a velodrome or race as a spectator.

With more people being encouraged to take to bikes, the industry has naturally reported a boost. Cycle Surgery saw a 'record turnover' during the second week of the Games while Wiggle saw online traffic rise by 71 percent during the Olympic fortnight.

Evans Cycles reported a 35 per cent surge in sales and website traffic following Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win, while Halfords reported a 12 percent increase in Boardman bikes.

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.”

The full report, The Olympic Cycling Effect, can be viewed here.

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