Following the success of the Tour de France's Grand Départ last summer a new project hopes to capitalise on the enthusiasm for cycling in Yorkshire.
Cyclists are being encouraged to donate their unwanted bikes to Yorkshire Bank, with the bicycles to then be fixed and form a network of bike libraries.
Donation stations have been set up across the county of Yorkshire, and from the New Year community and not-for-profit groups will be able to bid for funding to run bike libraries – with the fixed-up recycled bikes spruced up for borrowing.
The scheme aims to ensure that there is a bike available – to borrow for free – for every person in Yorkshire, and both Yorkshire Bank and the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency have become involved in the scheme.
Five time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault attended the launch event for the initiative. He said: “The Tour in Yorkshire was incredible. I have never seen so many people out supporting the riders and it shows the passion for cycling here. That’s why this project is so important, as it can give our next generation the chance to experience cycling. I’d encourage anyone who can help to do so.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who came up with the idea, said: “I’m delighted that Yorkshire Bank shares our passion for helping everyone in Yorkshire to have access to a bike. They’re turning this dream into a reality and we need the public to help us do the same by donating bikes that perhaps have been sat in a garage gathering dust.”
Meanwhile pro cyclist Scott Thwaites of the Netapp-Endura also attended the launch event, telling BikeRadar that the scheme will help ensure a legacy following the county hosting the prestigious race last summer.
"It's really a good initiative to allow those kids who have seen the Tour and want to give cycling a go to get access to a bike to give it a try and see what they think," he said.
Further information on the scheme and donation points – including places in Bradford, York, Sheffield and more – can be found here.