The Tour de France for all-abilities
In the hope that watching the best cyclists in the world on their doorstep will inspire everyone whatever their ability to have a go at cycling, CTC held a Spectator Hub on Saturday 5 July at St Joseph's Primary School in Otley, Leeds.
The school is on the route of the Tour de France, the caravan came through at 10am. At around midday, the riders passed the school gates where spectators were able to watch and wave (no selfies allowed!).
Throughout the day, the CTC team had a fleet of adapted cycles for all ages and abilities for people to try out. There was specialist advice and help for those with special needs or disabilities, together with information about all-ability cycling groups and clubs in the area also on offer.
The event was organised by Gavin Wood, CTC's Inclusive Cycling Champion for the Midlands and North East. He said: "The amount of people riding the Tour De France route here in Yorkshire is phenomenal, but you don't need to be an elite athlete to enjoy cycling - anyone can have a go. We are expecting lots of people with disabilities take up cycling now that they have had a chance to ride our fleet of adapted cycles.”
Inspiring people to experience the joys of cycling first hand is a key part of Gavin's role and he is hoping that all the excitement and coverage of the Tour de France will have a lasting effect in the area.
I live in Calderdale and the Tour went right past my house! In Yorkshire, we have fully embraced the event. There is bunting and yellow bikes everywhere. People put scaffolding up in their gardens to get a better view of the Tour de France and the atmosphere was buzzing. I just hope that now people are inspired to get out cycling themselves - my heart says wouldn't it be great if everyone who watched the race started cycling again - I hope people don't forget about it and are inspired."
CTC Inclusive Cycling Champion
Last week Gavin also ran a mini Tour de France session at Seven Hills School in Sheffield, a school for pupils aged 11-19 with special needs. Pupils rode adapted bikes and cycled in pairs around a route in the school grounds. He has also helped many other schools in the area to put on special events and rides.
More information about disability cycling can be found on the Inclusive Cycling Directory.