I’m glad to see in many places that we appear to still be riding the wave following the resounding success of the London 2014 Olympic Games.
There was some debate as to whether the ‘legacy’ would be capitalised upon and despite the triumph of team GB there were a few naysayers who went back into British pessimistic mode and said it was nice while it lasted. Thankfully there have been greater numbers inspired by the Golden Summer which has been visible in the huge uptake of British Cycling membership, increased interest at club level and more and more people taking to the roads on their bikes.
I was delighted to see the members of Ayr Roads Club taking the initiative and setting up a junior road cycling academy which commenced a few weeks after the Olympics. Many young riders attended full of enthusiasm and all talking of Mark Cavendish and Chris Hoy with the admiration and respect usually reserved for professional footballers.
They were taught skills from taking corners and descending to riding a paceline and graduated through the weeks to race tactics. A few of the group even took part in the club’s annual hill climb and put in some very impressive performances on a climb that I struggle with on a good day!
How fitting that just as the road season draws to a close another door opens in the form of the world class Sir Chris Hoy velodrome at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. It is a superb facility and track accreditation lessons and taster sessions are available for absolutely anyone over the age of 8 that knows how to ride a bike without stabilisers to come along and have a go!
The starring role of the velodrome will be at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games but it is great to see it available to the public long before this date. Having recently seen the knock on effect that the National Cycling Centre in Manchester has had on sport and cycling in the area following the 2002 Commonwealth Games it would be wonderful to see the same regeneration happen in Glasgow.
The campaign drive for Glasgow 2014 has begun in earnest, venues are nearing completion and there has never been a chance for a lull following London 2012. I was delighted when my club was asked for female cyclists to take part in the first advert for the Commonwealth Games and although you may blink and miss me it was great to be involved and get behind the campaign. Another random adventure with my bike!
The tagline for the Games is “support is our sport” and although the Commonwealth competition compartmentalises the UK into our smaller nations I would hope that no one forgets that feeling of pride in Team GB and gets behind Glasgow 2014. Patriotism extends far and wide in this country and I hope we can yet again showcase to the world what us Brits are capable of!