The British Cycling annual report has landed on our desks, and as you might expect, it's triumphant in tone after a specacular year in terms of the Tour de France and the Olympics.
As President Brian Cookson says in his foreword: "When I think about how successful the last 12 months has been for British Cycling I have to pinch myself."
And it's not short on legacy - one of the crucial concerns for ordinary cyclist following the 2012 Games. Cookson says: "The legacy of our success at the Olympic and Paralympics Games is already beginning to have a huge effect. Our membership is soaring and we’re continuing to offer people of all ages and abilities a pathway into our sport, no matter how and where they want to ride a bike."
The numbers prove the point, says Ian Drake, British Cycling's CEO. He writes: "Participation is rising – almost two million people are now cycling at least once a week, with 163,000 more doing so in the last six months of 2011/12. Over 200,000 people have attended our Sky Ride City events and 53,000 more women are cycling now than there were six months ago. Our membership is soaring with a year on year growth of 43% – putting it at an all time high."
At a pro level, the report enumerates a number of successful UK-based cycle events held in the last year, including the BMX World Championships, the National Road Race Championships and the Senior National Track Champs, and new all-comers events, including sportives.
Youth coaching is another area of interest, with the report pointing out that a "post-Olympic programme, the Go-Ride Games successfully provided entry-level activities for young people to get started in cycling, as over 120 Go-Ride clubs delivered coaching and competition throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The figures so far indicate that over 4,000 young people took advantage of the Go-Ride Games, whilst a further 100,000 opportunities were delivered throughout the year through our strong regional network of Go-Ride coaches."
A number of developments are cited as successes, including The Derby Arena and Indoor Velodrome, which "has now received council
approval and work has commenced on site for completion in 2014.
"The A2 Cyclopark opened partially in Autumn 2011 and is now fully operational. The Knowsley Velodrome and BMX track was officially opened in September 2012, and has been used by local clubs for training. In the past year British Cycling also completed the Forge Valley Closed Road Circuit in Sheffield.
"New closed road circuits in York and Bath and the Clayton Vale Mountain Bike Trails project are also currently going through the planning process. Work is expected to start before the end of 2012 with estimated completion in early 2013. The Hadleigh Farm Olympic Legacy site has planning permission and the full support of Essex County Council, and we are continuing to work with Essex to secure funding for the project."
The report also outlines progress in such initiatives as Racing On The Road, "to identify outdated and burdensome regulations" and the Save Herne Hill Velodrome campaign.
It also makes mention of road safety, but without concrete suggestions, rather a commitment to "continue to develop key relationships with the government, MPs, other cycling organisations and related stakeholders, the media and those with the influence to garner support for positive change for all cyclists on the road."
To read the report in full, click here.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.