British Cycling membership up 50% since Wiggins won Tour de France - and it's continuing to grow

"Cycling has officially hit the mainstream says Chris Froome, as membership passes 75,000 mark

by Simon_MacMichael   June 18, 2013  

British Cycling Logo

British Cycling says that its membership has risen by 50 per cent to pass 75,000 people since Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory last July, with the man who hopes to succeed him to the title next month, Chris Froome, saying it proves that “cycling has officially hit the mainstream.”

Last July, British Cycling saw one of its highest ever months of new joiners, with 2,400 people signing up, but that has accelerated since then with an average of 2,800 people joining in each of the subsequent nine months. In part, that’s due to Great Britain’s success at London 2012, but interest is continuing to grow.

The governing body says that “this unprecedented growth has been achieved through the continued development of new opportunities and support for anyone to start and to stay cycling – whether that be commuting, recreation or sport – ensuring that the inspiration created by our cycling stars is transferred into more people cycling at all levels, delivering on our vision of ‘inspiration to participation’.”

British Cycling president Brian Cookson, currently campaigning to succeed Pat McQuaid as UCI president, commented: “There is no question that cycling is the sport that redefined our national sporting identity last year with unprecedented success across all areas.

“The fact that our membership now stands at an all time high of 75,000 will only help us to increase our influence for the good of cycling in this country.

“With just 10 days to go until Tour favourite Chris Froome sets off in Corsica, we’re thrilled that cycling fever is still gripping the nation long after the closing ceremonies in London.”

Froome, added: “Cycling in this country has really hit the mainstream; there has never been a better time to be part of our great sport, whatever you ride.

“It’s fantastic to see so many people getting involved, riding their bikes and encouraging family and friends to join them. I’m really pleased that British Cycling now has 75,000 members – and the more people that join us the stronger we become.” 

Tying in with the announcement that it had passed the 75,000 mark, British Cycling has launched a celebration of its members (more details here), with Performance Director Sir Dave Brailsford, also Team Principal at Sky Procycling, saying:

“This is a big, big day and a big stepping stone for British Cycling. I’d like to thank all of the members, volunteers, clubs for the contribution they made and the continued involvement that they have with British Cycling.”

The organisation has also revealed some key facts about its membership:

• What type: Around half of British Cycling members take part in some form of off-road cycling. Nine in 10 British Cycling members participate in some form of road cycling.

• Motivations: More than 65% of British Cycling members say they joined British Cycling to support the work the sports governing body is doing for cyclists at all levels. Around 60% say they joined British Cycling for liability insurance benefits.

• How they ride: British Cycling supports cyclists of all types. Racing cyclists make up 58% of British Cycling’s membership with commuters, sportive and leisure riders making up the remaining 42%.

• Gender: Female membership has more than doubled in the last two years. There are almost 11,000 female members currently versus 5,000 in 2011. British Cycling is on target to achieve 25,000 female members by 2017.

• Age: More than 15,000 British Cycling members are aged under 25. The average age of a member is 39.

It also highlighted its key achievements during the past year:

• Growing British Cycling’s membership by over 26,000 members in the past year, surging from 49,000 to over 75,000 members.

• This amounts to a 54% year on year growth in the number of member (50% growth since Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory in 2012).

• Winning 16 gold medals (eight in the Olympics, eight in the Paralympics) at London 2012.

• A first British winner of the Tour de France.

• Inspiring a million more people to take up cycling since 2009.

• Being named as the Sports Governing Body of the Year at the Sports Industry Awards.

• Supporting a surge in new cycling clubs – 100 new clubs have formed in the past 12 months bringing the total number of clubs in Great Britain to 1,700.

• More people participating in personal challenge rides – over 76,500 riders have participated in non competitive events so far this year, equating to a 30% increase on last year.

• More cyclists competing in more events - there are almost 3,500 cycling events taking place each year with over 170,000 people racing.

• More young people competing - Over 359,000 opportunities for young people to experience coaching and competition have been delivered through the Go-Ride Programme since 2009.

• The launch of a new strategy to get one million more women cycling by 2020.

• Bringing international events to the UK – Manchester is hosting the Track World Cup in November and British Cycling is bidding to host the 2016 Track   host the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the London 2012 Velodrome

• Standing up for the issues that matter to cyclists – British Cycling is part of the government’s justice review group, and the cycling stakeholder forum set up by the Department for Transport. The Mayor of London recently consulted British Cycling on his cycling vision for the capital.

12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

How has the government cycling petition only got 65,000 signatures!?!

posted by georgee [158 posts]
18th June 2013 - 18:37


BC should identy the 'missing' 10k and hunt them down! Go on Cookson Smile

posted by Sam1 [220 posts]
18th June 2013 - 19:02


Great point Georgee and I've just tweeted something from @roadcc account to that effect.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9498 posts]
18th June 2013 - 19:18


not just the bc riders, what about the ctc riders?

Wish this new found enthusiasm translated into better driving, but it doesn't seem to be the case!!!

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1888 posts]
18th June 2013 - 21:38


BC was about 50% cheaper than CTC membership.

As a CTC member for years, but frustrated by their continuing supine attitude - bending over backwards to please governments, and spinning every little bit of poor infrastructure as a big success - i gave up on them. And now I'm in BC, for the insurance of course!

What's odd is that, as a commuter and tourer, CTC should be the perfect fit, but sadly it feels like they're still in love with vehicular cycling.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [602 posts]
19th June 2013 - 7:29


Do I join BC, CTC or a Cycle Campaign Network affiliated group? I'm not going to join them all.

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
19th June 2013 - 9:31


Join them all. I do.

Sustrans, CTC and British Cycling. They all support and campaign for cycling in various ways, which is good for all of us.

Membership is a small cost compared to how much I empty my wallet on cycling gear and races during a year....

posted by seanbolton [169 posts]
19th June 2013 - 12:06


Maybe it's time for CTC, BC and CTT to merge? One, strong, representative and governing body covering all aspects of cycling? The model would be sailing's RYA.

posted by Al__S [881 posts]
19th June 2013 - 12:13


seanbolton wrote:
Join them all. I do.

Sustrans, CTC and British Cycling. They all support and campaign for cycling in various ways, which is good for all of us.

Membership is a small cost compared to how much I empty my wallet on cycling gear and races during a year....

I'm not that rich, plus their basic non-racing membership offers seem to duplicate things like insurance and discount offers. It would be nice if all groups had a basic no-frills membership alongside whatever frilly ones they like.

I'm pretty sure you can join CTC and it looks like you can join BC, but you can't actually join Sustrans because it's some sort of by-invitation trust or something not controlled by cyclists in general.

I half agree with the other comment suggesting a merger - it would be nice to have all the groups working together in one structure, even if they can't merge for some reason.

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
19th June 2013 - 14:44


BC Bronze Membership is £15 (no liabilty cover)
CTC Membership is £41 (with liability cover)
And I make a small monthly Direct Debit donation to Sustrans.

There is some overlap in functions (and benefits) but I support all three as each campaigns in it's own way for cycling in the UK, which is a good thing.

It is a small fraction of my yearly disposable income so I feel it is worth it.

Certainly the CTT (time trials org) could be merged into BC, this is a hangover from the past.

posted by seanbolton [169 posts]
19th June 2013 - 16:03


seanbolton wrote:
BC Bronze Membership is £15 (no liabilty cover)

That's "race Bronze" which is "Designed for riders who race competitively" which is most definitely not me! Their basic non-racing membership is £30 with frills.

Anyone know what happens if you have three sets of insurance and are involved in a claimworthy incident? Do they split it or do all three try to pass the buck?

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
19th June 2013 - 19:05


Race Bronze is the cheapest membership, basically same as the Go-Ride membership except without the liability insurance.

BC third party liabilty insurance is 'primary specific' meaning claims on it's policy will not be tranfered or shared with other policies you might have.

If you join CTC you get their liability insurance so it would only cost you another £15 to become a member of British Cycling. You would have access to the BC Wiggle & Halfords discounts, plus some other perks. Seems reasonable for £1.25 a month, a decent espresso costs more than that..... And your support only helps BC with it's campaigning for cycling, at all levels. It benefits us all.....

posted by seanbolton [169 posts]
19th June 2013 - 21:40